More Than 300 Passengers Fall Ill on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

"Independence of Seas" - Facebook
"Independence of Seas" - Facebook

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to a Florida port Saturday after hundreds of passengers on board became sick, reports said.

During the five-night cruise, 332 cases of a gastrointestinal illness were reported on the Independence of Seas.

The cruise line said that number was small because there were more than 5,000 passengers on the ship, according to a Royal Caribbean spokesperson.

"Those affected by the short-lived illness were treated by our ship's doctors with over-the-counter medication," spokesman Owen Torres said, "and we hope all our guests feel better quickly."

It is not known what caused the illness.

Victoria Nolan, of Genesee, N.Y., told WPLG-TV that she and six of 15 of her relatives were among those who fell ill on the ship.

She described people throwing up in elevators while going to the ship's medical facility. Nolan said she also went, but returned to her room after realizing the wait for medical assistance was more than four hours, USA Today reported.

Passengers claimed the number of sick was higher than what the cruise line reported, according to the station.

"We talked to plenty of people who said that they were too sick to even make it down to the [ship's] medical facility," passenger Marsha Homuska told WSVN.

Royal Caribbean told CNN that the company is "taking steps like intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues.”

The ship is also set undergo special additional cleaning procedures before it departs on its next cruise, reports said. 

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