Cruise Cites Fog, not Norovirus for Early Return - Passengers Skeptical

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HOUSTON (AP) - Although a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises says a dense fog advisory is the reason a cruise ship returned early to a Houston-area port today, passengers are questioning that version of events.

They say the crew announced on the second day that people were sick, apparently with highly contagious norovirus, and that extra precautions were being taken to ensure that it didn't spread.

More than 160 passengers and crew became sick.

One woman who was on the cruise says the crew announced Tuesday that the ship would return a day early because of a sea fog advisory that could close the Texas port. But she says passengers were skeptical of that explanation.

Earlier this week, a Royal Caribbean cruise returned early to New Jersey after nearly 700 people became ill with the same suspected gastrointestinal illness.

But a Princess Cruises spokeswoman says the situation on board the Caribbean Princess wasn't the same, and that if there hadn't been a potential port shutdown because of the fog, the ship would not have returned early.