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About 100 passengers and crew ill on cruise ship that sailed from Maryland

grandueroftheseas.jpg

July 15, 2013: The Royal Caribbean cruise ship "Grandeur of the Seas" is seen while docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard near the port of Hamilton, Bermuda. (reuters)

Passengers sailing on the Grandeur of the Seas from the Port of Baltimore have been sickened on two consecutive trips, federal health officials say.

The most recent outbreak occurred on the Royal Caribbean International vessel, which left Baltimore on April 5 for a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in an email Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website that about 100 passengers and crew members fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. Martinez said a norovirus was believed to be the cause.

"Those affected by the short-lived illness have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship," Martinez said. She said the latest ship carried 2,120 passengers and 800 crew members.

The CDC said more than 100 passengers and crew members got sick on the Grandeur's last cruise from Baltimore from March 28 to April 5. The agency said the cause was a norovirus.

Two environmental health officers and an epidemiologist will board the Grandeur when it docks in Baltimore on Saturday to conduct an investigation, the CDC said.

Martinez said Royal Caribbean will extensively sanitize the ship and the cruise terminal. The Grandeur is scheduled to leave again for the Bahamas on Saturday.

If passengers don't want to take Saturday's cruise, Royal Caribbean staff will help them reschedule, Martinez said.

The Grandeur of the Seas was out of commission for several weeks last year after a fire broke out on board while the ship was sailing to the Bahamas. No one was injured.

The ship sails from Baltimore to the Caribbean, New England and Canada from Baltimore, according to Royal Caribbean's website.

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