Cruise Lines Cancel Stops in Mexican Ports in Response to Swine Flu

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In light of the recent CDC Travel Advisory to Mexico because of the Swine Flu outbreak, some cruise lines are canceling their port stops in Mexico. The advisory states that travelers should avoid all unnecessary travel to Mexico. The following is summary of announcements made by each cruise lines in light the recent developments.

Carnival

“We have decided to cancel calls at Mexican ports for all current sailings. Additionally, we will cancel calls in Mexico for all voyages departing Thursday, April 30 through Monday, May 4. In many cases, we will be able to substitute the cancelled call with an alternative port and are currently working on those itineraries. Full details will be available by 5 p.m. today. Guests who do not wish to sail on a modified itinerary will be given the option to re-schedule their cruise for a later date.

Updates will be posted on our website at www.carnival.com.”

Celebrity

“Today, we announced we are temporarily suspending our port calls in Mexico. The decision was made in an abundance of caution, and allows additional time to better understand the full impact of the Swine Flu.

The temporary suspension involves only of our ships on its current repositioning sailing – Celebrity Infinity. The ship will replace its port calls in Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with alternative port calls that are currently being finalized.”

Disney

I couldn’t’ find an official statement on their website, however reports say that Disney Magic will cancel a scheduled call in Cozumel and substitute it with a call in Nassau.

Fred Olsen

Again, I couldn’t find an official statement on their website, but reports say that the Balmoral will forgo a stop in Acapulco, stay longer in San Diego, and add a top in Costa Rica.

Holland America

“Of the line’s 14 ships, a total of five ships (and five sailings) are impacted by these changes. Four are the current sailings of the ms Ryndam, ms Statendam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam. The May 1, 2009 cruise of the ms Veendam will also be impacted.

The itinerary planning team at Holland America Line is developing alternate itineraries for these sailings and the new ports of call will be announced as they are confirmed.

If the CDC travel advisory changes prior to the conclusion of any of these five sailings, the cruise line may consider re-instating the original itineraries if possible.”

NCL

“As a precautionary measure due to the recent travel advisory relating to Mexico, the company is canceling Norwegian Pearl’s final two calls in Mexico on its current repositioning cruise. The stops were scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29 and Friday, May 1, 2009. Apart from this sailing, Norwegian Cruise Line’s scheduled deployment does not include any other ports of call in Mexico until the end of September 2009.”

Princess

“Six Princess ships are currently scheduled for calls in Mexican ports through May, as they reposition to Alaska for the summer season. In total, eight itineraries and 22 calls in Mexico are affected, and passengers who are booked on these cruises will either visit alternative ports or spend an additional day at sea. Affected passengers will be advised of the itinerary changes once the new berthing arrangements have been confirmed.

We are sorry that circumstances beyond our control have caused these itinerary changes, and we recognize that these modifications may cause some disappointment among our passengers. However we hope our passengers will also agree that adhering to the recommendations of the CDC is the best course of action for the safety of our passengers and crew. ”

RCCL

“Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced it is temporarily suspending its port calls in Mexico. The decision was made in an abundance of caution, and allows additional time to better understand the full impact of the Swine Flu.

The suspension involves the company’s Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands. Royal Caribbean International has four ships currently making regularly scheduled port call in Mexico – Enchantment of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. Two additional Royal Caribbean International ships were scheduled to make upcoming Mexican port calls as they repositioned – Serenade of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. Celebrity Cruises had one ship scheduled to make upcoming Mexico port calls as it repositions – Celebrity Infinity.

All but one of the affected ships will either make alternative port calls or spend additional time at sea. Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas will sail a fully revised itinerary, visiting Canada and the U.S. West Coast. The temporary suspension takes effect immediately and will be in effect for the immediate future. It will be regularly reviewed in light of any Swine Flu developments.”

A Word To Our Readers

The cruise lines should be contacting those passengers scheduled to cruise to Mexico with the itenerary change information and passenger cancellation and reschedule options. If you are scheduled to sail soon and don’t hear from your line, contact them directly or through your travel agent. They should give you all the necessary information before your cruise.

I know I would be devastated if I had a cruise to Mexico planned and the cruise line altered the itenerary so drastically. I recently wrote an article about the wonderful Mexican ports of call. This would be a huge disappointment to me. However I would do everything I could to make the best of the situation. For some of our readers that choice might include rescheduling to a different cruise date. For others, who won’t be able to reschedule their vacation, my advice is to go with a great attitude, don’t blame your cruise line, and enjoy your replacement ports or extra sea days as much as possible. Sea days or unexpected ports can turn out to be some of the most enjoyable cruise experiences.