Cruise lines changing itineraries

May 2, 2009 4:53:45 PM PDT
The threat of swine flu has some vacationers changing travel plans on the high seas. Some cruises out of Galveston are changing their itineraries to stay away from Mexico. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]
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Carnival Cruise Lines has had to alter itineraries to 16 of its ships because of the threat of swine flu. As you can imagine, that is creating headaches for passengers originally scheduled on those trips.

The Carnival Ecstasy left Galveston on April 27 and was supposed to head to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico, but instead it never made a port call and stayed out at sea.

A representative for Carnival said the advisory discouraging travel to Mexico came out in the middle of that cruise and unfortunately no other ports were available. Carnival has since canceled all trips to Mexico and is changing itineraries, as are other cruise lines. The Ecstasy is now extended to a seven day trip, headed to the Cayman Islands. Passengers who want to cancel are given that option for a credit.

For one passenger stuck at seas aboard the Ecstasy this past week, the damage has already been done.

"I'm frustrated. I feel like I got taken. I feel like it's really unfair. I understand that it's not their fault that the swine flu outbreak happened and it's not our fault either," said Vicki Brown. "I also think out of good faith, they should make things right and give us the chance to go on another cruise."

Those passengers aboard the Ecstasy were given a $40 credit for the missed ports.

Carnival released a statement saying, "All we can do is act in the best interest of our guests' health and safety. Once the advisory came out, we did what we had to do. We always regret when we can't deliver a port call. We are surely sorry for that."

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