Crown Princess Cruise Ship Departs After Norovirus Outbreak

02/13/2012 06:44 am ET

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A cruise ship that returned early to port after a stomach virus outbreak has departed again after an extensive sanitization.

The Crown Princess departed Saturday from Fort Lauderdale en route to the Caribbean after a two-day cleaning. Crews sanitized all public spaces and surfaces, including carpets, door handles and railings. State rooms were also sanitized and stocked with fresh linens.

Hundreds of people became sick with a gastrointestinal illness the last two times the ship departed. The outbreak was confirmed to be caused by the norovirus, which is highly contagious.

Several other ships have also experienced recent outbreaks of the virus, including the Ruby Princess, also operated by Princess Cruise Lines, and the Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Sea.