Local travel agents say passengers should not let news of a violent tummy bug outbreak stop them from taking their places on Voyager of the Seas when it arrives in New Zealand today.
The ship is the largest Australasian-based cruise ship and will be the biggest ever to dock in Tauranga when it arrives at 9.45am tomorrow.
What should have been the trip of a life-time turned into a miserable experience for 135 Voyager of the Seas passengers who were struck down by Norovirus, a contagious 24-hour tummy bug, on a voyage from Fremantle to Sydney last week. Tauranga House of Travel owner-operator Shane Kennedy said it was a shame holidaymakers fell sick but people should not be put off.
"Clearly, it's unfortunate people got sick on board but it's like a small town. In Te Puke every now and then people are going to get sick," he said. "What it's highlighted is that you don't want to get sick on holiday at any stage so eat well and stay well."
A travel agent at United Travel in Mount Maunganui, Leeann Sandlant, said people should not be concerned about boarding the ship as hygiene and cleaning standards were high.
Mr Kennedy also encouraged people to embrace the spectacle and get out to see it off at 8.45pm tomorrow evening.
A hospice fundraiser was being held at the Mount Action Sports Club to "wave goodbye" to the ship, he said.
Voyager of the Seas
311m long - just 17m short of the height of the Sky Tower.
Can carry more than 3800 guests in 1556 state rooms.
Features: an ice skating rink, a three-deck main dining room, three pools and six whirlpools, an adventure beach water park, a nine-hole miniature golf course and a full-sized sports court, a two-deck nightclub, a 1350-seat theatre, an in-line skating track and an outdoor rock climbing wall.