Princess Cruises has rejected claims of a double outbreak of COVID-19 and norovirus-like gastro infections during a current Australia cruise voyage.
Media reports have suggested two consecutive cruises had dual outbreaks on Grand Princess.
Grand Princess sanitized on return to Melbourne
The cruise line responded by acknowledging passengers had “symptoms of respiratory illness and acute gastrointestinal illness” on the previous sailing, which concluded recently in Melbourne. Those passengers left the ship before it departed on its current sailing.
The ship was fully disinfected during its port turnaround in Melbourne. Grand Princess recently arrived in Adelaide on the second day of its current four-day cruise. Princess Cruises says the ship underwent another round of disinfecting while in Adelaide “in an abundance of caution.”
“On the previous voyage, a number of people reported to the Medical Centre with symptoms of respiratory illness and acute gastrointestinal illness,” a cruise line spokesperson said. “While most guests were unaffected on that voyage, we proactively launched a comprehensive disinfection program to prevent further spread.”
What the health authority says
“There is no current ‘dual outbreak’ of illness on the ship, as is being reported,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.
The line hasn’t stated how many guests have been affected on the two cruises. South Australia Health was a little more transparent. The state health authority said there were five gastro infections and eight suspected Covid-19 cases when the ship docked in Adelaide.
Health officials are satisfied the numbers are at a level easily managed onboard. “SA Health has been informed that the outbreaks have been declared over and the few remaining cases are consistent with numbers you would expect on any cruise.”
The Grand Princess is due to return to Melbourne later this week.