Outbreak causes another cruise to end trip early

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FILE – The new Caribbean Princess departs on its maiden voyage from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in this April 3, 2004 file photo. Federal health officials are investigating after an outbreak of illness has caused Caribbean Princess cruise ship to ends its trip early and returned to port in Houston late Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 more than a day ahead of schedule after more than 170 passengers and crew members aboard became sick. (AP Photo/Princess Cruises, Andy Newman, File)

FILE – The new Caribbean Princess departs on its maiden voyage from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in this April 3, 2004 file photo. Federal health officials are investigating after an outbreak of illness has caused Caribbean Princess cruise ship to ends its trip early and returned to port in Houston late Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 more than a day ahead of schedule after more than 170 passengers and crew members aboard became sick. (AP Photo/Princess Cruises, Andy Newman, File)

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HOUSTON (AP) — Federal health officials are investigating after more than 170 passengers and crew members became sick aboard a cruise ship, prompting a premature end to the voyage.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1gwzfOI ) reports that the Caribbean Princess returned to port in Houston late Thursday.

As with another cruise ship that returned early to New Jersey earlier this week, the suspected culprit is the highly contagious norovirus.

The Caribbean Princess is owned by Princess Cruises. The ship left Houston Jan. 25 bound for the Western Caribbean with more than 4,200 people aboard. It had been scheduled to return on Saturday.

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas returned to New Jersey on Wednesday after nearly 700 aboard fell sick.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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