Update: Will Cruise Ships Stop Visiting Mexico?

April 27, 2009

Update, 4:10 p.m. EDT: Dr. Richard Besser, acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed at a press conference this afternoon that the federal government is preparing a travel advisory instructing Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Mexico, according to the Associated Press. The impact that will have on cruises remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

(11:15 a.m. EDT) -- Mexico cruise calls have not been canceled -- at least not yet.

According to Reuters, the U.S. State Department plans to issue a travel warning later today urging Americans to avoid all "nonessential" travel to Mexico. This is due to the outbreak of swine flu that is suspected in the death of 103 people in Mexico, and has spread to others in the United States and even Europe.

The U.S. State Department's Web site says that "Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff." Indeed, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has suspended all non-essential consular services through Thursday, April 30, 2009, according to the U.S. State Department's Web site.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office says the agency has not upgraded their advice for U.K. citizens visiting Mexico, and recommends that travelers continue to check its Web site for updates. The European Union has already urged Europeans to avoid traveling to the United States or Mexico if doing so is not essential.

Again, at this point, there are no itinerary change announcements from cruise lines that plan to visit Mexican ports in the near future. However, we anticipate that will change after the travel warning is officially issued. When we rang Royal Caribbean earlier this morning, as just one example, we were told staffers were in a meeting discussing just this issue.

Stay tuned.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor

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