Tonight I received the following message from a Princess Cruises’ passenger just off the Star Princess:

"I just arrived in Vancouver on the Star Princess. Cruise was September 19 – October 4 2015 Vancouver-Hawaii-Vancouver. I contacted the worst type flu of my life on the 21 September afternoon. By the third day I notified Medical Services after 2 days in bed running a unbelievable fever and was given tamiflu medication. I was sick almost the total cruise and was still coughing when I left the Star Princess.

I am a totally healthy individual, normal weight, & have no history of illness in years. Later, I heard many were sick on the ship, the Captain announced 2 separate viruses on board. We were 3 days from Star Princess returning to Vancouver before they started taking precautions in the dining areas.

We have traveled by ship for many years & all has been great until this trip. The worst & most expensive holiday of my life. The cruise ship needs to be held accountable for their careless hygiene on board & should give some compensation to individuals suffering such a miserable vacation. They keep piling them on larger & larger ships without any regard for the individuals exposed to all the germs being circulated. Extreme cleanliness was exercised only when there is a outbreak on board.

I feel for the elderly who are not in good health & are being exposed to these terrible viruses."

The press in Canada has picked up on the story. CBC News reports that a least one norovirus-stricken Star Princess passenger flew home from Hawaii, instead of cruising back to Canada. When the Princess cruise ship docked this morning in Vancouver, two passengers were transported by ambulance from the dock to hospital with norovirus. 

Princess told the newspaper that there were allegedly 78 people infected with norovirus during the two week cruise. The actual number is probably higher than that because many passengers do not report their symptoms and the cruise lines are quick to under-report the disease outbreaks.

Despite the extended outbreak during the last 2 weeks, the Star Princess is scheduled to depart tonight after a so-called "enhanced cleaning." 

The Star Princess had a noro outbreak last May.  

Princess Cruises has experienced 4 of the last 11 cruise ship norovirus outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Photo Credit – Jim Walker

  • Margaret Yull

    I and my friend contracted the novo virus on the Grand Princess up in Alaska as did many others. It took me 3 days to get over and I missed all the ports.I had to have two injections to recover. I was told we caught whilst up in the inland and I would agree with that, I didn’t think all the things were really hygenic
    especially the train and b us loos.
    I go on another cruise next week and I am taking precautions – I am taking some oils to disinfect everything in the cabin and good hand wash to wash my hand when I sit down as well as before.
    It will happen because people don;t wash their hands before eating and certainly not after going to the toilet.
    This was the July 12 cruise.

  • Milijana

    That happend also on crown princess when i was on board but this time it wasent the passengers only it was also the crew. One of the crew members did not sanitaze his hands before cleaning the guest rooms and dining area. In metter of minutes we heard that 5 of passangers got sick all of us from the crew had to report to doctor office for testing all of us came clean but one that was laid off and send home. The problem now is crew member that is not washing and sanitazing his hands or a passenger.

  • Tore Eliassen

    Hi Jim

    Thank You for the best cruise vessel breaking News on the planet! Your updates and the comments are So necessary; so keep on going!

    Just like to comment on the above Norwalk/Noro story on the Star Princess.

    I am sorry for the sick passenger in mind (and the 78 others).
    BUT to blame that the crew and the cruise ship needs to be held accountable for their careless hygiene on board & should give some compensation to individuals suffering such a miserable vacation is wrong. The virus always starts as a drop infection spredd from passenger to passenger. Brought from land by someone! (Just like a normal flu).

    The Noro virus does not live on the bulkheads waiting to attack the next New passenger emarking!

    But of course all cruise vessels need to act prompt as soon as Anybody are infected.

    I suggested the all cruise ships are open on the issue, as the Noro virus never gives up.

    Develop a crew member “Cleaning Hit squad” (just like Superman) to act on every cruise, not only when the outbreak “hits the Fan”. If IT happends, then everyone are getting dirty!

    Bon Voyage! Ex sailor

  • Ronny

    I arrived on the ship yesterday morning from the cruise. We were a party of 7. 2 adults and our 5 kids aged 4-16. None of us got sick except for some sea sickness the first couple days. We did observe many many times elderly people grabbing food with bare hands. Coughing on my kids plates while in buffett line. After that we never attended the buffet again. Only ate at the restaurant. It was pretty bad onboard the last 3 days. You could smell the vomit and diarrhea in hallways from the rooms. Poor housekeepers were in googles and gloves sanitizing and removing bio hazard waste in red bags from people’s rooms. A lot of guests also didn’t stay away when sick they still went into the crowds and passed on their sickness to many others. I spoke with a lot of crew that said many were sick and still venturing out when they should have stayed separated. Elderly people don’t have the best hygiene as we witnessed and many many people got sick over it. I commend the ships crew and staff for their relentless efforts 24 hours sanitizing walls, tables, chairs, phones, rails… everything in site.

