First by land, now by sea the swine flu has caused numerous cruise lines to temporarily suspend calls at Mexican ports. Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival have all announced that they will be being rerouting their ships, or adding additional days at sea to itineraries with ports of call in Mexico.
A handful of these cruises were only scheduled to call in Mexico, meaning the cruise lines are going to have their hands full keeping passengers satisfied after they were set on enjoying an ice-cold Margarita on a tropical beach. (The cruise directors better hope the bartender on board makes a mean Margarita.) In the case of the Carnival Splendor, instead of sailing to Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta the cruise is now making only one call in San Francisco.
To make amends, Carnival is allowing cruisers who do not wish to accept the alternative ports of call the option of taking the cruise at a later date. Princess is offering passengers that were booked on one of the three cruises that were sailing exclusively to Mexico 50% off a future cruise fare. Should all cruise lines be following this example? The Swine Flu outbreak is obviously beyond their control, but yet for many people this was their time off work, and they were expecting the cruise lines to deliver the vacation they had purchased.
Should cruise lines offer compensation for rerouted itineraries? What do you think?