Cruise ship with sick passengers docks in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cruise ship with sick passengers docks in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A cruise ship carrying dozens of passengers sick with Norovirus arrived in San Diego Thursday.

The Crown Princess docked at San Diego Bay before 8 a.m. Thursday with thousands on board. The Norovirus forced dozens to abruptly stop their seven-day vacation, which started April 5.

As the Crown Princess made land, droves of people finally hit solid ground. It's not the kind of California coastline cruise Bart Holman imagined. In fact, he says it was a royal pain.

"It was a lot of diarrhea, felt dizzy and I was dehydrated. It was pretty bad," Holman said.

Since leaving Los Angeles Saturday, 94 passengers and 23 crew members were stricken with the Norovirus and isolated in their cabins, suffering from severe stomach flu-like symptoms.

"It's gastrointestinal, it's diarrhea. It is running," passenger Kurt Wedgewood said.

Wedgewood took days off work at IBM and flew from Seattle to San Diego to meet his common law wife -- who suffered from the illness -- and their kids.

The Norovirus is highly contagious, forcing crews to quickly change procedures on the Crown Princess.

"On the buffets you can't serve yourself and there's no salt and pepper on tables, or bread," said a person on the cruise ship.

But for those who didn't fall ill, it's just another day in the sun.

"It's a bunch of baloney. There's nothing to it. It's our 70th cruise. In September were going on our 71st cruise," passenger Buzz said.

Karen Candy, a representative of Princess Cruises, released this statement:

"Onboard the current sailing of Crown Princess, there has been an increase in the number of cases of gastrointestinal illness among passengers. We believe the cause to be the common virus called Norovirus which is extremely contagious and easily transmitted from person-to-person. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports widespread Norovirus activity throughout North America that has affected people in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, childcare centers, as well as cruise ships this season."

All individuals who are ill (currently 94 passengers and 23 crew members), have been isolated in their cabins until they are not contagious.

We have implemented enhanced sanitation procedures onboard Crown Princess to interrupt the person-to-person spread of this illness. Our sanitation program has been developed in coordination with the CDC and includes such measures as thorough disinfection of high-touch surfaces like railings, door handles and elevator buttons; encouraging passengers to use correct hand washing procedures and enhancing this with the use of hand sanitizing gels placed throughout the ship; isolating ill passengers in cabins until non-contagious; encouraging passengers to use their own cabin's bathroom facilities; and providing regular verbal and written communication to passengers about steps they can take to stay well while onboard."

The Crown Princess is expected to return to L.A. on Saturday. San Diego was a planned stop on the seven-day trip. There has been no mention of vouchers or reimbursement by the company.

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