Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu - Itinerary Changes for Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has issued the following statement canceling their calls in Mexico and detailing the alternate itineraries:

4/29/2009 Statement on Swine Flu

In light of the travel warning issued yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico because of concern over swine flu, Princess Cruises has modified its itineraries to suspend calls to Mexican ports through the few remaining voyages of the spring season, which concludes next month.

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.

Coral Princess
April 26-May 15
The ship had the following stops scheduled in Mexico: Cabo on Apr 28, Acapulco on Apr 30, Huatulco on May 1, Manzanillo on May 11 and Puerto Vallarta on May 12. All of them will be replaced with sea days and a call at San Juan del Sur will be added on May 2.

Island Princess
Panama Canal - April 23-May 11
The ship was scheduled to stop at Huatulco on May 3 and that will be changed to a sea day.

Pacific Princess
Panama Canal - Apr 24-May 14
The ship was scheduled to stop at Puerto Quetzal on May 4, Acapulco on May 6 and Cabo on May 8. It will now stop at San Juan del Sur on May 3, Puerto Quetzal on May 5, and remain at sea until it reaches San Francisco on May 11.

Sapphire Princess
April 25-May 2:
Instead of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo, the ship will now visit San Diego and Catalina (Ensenada service call/no debark)

May 2-May 9:
Instead of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo, the ship will now visit Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Francisco (Ensenada service call/no debark)

Sea Princess
Panama Canal - May 9-May 24
The ship was scheduled to stop at Huatulco on May 18, Acapulco on May 19 and Cabo on May 21. it will now call at San Juan del Sur on May 17, Puerto Quetzal on May 18 and then remain at sea until it arrives San Francisco on May 24.

Star Princess
April 27 - May 7
Instead of Acapulco, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo, the ship will now visit Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Catalina, and San Diego (Ensenada service call/no debark)

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.

Our ships and medical staff are already well equipped to prevent and contain the spread of contagious diseases, including swine flu. Even though the risk of contracting this illness is very low, we will be taking extra precautions, and will be guided by advice from the CDC and other health authorities.

In an abundance of caution, some of the measures we are taking onboard all our ships worldwide include:
# We are enhancing our screening practices for passengers and crew embarking our ships.
# We are adhering to CDC guidelines for reporting and treatment of persons with suspect swine flu.
# We will isolate and treat passengers and crew with suspect swine flu. Anti-viral medications that effectively treat the swine flu are currently available onboard all Princess ships.
# We will continue our rigorous cleaning and sanitization of our ships to minimize the spread of any contagious disease. Our ships are routinely cleaned with a disinfectant proven to be highly effective against the flu.
# We are communicating to our passengers and crew that they should take extra care to practice healthy habits such as washing their hands often.
# We are asking passengers and crew to report to the medical center immediately if they exhibit any symptoms of flu.

As always, we will continue to do everything possible to protect the health of our passengers and crew.