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Dozens Fall Ill On Baltimore Cruise Ship

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Sick at sea! The Grandeur of the Sea returned early to the Port of Baltimore after the first confirmed outbreak this year of norovirus on board a cruise ship.

Christie Ileto has more.

This wasn't the dream vacation many had signed up for. In fact, for almost one in 10 passengers, it became a nightmare at sea.

The cruise was cut short and droves of passengers were left out in the cold. Crippling winds turned the Grandeur of the Sea back to Baltimore after a medical emergency on board, coupled with an outbreak of the norovirus.

"Nine of us got it," said one passenger. "Our room was not clean the day we had to board."

She is one of the 193 passengers, along with nine crew members, who caught the bug on the nine-day trip.

"Extreme stomach flu, I guess you could call it. You're in your room for more than a day," said a passenger.

Royal Caribbean says "Those affected by the short-lived illness are responding well to over-the-counter medication administered on board the ship."

"We could see a lot of the guys cleaning the ship the whole day," said one passenger. "Every five minutes."

The cruise line says when the ship was in Jamaica, two CDC health officers boarded to collect samples and evaluate the outbreak---but this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Last April, more than 100 passengers on the same ship fell sick to the same gastrointestinal virus. A year before that, passengers were forced to evacuate when the ship caught fire at sea.

Crews are now working around the clock to sanitize the vessel. The cruise line says the terminal will also be disinfected.

Some passengers say they were given $75 per room for the lost day of the trip. Passengers from out of town are forced to get a hotel in the city before they can make arrangements to go home.

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