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Jason

Grand Turk reopens after a thorough cleaning. Who's cruised to Grand Turk?

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The Grand Turk Cruise Center, a cruise port in Turks and Caicos, has reopened following three weeks of closure.

Ships stopped calling at the terminal complex, developed and operated by Carnival Corp., after several cruise lines noticed an increase in the number of passengers reporting symptoms of gastroenteritis following visits to the island in mid-March.

The port has since been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, according to a statement released by the Center, although a task force and related testing throughout Grand Turk did not "conclusively determine that there was a direct link between the reported cases of gastroenteritis and the passengers' visits to the island."

The task force also performed "extensive tests on all aspects of the operation, including procedures, systems and equipment."

Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises were both scheduled to resume calls at Grand Turk this week after having rerouted their ships to ports in Key West, Puerto Rico, Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean.

Buck Banks, a spokesman for Grand Turk Cruise Center, did not know the total number of ships and itineraries that were disrupted by the closure, but said "several cruise lines were affected."

According to local news reports, the closure cost the local tourism industry millions of dollars.

By Johanna Jainchill, special for USA TODAY

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We were aboard one of the first ships (Carnival Fantasy) to visit the then-new Grand Turk Cruise Center back in early 2006. Almost nothing was open yet but we loved the port! We’ve visited since and liked it just as much with everything open. Hopefully all the issues have been resolved so more cruisers can enjoy this port!

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Interesting. We have been to the Grand Turks twice.

The first time we were there we did a snorkle excursion. The second time was Sept 2012 and we walked around the city. It is quite poor there. We then parked ourselves on the beach/pool and hung out as long as we could handle the heat.

Sorry to hear that so many people got sick from there!

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