The Celebrity Constellation. Image: Celebrity Cruises

A Celebrity Cruises cruise ship has been delayed in Southhampton after 350 passengers came down with suspected cases of the industry’s most feared stomach bug, the norovirus.

BBC news reported Tuesday that the 2,200 passenger Celebrity Constellation arrived in Southampton on Tuesday at the end of a 12-night wine tasting cruise to France and Spain. Once there, they were met by Southampton’s Port Health Authority who had “concerns over increased levels of what appeared to be norovirus.”

Health officials later confirmed that around 350 passengers had fallen ill with the brutal stomach bug, which led to the ship’s delayed departure while deep cleaning took place.

“The sanitation on that ship is bad,” one passenger told BBC.

Meanwhile a Celebrity Cruises statement said that “a small number of guests experienced a gastrointestinal type illness” and that a cleaning crew was conducting “extra cleaning and sanitizing on board the ship and within the cruise terminal as preventative measures.”

Cruise Critic reports that the outbreak comes just days after it was revealed that a group of 25 passengers are suing the owners of Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, after contracting norovirus while on different ship.

According to figures from the CDC, there have been a total of 12 norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships so far in 2012.

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