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Cruise ship “Norwegian Dawn”: “That could have gone better,” said a German passenger

Photo: GARY CAMERON/ Reuters

The all-clear for the more than 3,000 people on the cruise ship “Norwegian Dawn”: Because more than a dozen passengers and one crew member suffered from diarrhea and vomiting, there was a suspicion that cholera could be spreading on board.

However, this has not been confirmed.

The first passengers left the ship in the port of the East African island of Mauritius.

They began their journey home, originally planned for Sunday.

"The immigration authorities came on board on Monday evening so that the first people could disembark if they wanted to," said Clyde Bastienne.

The 49-year-old passenger from Mauritius had traveled with his daughter from South Africa via Madagascar to Mauritius.

"But many are still on board." The shipping company initially did not comment.

Since Sunday, a good 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members had been stuck on the cruise ship two miles from the port of Port Louis.

After a series of gastrointestinal illnesses on board, the authorities in Mauritius refused to allow the ship to dock in the port of the capital Port Louis on Sunday.

The French island of La Réunion had previously rejected the ship.

It wasn't until Monday afternoon that the good news came: the approximately 15 people affected did not have cholera.

Criticism: “We were informed too late”

According to the shipping company, the “Norwegian Dawn,” which was built in 2002 at the German Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, Lower Saxony, has space for up to 2,340 guests and 1,032 crew members on board.

She left South Africa on February 13th for her journey via Madagascar to Reunion Island and Mauritius.

The “Norwegian Dawn” was then supposed to return to South Africa with the new passengers.

There was criticism of the crisis management on board: "That could have gone better," said a German passenger on Tuesday night.

"We were informed too late and insufficiently." It only became clear that something was wrong when the ship did not dock in La Réunion as planned.

He also doesn't know what will happen next, said the man who originally wanted to fly to Frankfurt on Sunday.

Other guests - including one from Mauritius and a couple from the island of La Réunion - had previously criticized the lack of communication on board and from the tour operator.

»As soon as we left Cape Town, they knew there was a problem.

The buffet was gone.

We were served with gloves.

There were rumors of gastroenteritis,” the husband said.

"It wasn't until very late that they mentioned the suspicion of a cholera outbreak."

The disease is caused by a bacterium that produces a poison in the intestines.

It is spread primarily through contaminated drinking water and contaminated food.

Many infections have no symptoms, but in severe cases the severe loss of fluid and salt can lead to circulatory collapse, muscle cramps and even shock and death within hours.

Southern Africa is currently experiencing one of the worst cholera outbreaks in years.

By mid-January, around 200,000 cases of illness and more than 3,000 deaths had been reported in the 13 affected countries.

Mauritius was on high alert as cases had emerged in the Comoros.