Cruisers looking to hit the high seas with their ship's hull pointed south of the border can officially dust off those sombreros. Thanks to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC's) downgrade from a "Travel Alert" to a "Travel Health Precaution" for Mexico, concerning the swine flu (or the H1N1 strain), Carnival and Royal Caribbean (in partnership with Celebrity) cruise lines have just announced that they’re soon to resume their Mexican itineraries. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity sailings to Mexico are now slated to start up again on May 24, while Carnival will head back to the region in mid-June.
While flu cases in Mexico have been, for the most part, reported in areas of inland Mexico (especially Mexico City), far away from the popular ports of calls, most mainstream cruise lines cancelled or modified at least one of their Mexican-inclusive itineraries in response to the outbreak. Holland America and Disney have since resumed their regular itineraries as of early May, though Princess will hold off until the summer season to dive back into its turf there. Norwegian has no scheduled itineraries in the region until September.
Each cruise line is taking steps to assure guests that precautions against swine flu are being taken, including screening passengers for flu-like symptoms and carrying anti-viral medications on board.
If you’d like to be your own swine flu sleuth, visit the CDC’s H1N1 section of their website for precaution updates, and the best personal preventative measures you can take.