At least two cruise ships operated by Princess Cruise Lines have been struck by norovirus poisoning . According to news reports, the quick-spreading gastrointestinal illness affected passengers on board the Ruby Princess and the Crown Princess. Both the ships are operated by Princess Cruise Lines.

Earlier news reports have held that a total of 140 passengers and 18 crew members had been affected by the norovirus food poisoning on the Crown Princess. On the Ruby Princess, approximately 81 passengers and nine crew members were believed to have been affected by the outbreak.

However, now that the vessels have returned or are on their way back to Fort Lauderdale, it is believed that 500 passengers on both the cruise vessels have been struck down by the norovirus poisoning. The Crown Princess returned last weekend with at least 364 sick passengers on board. There were also 32 members with symptoms of norovirus poisoning. The Crown Princess had set off with 3,100 people on board.

Passengers who were due to embark on cruise vacations on either of these two vessels have already received notifications informing them that the trip will be delayed because of the food poisoning outbreak on these vessels. According to Princess Cruise Lines officials, they are working with the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention to identify the source of the contamination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that there has been a substantial decrease in the number of known norovirus food poisoning outbreaks reported on cruise vessels. Much of the decline can be attributed to the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts surprise inspections of cruise ships, to detect unsanitary conditions.

As this outbreak indicates to cruise ship injury lawyers, cruise operators need to do more to reduce the number of such infectious illnesses on board.