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Carnival cruise ship docked at the Port of Tampa
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

As cases of coronavirus continue to pop-up on cruise ships, the U.S. State Department is urging travelers - especially those with underlying medical conditions - to stay ashore.

But as passengers at the Port of Tampa embarked on their vacations Monday, the only visible sign of concerns about COVID-19 came from a bachelorette party debating the best brand of hand sanitizer.

cruise ship on the water
Princess Cruise Lines

Authorities say a cruise ship has been cleared to enter port after being held off Florida's east coast while awaiting testing of two crew members for the new coronavirus.

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

As the novel coronavirus reached a global milestone, topping 100,000 cases across more than 100 countries over the weekend, Italy has imposed extraordinary restrictions on about a quarter of its population and limited public activities throughout the entire country.

More than 300 passengers on a cruise ship that docked at Port Everglades fell ill with a stomach virus.

Around 4,000 hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands arrived at Port Everglades Tuesday aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Anxious South Floridians reunited with family members fleeing the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

  

Gloria Fredericks came from Saint Croix to stay with her two daughters in Pembroke Pines. Her home -- and neighborhood -- were destroyed by the storm.

Dustin Fox / Instagram

The dense sea fog that's hung around offshore since Monday continues to cause problems for local ports.

However, a break is finally in sight for 2,500 cruise ship passengers - including members of the Ohio State University football team - who've been going in circles in Tampa Bay for the last day and a half.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines, which is trying to get consumers' trust back after a series of mishaps, has announced a money-back guarantee.

USA Today reports the Miami-based company's "Great Vacation Guarantee" will let guests dissatisfied for any reason end their cruise early and receive a 110% refund plus free transportation home, along with a $100 shipboard credit for a future cruise.

An elderly Clearwater couple stranded in Turkey has been showered with support from friends and strangers who learned of their nightmarish ordeal to get proper hospital care after an incident on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Dodge Melkonian’s wife Jill credits a Turkish tour guide who donated his own blood, and the tenacity of travel agents back in Palm Harbor, for the eventual move to an American hospital in Istanbul.