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Disinfected ship departs on new cruise

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More than 300 people aboard the Regal Princess became sick with a virus. (September 2)
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Regal Princess cruise ship that docked in New York after an outbreak of Norwalk virus has been cleaned and disinfected and was set to depart Thursday on a 10-day cruise along the coast of New England.

The ship arrived in New York on Tuesday, cutting short by a day a cruise that began in Copenhagen, Denmark, on August 18. An outbreak of the virus afflicted 302 passengers and 45 crew members, so Princess Cruise officials skipped stops in Greenland and Iceland.

"While we regretted shortening the previous cruise by one day, we did so as the health and well-being of our passengers and crew is our highest priority," Steve Nielsen, vice president of Princess Cruises, said at a news conference Thursday. "Conducting this intensive cleaning without passengers on board was the most effective way to stop transmission of this common but contagious virus."

The cleaning included disinfecting all linens and utensils, all handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons, all carpets, and the motorcoaches used to transport the passengers back to the airport.

Passengers with reservations for the coming cruise, which has stops planned in Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Quebec, among others, arrived Thursday.

"I'm going to have a good time," said Jerry Snoeyick, a passenger from Grand Rapids, Michigan. "If I get sick for a couple of days, then I get sick for a couple of days. I could stand to lose a couple of pounds anyway."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Norwalk virus is a norovirus, which causes stomach flu.

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