  • Happylada

    WE were also on this ship and my wife got violently sick on day 4. They disembarked her in Honolulu to Crown medical center on day 7 and she spent 20hours there. The bill for the ship’s medical and Crown is already almost 17,000 dollars. We had to rent a car to store our luggage as they didn’t want it at the hospital and I didn’t get a hotel because I was NOT sure what was happening or if my wife would be admitted.

    This MUST be causing some concern for we received a phone call this AM from the hotel I booked into on our second day in Honolulu (almost 300 dollars)

    AS soon as she was able we flew home, another all night affair (second in 4 days) so we’re exhausted. BUT well.

    Neither of us have been sick for years, and my wife is a fastidious hygienick. She seldom passed a sanitize station without using it. Me? not so much. BUT I didn’t get it and since we never eat the same meals – we assume it came from the food. Apart from our different favorite foods – we were inseparable as usual and never left the room without each other til she got sick.

    This tour was to have been our celebration of out 70th birthdays and our 50th anniversary.

  • Janet

    Hi, My husband and I were also passengers on the ship. Yesterday, Tuesday, I took my husband to see the doctor as he is very ill. I am also suffering. I observe a great deal, and I would say, reacting after the fact is useless in outbreaks. They should be more proactive right from the first day as they have a lot of experience of these outbreaks. To wash dining tables and chairs, then move onto another set without rinsing the cloths or spraying the next table sickens me. To keep giving linen napkins when they should have utilized paper ones immediately, to have waiters pass me my yogurt without gloves on, to have women lining up for one stall in the washroom because the other two are overflowing..(shut it down immediately)..and so on. All of you enjoy your next cruise I won’t be one of you.

  • barry

    I took a cruise with a group on the Star Princess this past August. I thought that the crew put in an AMAZING amount of effort in trying to prevent infection and I think that these criticisms are unfair. For example, someone mentioned the dining room and the buffet. In both places, crew stood at the entrance and NOBODY was admitted without sterilizing their hands. There were dozens of sterilizing stations all over the ship.

    Another point is that before we got on the boat, as part of the Princess package, we went on buses, trains and boats with the same people who later got on the boat. Maybe the infection came from that period. One cannot make the whole world sterile.

    Actually, my wife did get a virus and the medical staff was EXTREMELY responsive, administering medications, sterilizing the cabin and visiting the the cabin several times to check on things. My doctor at home certainly doesn’t make house calls. She was fine in a day.

    I think it is very unreasonable to expect a sterile environment in a closed community of thousands of people who get on and off the boat regularly. Indeed, when we got on the the boat, they made you sterilize your hands immediately.

    I think that demands that the waiters always wear gloves, etc. are bizarre. The problem is with the passengers, not the staff.

    Finally, I think that people should remember is that the reason people have an immune system is because there are viruses and other germs in the environment. If a persons health is so fragile that they can’t risk even a minor illness, perhaps a different type of vacation would be more suitable.

  • Cruiser

    Just came back from the California Coastal cruise on the Star that left from Vancouver on the 4th of October after rigorous cleaning to disinfect from the aforementioned noro outbreak. Zero problems on the ship, no one got sick. They obviously did a good job disinfecting. You cant blame the cruiseline or crew for an unfortunate circumstance of having this illness on your cruise. Cant decontaminate the whole world.

  • Keith

    A good friend of mine was on the ship and became very ill in Hawaii while standing in line to get back on the ship. She fainted and was put in a wheelchair. Fortunately the ships’ doctor was in line behind her and looked after her, but told her to come straight to the clinic on board as soon as she was back on the ship. She did as instructed and found when she left the ship that her medical bill as $1187.00 which included a charge of 135.00 for coming the the clinic 1/2 hour before it opened at 16:00. I was thinking this could be a good profit center for Princess. At $1187.00 per sick person and 79 ill people thats $93,773.00 they made on that trip. Thats probably more than the casino. Just saying.

  • LC

    Before boarding Star Princess for Alaska on 9/5/15, Princess ground staff were overheard in the staging area in Vancouver that half the crew members were extremely sick that week. I am a healthy person; by 9/9/15, was sick as a dog with fever, sore throat, body ache, severe cold and stuffy nose. The fever broke 24 hours later, but other symptoms continued onto the “Off the beaten path” land tour. Just when I was feeling better, then the stomach and intestinal disturbance started. Would say that one out of every five people were sick with identical symptoms; again, perfectly healthy before boarding the ship. Obviously, more infection control plans need to be implemented. Floating Petri dishes need to be addressed.

  • Beryl Reeve

    My husband, son and myself were on the Star Princess, to say the least coughing was the sound of the day, starting a couple of days into the cruise. We did not receive written info untill 30 sept. Needless to say most of our time on board was spent in our rooms , that Did not stop us from being ill with the virus .

    The date now is Oct 17th and we are still being treated by our doctors, has anybody from the cruise been approached by Princess as regard to compensation. Please contact me.
    I feel that many of the Star Princess passengers have gone and still feeling the effects of this virus, I tell you, you would not wish this on your worst enemy.

    I pray that everyone affected with this virus are on the mend.