Swine Flu Impacting Cruises in Caribbean and Australia

June 17, 2009

After being denied entrance to Grenada on Monday, Pullmantur's Ocean Dream was also prohibited from docking in Barbados on Tuesday due to health concerns by the local authorities. According to an official company statement, 14 crewmembers onboard the Spanish cruise ship are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, and three of those have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, formerly known as swine flu.

According to a Pullmantur spokesperson, no passengers have yet shown signs of flu symptoms. Sick crewmembers have been isolated; all had displayed only mild symptoms and are recovering quickly.

The ship is currently docked off of Margarita Island, waiting for permission to disembark passengers. The Associated Press is reporting that it was told by a Pullmantur spokeswoman that the cruise is now actually over, and the company is making arrangements to get the passengers back to their ports of origin. Cruise Critic is trying to independently confirm this with the line.

Last week, Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas was turned away from Southern Caribbean ports due to suspected flu cases.

In other news, P&O Australia's Sun Princess has been cleared to disembark passengers in Freemantle following a H1N1 scare. e-Travel Blackboard is reporting that the line has said Swabs from seven sick passengers in question have tested negative for the virus. Recently, P&O Australia has been in the swine flu spotlight. In late May, a voyage on P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn was cut short when three crewmembers tested positive for swine flu.

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor