MSN / Ninesman reports on a viral outbreak aboard a Princess cruise ship cruising from Australia which sickened “hundreds” of passengers this week.
A passenger who was interviewed by MSN refers dramatically to being inflicted by a “virus from hell” with sounds of “vomiting echoing down the hallways.” The Sea Princess left Fremantle on August 18th and was heading, eventually, to Singapore. This was reportedly not the first outbreak. New passengers who boarded in Singapore were not warned of the outbreak and were described by one passenger as “lambs being led to the slaughter . . . they just didn’t know what they were in for.”
The virus was allegedly on the cruise ship “for months.” One passenger says that some of the bar and wait staff were already sick, when some passengers boarded, with gastroenteritis and influenza. The passenger said that the sick crew members were afraid to report to the infirmary out of fear of losing their jobs. In our experience, some crew members who rely on tips keep working after they are ill.
MSN says that around 500 people were affected; however, Princess claims that this was not a major outbreak with only around 100 passengers becoming ill. Princess confirmed to a newspaper in Australia that 100 passengers were sickened by what it innocuously referred to as a “tummy bug.”
Princess is declining to compensate passengers for the outbreak and will not be reimbursing them for the shipboard medical treatment needed on the ship.
We asked Princess for a comment but have not heard back from the cruise line.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Bahnfrend Creative Commons
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Read about cruise norovirus cases from Barfblog.
September 11 2014 Update: We just received a couple of comments from passengers on the ship (below), stating that the story is over-dramatic and the criticism of Princess is overblown.
September 12 2014 Update: Passengers who were struck down by the gastro-intestinal virus have disembarked at Fremantle this morning, according to abcnet.au. One passenger said he “was compensated for his bad experience. We got a special on our next cruise deal and the compensation was a couple of dollars as well, so they looked after us.” Another passenger said “they were not told about what had happened but believe they should have been.”
September 13 2014 Update: PerthNow reports that passengers said up to 400 people were ill on the ship which many are nicknaming “Pandemic Princess” and “Purgatory Princess.” Princess is sticking with its story that only a “small percentage” of passenger were affected. Passengers were offered a 50 per cent refund to be discounted from their next cruise. One retiree said that a “nice glass of brandy every night” kept him from becoming sick.