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Hundreds of Sick Passengers, Crew on Freedom of the Seas

December 4, 2006 By: Dan Butcher Travel Agent

The world's largest cruise ship returned to dock in Miami Sunday with more than 380 passengers and crew members recovering from a contagious stomach illness, the Miami Herald reports. The 338 sick passengers and 46 crew members accounted for about 7 percent of the 5,225 people aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, the cruise company said. The norovirus outbreak happened during a seven-day cruise to Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti. A passenger likely brought the stomach illness on board when the cruise began from Miami on Nov. 26, according to a statement from a Royal Caribbean spokesman. The ship was able to complete the cruise itinerary and return on schedule Sunday. Last month, a norovirus outbreak sickened more than 700 passengers and crew members aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' Liberty. Freedom of the Seas' departure for another seven-night Caribbean cruise was delayed a few hours Sunday for extra cleaning, Sheehan said.

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