Gastro outbreak forces Caribbean cruise ship to return to US

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Caribbean Princess cruise was cut short following a gastrointestinal outbreak aboard the ship caused it to be denied entry to at least one island before it headed to its home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday.

At least 299 passengers and 22 crew members aboard the ship operated by California-based Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. became sick, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a highly unusual development and we share the disappointment of our guests,” the company said in a statement to The Associated Press, adding that those affected had mild cases of gastrointestinal illness but that out of caution, it discontinued the cruise.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry of Trinidad & Tobago said in a statement that it denied the ship entry as a precautionary measure given the outbreak.

The ship was carrying more than 3,000 passengers and more than 1,100 crew members. It was on a two-week trip that began Feb. 2 and was scheduled to end Feb. 16.

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