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(BAYONNE, N.J.) — A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to Bayonne, N.J., on Wednesday after more than 600 people on board came down with gastrointestinal symptoms.

The Explorer of the Seas left New Jersey for the Caribbean last Tuesday but had to skip its planned stop to Haiti after the first cases of illness were reported less than 24 hours into its voyage.  The cruise liner then headed for Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, where officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship.

CDC spokeswoman Bernadette Burden confirmed to ABC News on Monday that at least 577 passengers and 49 crew members had fallen ill.  Royal Caribbean says the symptoms appeared consistent with that of norovirus.

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