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Dozens Taken Off Cruise Over Virus

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PORT EVERGLADES (CBSMiami) -- Crew and passengers were taken off a cruise ship Friday after the spread of the norovirus.

At least 60 passengers of of the 1,138  got sick on Thursday, aboard the Holland America Cruise's 14 day Caribbean cruise called ms Maasdam, according to Port Everglades officials.

At least eleven crew members out of the 578 were also affected.

Passengers and staff disembarked Friday morning around 9 a.m. at Port Everglades.

CBS4's Marybel Rodriguez spoke to officials who said by Friday, considerably less people were sick.

Passenger Maria Shiodo is one of the lucky ones.

"It was less than perfect. Thanks God I did not get sick," said Shiodo. "I used so much sanitizer at my skin is peeling off."

Click here to WATCH CBS4 Marybel Rodriguez's report

Holland America released a statement saying in part, "affected guests were asked to remain in their state rooms until their symptoms disappeared. Additional procedures developed closely with the United States centers for disease control (cdc) were immediately put into place to help prevent further cases."

"The trip, from halfway through there was a code red you could not serve your own food. They closed down the spa, the hot tub services, there were sanitation stations everywhere. It took the fun out of it," said Shiodo.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can get the norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching a surface that is contaminated.

"They started disinfecting everything. Nothing was put back on the table," said passenger Sandra Decker.

The virus causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Passenger Selma Verse saw passenger experiencing the symptoms.

"The people that were sick had nausea, vomiting, don't know about diarrhea. The people we knew were just vomiting," said Verse.

Many were relieved to be back on dry land and while cleaning crews disinfect the ship those getting ready to board will be taking the necessary precautions.

"Extra, extra careful.. I planned on it anyway and now I heard that they're sick while we're gonna do lots of praying will be praying over the ship," said  passenger Bunny Winsauer.

The ship departs on its next journey, a 15-day Atlantic Coast Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal, Canada. The ship is scheduled to leave at 5 p.m. but will most likely be delayed 1 to 2 hours because of the situation.

Click here for information on the norovirus.

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