Three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise, Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise line have cancelled Mexican Stops due to concerns about swine flu. Caribbean had initially announced that it was keeping an eye on the situation, and told its passengers not to worry since the flu outbreak was inland, but the company suspended operations indefinitely on Tuesday.
Carnival on the other side announced through its website that calls at Mexican Ports has been canceled until the 4th of May. A passenger said in an email that they got word that the Carnival ship they were traveling in would skip Mexico, when they were already at the sea heading to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
Norwegian had earlier said it is watching the state of affairs and investigating the health of their passengers before cruises start. However, it has cancelled the final two calls to Mexico this week. Luckily, the company says there are no other scheduled calls to Mexico until the end of September ’09.
In addition to the four Caribbean ships that normally make stops in Mexico, two more were programmed to start operations there. Dr. Art Diskin, the Chief Medical Officer of the cruise line says even though there have not been exact concerns regarding the ports visited by the ships; the company was just taking extra precaution.
The WHO on Monday raised its alert level to 4 from 3 out of 6. As a result, travelers are delaying or canceling trips to Mexico. Cuba officially banned all flights to Mexico on Tuesday, making it the first nation to do so. The owner of Great Escapes Cruises, Debbie Rauch, however says most of her Passengers are not concerned.
150 deaths and over 1,600 illnesses that have occurred recently in Mexico are linked to swine flu. By Tuesday, there were 66 confirmed cases of the flu in US, and officials are warning of possible deaths.