More than 400 people fall ill on two Royal Caribbean cruises

Royal Caribbean cruise ship returns to Florida after more than 200 fall ill

But the cruise quickly morphed into a gastrointestinal nightmare, with 332 passengers sickened by a quickly spreading norovirus outbreak and the remaining 5,000 or so people anxious they would be next.

Local newspapers in South Florida are reporting today that the Independence of the Seas which left Port Everglades on Monday, for a Caribbean cruise, and returned to Fort Lauderdale this morning with at least 332 passengers sickened by a norovirus outbreak.

A freelance cruise writer on board the ship said on Twitter that several of her family members were sick and waited for hours to see a doctor. The ship is still scheduled to leave Port Everglades next Thursday for another cruise.

Mendoza said he thinks the number of ill people was higher than Royal Caribbean's estimate because of people like him who were too sick to report to the nurse.

No, that wasn't the 'holiday spirit.' It may have been food poisoning, as hundreds of passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise came down with an unknown stomach illness! And it encouraged anyone with nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea to avail themselves of "complimentary consultation and treatment" at the ship's medical facility.

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

According to its website, its three major cruise brands - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises - operate a total of 49 ships to 535 destinations across the seven continents.

There were 220 cases of gastro-intestinal illness reported among the 5,547 guests on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. "This is because norovirus can persist on surfaces and is resistant to many common disinfectants".

Flores said her son, Andrew, is diabetic.

On the Independence of the Seas' latest inspection, in April, the craft received a 98 out of a possible inspection score of 100.

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