Local passengers return home after nightmare cruise - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local passengers return home after nightmare cruise

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ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -

Some passengers are describing it as the trip from hell. Nearly 700 people became sick on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and passengers are saying they're glad to be back on dry ground.

Passengers on the ship said passengers were "dropping like flies" when the fast-moving stomach virus made its way around the ship.

Officials said they're still waiting to see if it was the norovirus, but federal health officials said if it was, it would be the worst outbreak in two decades.

Just days into what was supposed to be a fun winter getaway, Richard Franzen, of Rocky Hill, knew something wasn't right on the Explorer of the Seas.

Passengers started packing the infirmary and sounds of sickness could be heard coming from public restrooms.

"The symptoms stopped after about six hours, but it left you totally spent," Franzen said.

Once the crew realized some sort of stomach virus was spreading, those affected were quarantined to their rooms.

"It was like a ghostland down in the main promenade," Judith Franzen said.

In all, 630 passengers and 54 crew members were sick. Their 10-day journey was supposed to take them to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and more, but when the ship docked in the Virgin Islands, members of the Centers for Disease Control came onboard and cut the trip short.

The Franzen's said this won't be their last vacation with the cruise line. Royal Caribbean refunded half of their trip and offered them 50 percent off their next one.

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