updated 6/1/2009 11:41:40 AM ET 2009-06-01T15:41:40

About 2,000 cruise ship passengers sequestered at sea for days by a swine flu outbreak among the crew were allowed to disembark Monday in Australia.

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Meanwhile, new cases of the virus popped up across Asia, with health officials in China, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam confirming a total of 12 more people have tested positive.

Relieved passengers of the Pacific Dawn streamed off cruise ship in Sydney, with many saying they had fun — even though their ship was asked not to make port calls after three crew members tested positive for the virus.

"If you had to be quarantined somewhere, I couldn't have thought of a better place ... because we got fed, the drinks tasted the same and the staff were fantastic," passenger David Geers of Brisbane told reporters. "The majority of people on board had a good time. They're obviously disappointed that we missed out on our ports of call, but it was a fantastic trip."

The Pacific Dawn had been scheduled to make a 10-day Great Barrier Reef cruise stopping at several Australian ports along the way.

However, soon after the ship left Sydney on May 25, several passengers from the previous cruise fell ill. Eventually, 46 former passengers and crew from the earlier cruise tested positive for swine flu.

After three crew members aboard the Pacific Dawn tested positive for the virus, the ship suspended its port calls. The three crew members with the virus will be quarantined on board until Tuesday.

None of the about 2,000 passengers who disembarked Monday have tested positive for the virus. They will not be required to quarantine themselves further, since a medical team who boarded the ship on Saturday examined everyone, New South Wales state chief health officer Kerry Chant said in a statement.

The number of confirmed swine flu cases in Australia reached 306 on Monday, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

In the Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said tests confirmed five new swine flu cases, raising the country's total to 21.

Two cases were guests at a wedding attended by two Taiwanese who fell sick after returning to Taiwan earlier this month. The three others recently returned from the U.S.

In South Korea, the Health Ministry said two Korean women who recently returned from a trip to the U.S. tested positive for the virus. The ministry said one of the women is pregnant, but did not give more details.

The new cases raised the country's total to 41, including 21 Americans. Of the total confirmed patients, 32 people have been released from hospitals, the ministry said.

China said Monday three more people had tested positive for the virus — including a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. All three had recently returned from trips abroad. In total, 36 cases of the disease have been confirmed on the mainland.

And in Vietnam, a 40-year-old Vietnamese-American woman from California and her 9-year-old son tested positive for swine flu after returning from a trip to the U.S., bringing the country's total number of confirmed cases to three.

The World Health Organization says dozens of countries have reported more than 15,000 cases of swine flu, including 99 deaths.

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