100 on Star Cruises vacation down with food poisioning

About 100 people came down with food poisoning symptoms early Wednesday morning during a six-day cruise to Ho Chi Minh City and Redang Island.

The Star Cruises ship SuperStar Virgo left Singapore on Sunday with about 1,700 passengers.

The passengers who fell ill had lunch at the Grand Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. The stop was for a city tour and they also had a Mediterranean buffet dinner on the ship when they returned from their tour.

Investigations are underway to find out the cause of their illness, which include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and chills.

The ship returned to Singapore yesterday.

The Straits Times spoke reported that passengers had described the scene on the vessel to be 'chaotic', with crowds at its clinic.

At least 1 passenger was warded in the ship's intensive care unit following intense cramps and high fever, the national daily reported.

Star Cruises told The Straits Times that the passengers became ill after the ship had docked in Vietnam.

560 of the ship's 1,700 passengers had opted for the city tour during its stop at Ho Chi Minh City.

The company spokesperson declined to comment on the exact number of passengers who fell ill but said that all the necessary actions were taken to ensure that affected passengers received medical attention.

Saigontourist Travel Service, which helps Star Cruises to make meal arrangements in Ho Chi Minh City, is aiding in the investigations.

Lunch that Tuesday consisted of shrimp, fish, beef, stir-fried vegetables and rice.

Doctors The Straits Times spoke to say the likely cause of the illness was food poisoning, but added that it was difficult to ascertain which meal caused it.