Hundreds of passengers sickened on cruise ship - FOX 13 News

Hundreds of passengers sickened on cruise ship

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The Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas cruise ship set sail from Bayonne, NJ on Tuesday for the Caribbean, but now the trip has been cut short and the boat is headed back after hundreds of people on board became sick with gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with the highly contagious Norovirus.

The CDC said early Monday that 564 of the 3,050 passengers aboard the 15-deck ship reported getting sick during the cruise.

Connecticut passenger Arnee Dodd tweeted that she was among the ill, saying:  "They immediately quarantined every sick person & put a lockdown on food & are constantly cleaning everything.”

On Sunday, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship in St. Thomas to investigate.

Vince Ignizio and his wife Camille live in Staten Island and are on board the ship right now. Neither of them were sick, but the Ignizio's are the parents of New York City Councilman Vincent Ignizio, who cruised on the Explorer of the seas with his wife just two months ago.

Councilman Vincent Ignizio who is from the Staten Island 51st council district says they're doing whatever they can to sanitize the ship. “But you still have 1000 people on board, it’s a dangerous situation” he said.

The outbreak is the second on a Royal Caribbean cruise in as many weeks.

Dozens of passengers on their majesty of the seas SHIP became sick with a stomach virus last week.

“It seems to be happening more and more, perhaps we need to increase the inspection period from two times a year” Ignezio said.

Of this latest incident on board the explorer of the seas, Royal Caribbean said in a statement:  "...we think the right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly. We are sorry for disappointing our guests, and we are taking several steps to compensate them for their inconvenience."

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