Cruise ship carrying sick passengers docks in Galveston

Published On: Dec 22 2012 07:06:01 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 22 2012 11:44:08 PM CST
GALVESTON, Texas -

A cruise ship carrying dozens of sick passengers docked in Galveston Saturday.

The Crown Princess was headed from Venice, Italy to Galveston. But somewhere along the way, officials said around 100 passengers came down with the Norovirus, a painful gastrointestinal illness.

Steve and Joyce Millis were on board the Princess, and came down with the virus.

"I taught school. It was like what my kids had at school," said Joyce.

Millis said she and those infected were quarantined while they were cared for by the cruise ship's medical staff.

"They came in and sanitized our cabin three times a day and brought us food," said Millis.

Gloria Schnyder was also on board, but didn't get sick. She said she wasn't worried about catching the virus.

"They took extra precautions to keep us from getting sick," said Schnyder. "A lot of hand washing. They did their own food serving. It was wonderful."

Officials with the Crown Princess said the virus was brought on board by an ill passenger.

Dr. Brent Vasut is an associate professor of emergency medicine at UTMB in Galveston. He said it doesn't take much exposure to catch.

"It usually starts out with a fever," said Vasut. "Fifty percent develop acute vomiting, which can be pretty severe. Almost all of them have watery diarrhea."

In a statement released Thursday, officials said the Crown Princess will undergo additional disinfection while it's docked in Galveston as an additional precaution. They said their sanitation program has been developed in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control.