More than 300 passengers fall ill with suspected norovirus on Caribbean Princess

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At least 299 passengers and 22 crew members sailing on a Princess Cruises ship are believed to be suffering from suspected norovirus.

Caribbean Princess was refused entry to Trinidad & Tobago as a precautionary measure.

The ship was on a 14-day Caribbean sailing which departed on February 2.

It is now en route back to Port Everglades, Florida, and is scheduled to arrive Thursday morning.

The ship is carrying 4,196 guests and crew in total.

All guests are being offered a 50% refund and a future cruise credit.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the ship will undergo a “super sanitation cleaning” in port on February 16.

It will then depart from Port Everglades for a round-trip Circle Caribbean cruise.

The line is also dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus onboard Diamond Princess in Japan, where 136 passengers have been diagnosed with the virus.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Saga Cruises confirmed at least 89 passengers on board Spirit of Discovery were suffering from suspected norovirus with guests showing symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

The authorities in Gibraltar refused the ship entry and it is now en route back to Southampton.

A Princess Cruises spokesperson said: “Caribbean Princess, which had been on a 14-day cruise in the Caribbean, has curtailed its current voyage due to guests reporting symptoms consistent with a mild case of gastrointestinal illness.

“The affected guests are being treated by the onboard medical team and there are no cases of coronavirus identified among guests or crew.

“The ship, with 4,196 guests and crew, is now sailing back to the Port of Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and is scheduled to arrive at Port Everglades at 7:00am on Thursday, February 13.

“This is a highly unusual development and we share the disappointment of our guests. However, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority, and we have worked alongside the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make this decision.

“All guests will receive a 50% refund on their voyage and a future cruise credit valued at 50% of their cruise for this inconvenience.

“Caribbean Princess will resume its schedule with a February 16 departure from Port Everglades for a round-trip Circle Caribbean cruise.”

Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas to sail in Europe

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Royal Caribbean International’s second Quantum Ultra-class ship, Odyssey of the Seas, is to sail in Europe in 2021 after its spending first season in the Caribbean.

The line’s 27th ship, which will be similar in size to 4,800-passenger-capacity Spectrum of the Seas, will first sail out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Caribbean itineraries from November 2020.

It will sail both six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises, becoming the first Quantum Ultra-class ship to call at the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao, which will be calling on its eight-night itinerary.

They will be in addition to the calls on its six-night sailing, which include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Royal Caribbean International’s private Caribbean island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

After Odyssey’s maiden season in the Caribbean, the ship will redeploy to Europe for summer 2021. Details of its European itineraries are yet to be confirmed and are expected to be released in November. In a previous interview with Travel Weekly, the line’s president and chief executive Michael Bayley hinted that the ship would sail out of Barcelona.

Odyssey of the Seas will feature a RipCord by iFLY sky-diving adventure, a North Star glass observation capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean and a two-deck-high Two70 entertainment venue and SeaPlex active space with a trapeze school, basketball court, a roller-skating rink and bumper cars.

Royal said more features of the ship will be announced ahead of its launch.

The line’s first Quantum-Ultra class ship, Spectrum of the Seas, launched in April with sailings out of Shanghai, China.

Two More Cruises Cancelled Due to Hurricane

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Two more cruises have been cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian, as the storm slowly moves toward Florida.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which sails from Palm Beach to Freeport, announced its Sept. 5 sailing aboard the Grand Celebration has been cancelled, making it three cancelled voyages for the company due to the hurricane.

Royal Caribbean International confirmed the Mariner of the Seas’ Sept. 2 sailing from Port Canaveral has been cancelled, after initially being delayed by two days. The ship was set to return to port from her August 30 sailing on Wednesday and is now expected back to port on Thursday, Sept. 5. Royal Caribbean is expected to issue another itinerary update midday Tuesday.