Passengers become sick on 2 Princess cruise ships

Ships must now be sanitized

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. - A Princess cruise ship carrying more than 100 sick passengers returned to Port Everglades Saturday.

Nearly 150 sick people were onboard the Crown Princess when it returned to port.

Princess Cruises is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the cause of the virus onboard the Crown Princess.

Many of those passengers were upset with how they were treated after getting sick.

"It's unfortunate that people get sick, but they need to get their act together as far as management and treat people with dignity after they spent all this money," said Barbara Galoo.

"For a ship this size and the money, we pay thousands for a vacation of a lifetime, to be treated so insensitively, I feel they didn't have a heart," said another passenger.

Other passengers told Local 10 there really wasn't anything else the crew could do.

The Crown Princess must now be completely sanitized before it can return to sea.

Another Princess ship, the Ruby Princess, which is scheduled to return to Port Everglades Sunday morning, also has sick passengers onboard.

About 92 passengers and 13 crew members are believed to be infected with norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus.

A spokeswoman for the cruise line said the company believes the viruses on the two ships are unrelated.

The cruise line said that as soon as people began reporting being ill, it started enhanced sanitation procedures in the hope of keeping the contagious virus from spreading. Those measures included thorough disinfection of surfaces such as railings, door handles and elevator buttons, encouragement of hand-washing and placement of hand sanitizers around the ship. 

Those who are ill were isolated in their cabins until they are no longer contagious, and ship officials encouraged passengers to use the bathrooms in their cabins, rather than public facilities.

Both ships were scheduled to depart on new trips on Sunday, but those trips could be delayed while the ships are cleaned.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.