Saint John — Nine hundred passengers are pretending to be suffering from “gastrointestinal illness” in order to avoid a long, boring stop in the Port City, according to the captain of the Balmoral, a cruise ship scheduled to arrive Monday morning.
“All 900 people aboard this ship are sick, and have asked me to cancel the day-long stop in Saint John, or St. John’s or whatever it’s called,” said the captain. “I must heed their demands — I’m really outnumbered here.”
Most of Saint John is understandably offended by the news, and the city hopes to clear up any misconceptions about what it has to offer.
“We’re a beautiful city with a rich history, and the smell isn’t even that bad this time of year,” declared Port Saint John in a statement. “For these people to fake an illness en masse just to avoid spending a few hours here is, frankly, a slap in the face.”
Sarah Allen-Comeau, owner of a popular uptown restaurant, said she could do without the extra business. “I’m overrun with customers in the springtime anyway. It’s no big loss not having a horde of cruise ship passengers complaining about what’s on the menu, the prices, and the crappy Saint John weather. They’re going the other way? Good riddance, I say.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada has been monitoring the passengers’ supposed illness since the first case of “just not feeling great” was reported earlier this weekend.
“We’ve spoken with numerous passengers, and they all seem to be suffering from a vague, unspecified sickness, not unlike what my kids come down with the night before they have a big math test at school,” said Public Health spokesperson Maya Bartlett in an exclusive interview with The Manatee.
“I can’t seem to find a single symptom in common, but they all say they would prefer the ship to just keep on going to its next destination,” continued Bartlett. “And just between you and me, I can tell they’re a bunch of fakers, because when we suggested closing the buffets since everyone’s ‘too sick to eat,’ they all protested and waddled up to the table to get seconds or thirds.”