Cruise ship full of sick passengers docks in Galveston
GALVESTON, TX -- A Crown Princess cruise ship on which about 100 passengers came down with a stomach virus during a 20-day trip to Italy has docked in Galveston.
Officials said about 96 passengers and six crew members contracted norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness that includes vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Sick passengers were quarantined for three days. They received medical care in their rooms, which were also sanitized three times a day.
"I thought I was gonna die," said 63-year-old Gail Olezene of San Antonio. Olezene said she got sick three days after the Crown Princess left for Italy.
She was upset the company charged her for the medical care she received.
"We got sick on their ship, and they charged us to make us better," Olezene told the Houston Chronicle. "The fact that they charged us anything was outrageous."
The ship left Venice on Dec. 2 and arrived in Galveston early Saturday. On Thursday, officials with Princess Cruises released a statement saying the number of sick passengers aboard the ship had returned to normal levels.
Spokeswoman Karen Candy said the ship would be disinfected in Galveston.
Passenger Cathy Michaud, 65, said the ship was sanitized when the virus spread, and extra precautions were taken.
"We couldn't even touch the salt shakers," she said.
Rosemary Nonhof, a 67-year-old from Spring, Texas, said she enjoyed the trip -- even though she caught the virus.
"I'd rather be sick on a cruise than sick at home," Nonhof said.
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