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Cruise ship returns to Port Everglades after 60 passengers, 11 crew members fall ill

Holland America says 'small number of guests' reported gastrointestinal illness

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A cruise ship arrived at Port Everglades on Friday morning after dozens of passengers and several crew members became ill.

Ellen Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Port Everglades, told Local 10 News that 60 passengers on board the Holland America cruise ship Maasdam reported feeling sick. Kennedy said 11 crew members were also sick.

Sally Andrews, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based cruise line, said the ship was on a 14-day Caribbean cruise when "a small number of guests reported to the infirmary with a common type of gastrointestinal illness."

Andrews said the affected guests were asked to remain in their staterooms until their symptoms disappeared.

Passengers who spoke to Local 10 News said they were urged to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching prepared food.

"They just changed it where we were served everything instead of self-service," passenger Pam Blanche said.

Another passenger said they weren't allowed to rent any DVDs on the cruise to avoid contamination.

The ship was scheduled to depart at 5 p.m. Friday on a 15-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal.

Andrews said the ship would "undergo a thorough sanitization" before leaving the port.

Kennedy said a total of 1,138 passengers and 579 crew members were on the ship.

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