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Local mayor on cruise ship heading home early

Published On: Jan 27 2014 07:32:25 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 02:39:18 PM EST

Passengers on Sal Panto's ship are sick.

U.S. Health officials are sending a cruise ship that's had an outbreak of the norovirus home early, and an area official is on that ship.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checked out the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas ship Sunday. Officials found almost 300 passengers and 22 crew members were sick.

The CDC is now investigating the outbreak and the cruise liner's response.

Royal Caribbean said the ship went through extensive and thorough sanitizing at its previous port of call in Puerto Rico.

It turns out Easton Mayor Sal Panto is one of the passengers on the Explorer of the Seas. He spoke with 69 News on Sunday about the trip and said he's not sick, and has actually been enjoying his trip.

"I have not seen one person physically sick in the entire time I've been on this ship. They've been quarantined to their room. It's a very limited type of vomiting and diarrhea, and they are limited to their room. They are quarantined to their room. I have not seen it personally anywhere, nor have any of the people in my group seen it," Panto said.

"This place is as clean as a whistle and they must have found something they didn't like today and that's unfortunate," he added.

Panto said the ship is being sent home two days early and missing its last port of call in St. Marteen.