June 12, 2009 Passengers from the cruise ship Adventure of the Seas had an unscheduled call at St. Thomas Thursday after the ship was turned away from two other ports. But though St. Thomas opened its arms, many of he passengers weren't happy about the detour.
Two of their fellow passengers on the ship had come down with flu-like symptoms, spurring worries of the H1N1 virus, commonly called Swine Flu. The ship was to have called at St. Lucia and Antigua, but was denied entry at those ports.
The two passengers were later tested and determined to be negative for H1N1.
The ship sent out a letter to passengers around 8 a.m. Wednesday, when the boat was still at sea, about the illness aboard and said that they would arrange for other activities.
Passenger Randy Finch, from Washington D.C. is cruising with 13 members of his family.
"I know it made my family mad," Finch said.
A first-time cruiser, Finch said that rumors aboard the ship were that the passengers had swine flu.
"It pissed me off," Mark O'Brien of St. Mary's, MD said.
Finch and O'Brien talked about the situation while sitting down with friends in front of A.H. Riise in Havensight before reboarding the ship.
The passengers explained that they were still in front of the island where they were supposed to dock yesterday at the time they were scheduled to dock.
"We were no where near docking," Will Batten of Dallas said. "I think they knew ahead of time."
There is no evidence that the illness had spread to others on board, according to Acting Virgin Islands Health Commissioner Julia Sheen. The two passengers had been confined and treated aboard.
The ship was cleared to call on St. Thomas in accordance with U.S. law, following coordination between the Centers for Disease Control and the V.I. Department of Health.
After calling at St. Maarten on Friday The Adventure of the Seas will call at St. Croix on Saturday.
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