May 20, 2003
In response to intercepted communications that indicate the possibility of
threats against the U.S. and beyond, the government has raised the terror
alert from elevated (yellow) to high (orange). The alert level had been at
the elevated mark since April 16. NBC News is reporting that the raising of
the level is due to "communications indicating an imminent al-Qaida threat
inside the United States and against U.S. interests abroad."
Cruise passengers should anticipate no major changes in procedures as the
industry is already working -- and has been consistently since events of
September 11 -- at the highest possible levels. "The cruise industry's
highest priority has always been to insure the safety and security of our
passengers, crew and vessels," says Christine Fischer, a spokesperson for
the International Council of Cruise Lines. However, travelers may want to
build in extra time when traveling to and from cruise ports.