Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship experienced a norovirus outbreak with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting that 129 passengers 9 crewmembers suffered gastrointestinal illness.
The Ruby Princess was on a 7 day cruise from February 26 to March 4, 2012 out of Fort Lauderdale.
The Ruby Princess suffered another outbreak last month, although the prior sickness was not reported or investigated by the CDC.
The cruise industry has struggled with gastrointestinal outbreaks this year, some outbreaks reported by the CDC, some not, with Princess Cruises and the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity ships leading the cruise puke fest.
Here is a list of cases I have reported on just this year:
Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas
Princess' Ruby Princess
P & O Aurora.
There has been a sick cruise ship virtually every week this year.
Only cruise ships calling on U.S. ports are required to report sickness outbreaks to the CDC. Cruise line are required to make the report only when 3% or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ships medical staff during the voyage.
Under-reporting occurs regularly because many passengers can't make it away from their toilets due to diarrhea, and some passengers don't want to be confined to their cabins. Crewmembers often work while sick.
Photo credit: bottom - cheezburger.com