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About 230 people fall ill aboard cruise ship

/ Source: The Associated Press

About 230 people aboard a cruise ship fell ill with a gastrointestinal illness while on a Caribbean voyage, forcing the trip to end early.

About 200 of the 1,220 passengers aboard the Holland America ship Veendam got sick on the voyage, which ended Friday evening in Tampa, about 13 hours early.

About 30 of the ship’s 572 crew members also became sick.

Sick passengers were quarantined to their rooms while crew members scrubbed banisters, elevator knobs and other areas to eliminate the virus, which spreads easily in close quarters.

Passengers said they were warned of the virus after about 70 other people became ill aboard the same ship on a two-week cruise that returned Jan. 15. Passengers arriving for the next cruise were offered a refund if they wanted to cancel.

Passengers who took the trip will get partial refunds ranging from $125 to $250, Holland America spokeswoman Rose Abello said.

The illnesses aboard the Holland America ship came a week after more than 250 people aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship fell ill with a stomach virus while touring the western Caribbean.