12:00 p.m. PDT: In light of the travel warning 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. 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.
Three of the seven affected cruises were sold as voyages exclusively to Mexico, and we therefore realize that these passengers are not receiving the cruise vacation they had anticipated. Therefore as a goodwill gesture we are offering these passengers a 50% future credit on their cruise fare paid, for any sailing booked by the end of April 2011. These sailings are:
-- Sapphire Princess (departed April 25)
-- Star Princess (departed April 27)
-- Sapphire Princess (departing May 2)
The other four cruises with modifications feature Mexico as a smaller portion of the itinerary, and these passengers will either visit alternative ports or spend an additional day at sea. 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. For US passenger inquiries, contact 1-800-PRINCESS.