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  #31 (permalink)  
Old April 27th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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This is straight from the Carnival webpage:

Miami - April 27, 2009

The swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by type A influenza viruses. It is observed regularly in pigs and is uncommon in humans, although human infection can occur in rare instances.

Fortunately, there currently is no evidence of a swine flu pandemic and there have been no reports of guests exhibiting symptoms of swine flu on Carnival’s ships.

Carnival enforces the highest of standards for cleaning and sanitation on all of our ships to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We are monitoring the situation in Mexico and maintain regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control. We do not anticipate that our guests' cruise experience will be impacted by this type of illness and will not be making any adjustments to our itineraries.

For further information on swine flu, visit the CDC’s web site at www.cdc.gov
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Old April 27th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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CLIA issued a similar letter today. Nothing to panic about. OK to monitor situation, but nothing effecting cruise ships.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 07:59 PM
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my doctor said dont worry, he would give me an rx if i wanted of the tamiflu to take with. wash your hands as you normally would and keep sanitary practices as you normally would and you should be fine...
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Ground Zero as in Veracruz, a few hours south of Cancun and Cozumel.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Well it's in Fair Oaks and Sacramento so I have a far better chance getting it here then on vacation. This is from the swine flu map link:


Quote:
A seventh-grader from a private school in Fair Oaks has tested positive for swine flu

see if a seventh grader at the school has a flu linked to the widening swine flu outbreak.
Fair Oaks school is closed while public health officials determine whether a there is a link between a sick student and the swine flu, officials said Sunday.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:17 AM
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We sail May 18th from Miami on Carnival Imagination on a four day cruise - Key West and Cozumel are our ports. That's about 3 weeks from now. I think things will be well under control by then. JMO, but even if we don't port in Cozumel, the extra day at sea may be lots of fun, since this is our first cruise, and the ship and the experience of being on the ship and it's activities are as much a destination as the ports to us. We were considering not even getting off in Cozumel. I've been to Mexico four times already (Cancun, Playa De Carmen, Puerta Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas), so Mexico does not hold much interest to me.

Looking at routing, The Caymans seem a logical alternative, or even Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. I love Jamaica (been six times on Sandals AI vacations), so I could even hook up with some old friends.

We went through SARS in Toronto...not a lot of fun, but everybody remember, this is not "Captain Trips" (read Stephen King's The Stand for the reference)...there is a vaccine (Tamiflu) already unless it mutates.

Everyone take a chill pill..I'm more worried about novo-virus.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:42 AM
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Tamiflu is not a vaccine or preventative. It is unwise to use a medication meant for after the onset of a disease before contracting the disease, as you would simply be causing it to become ineffective for treatment because you would already have a resistance built up. The only way to keep from needing heavy dosage is to catch it early.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
Tamiflu is not a vaccine or preventative. It is unwise to use a medication meant for after the onset of a disease before contracting the disease, as you would simply be causing it to become ineffective for treatment because you would already have a resistance built up. The only way to keep from needing heavy dosage is to catch it early.
The suggestion was not to take the pills before getting sick. The suggestion was to bring the pills along in case you get swine flu. I agree with you completely, taking the pills before getting sick should not be done.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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You know if anyone breaks down with this swine flu (which BTW has the same symptoms as a regular flu) - someone will BLAME it all on Carnival and give them a bad rap!
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Live cruise ship tracking shows no cruise ships docked in Mexico this morn. east or west coast.

http://sailwx.info/shiptrack/cruiseships.phtml
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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If anyone has been watching the news, the CDC and World Health Organization is telling people not to seek the pills unless they are already sick, to preserve to supply for those who can spread it.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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We just returned from two weeks on the Carnival Conquest. We were in Cozumel on Friday, April 17, and Friday, April 24. During the time we were on the ship and in Cozumel no special warnings were issued. It was fun as usual in Cozumel! We did not hear of anyone on the ship having flu-like symptoms. We didn't see anyone in port wearing surgical maks. We are both still feeling fine. Now that the CDC has issued a Travel Advisory recommending postponement of non-essential travel to Mexico, the Carnival website stated they will be updating their plans by 5 p.m. today (Tuesday). For those that will be traveling soon, you may want to check that out. We have been on cruises in the past where the ports have been canceled. It is a disappointment. But don't let that ruin your vacation, there is always a lot of fun things to do on the ship.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Dutchman - what an interesting site!!
I hope they don't start cancelling cruises! They blame everything on the cruiselines it seems! Just use good handwashing techniques as you do - with the worry of norfolk virus! I am thankful we are leaving for alaska in 3 weeks - and not the carribbean! I would hate the disappointment of the cancelled cruise/ports. I hope this blows over real soon!
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Someone will always blame things on something they hate. Human nature to not want to take responsibility for your own choices.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old April 28th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Carnival cancelling Mexico port stops on three ships, evidently.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=11&sid=161414

Yes, epicenter seems to be Veracruz

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...utbreak-source
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Well it's in Fair Oaks and Sacramento so I have a far better chance getting it here then on vacation. This is from the swine flu map link:


Quote:
A seventh-grader from a private school in Fair Oaks has tested positive for swine flu

see if a seventh grader at the school has a flu linked to the widening swine flu outbreak.
Fair Oaks school is closed while public health officials determine whether a there is a link between a sick student and the swine flu, officials said Sunday.
Two possible swine flu deaths being reported/investigated in California, now.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old April 28th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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They isolated the origin to a 4 year old Mexican boy who lives next to a pig farm.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Royal Caribbean is remiss by telling passengers that the outbreaks are inland. It was carried to New York City from Cancun, just 2 hours north of Cozumel, and Veracruz really is not that far away either. Just a few hours I believe.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxon
Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Well it's in Fair Oaks and Sacramento so I have a far better chance getting it here then on vacation. This is from the swine flu map link:


Quote:
A seventh-grader from a private school in Fair Oaks has tested positive for swine flu

see if a seventh grader at the school has a flu linked to the widening swine flu outbreak.
Fair Oaks school is closed while public health officials determine whether a there is a link between a sick student and the swine flu, officials said Sunday.
Two possible swine flu deaths being reported/investigated in California, now.
San Diego (Southern California) or Sacramento (Northern California)? San Diego is right on the broad with Mexico.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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I spoke to the cruiser last night, who just returned form the Mexican Riviera. I forgot what ship she was on, and it turned out to be the RCI Mariner.

She told me, that only people watching CNN news in the cabin, even knew about this..that was last Tues/Weds....The passengers were not told anything of the problems in Mexico. Nothing seemed unusual in port, and she heard no rumblings.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
Royal Caribbean is remiss by telling passengers that the outbreaks are inland. It was carried to New York City from Cancun, just 2 hours north of Cozumel, and Veracruz really is not that far away either. Just a few hours I believe.
I totally agree -- it's unconscionable. Oaxca is fairly close to Acupulco, too. 19, according to the most recent cdc report I heard, of 23? Mexican states have suspected cases, including Baja.

Locations in Mexico: 17 states, including Mexico City, Mexico State, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Baja California and San Luis Potosi. Some, including Oaxaca, Mexico City and Baja California, have tourist areas, but authorities have not said where in these states the outbreaks occurred.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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I guess this can be called the casualties of big business. A cruise line should never endanger its passengers like this.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 06:10 PM
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Katlady, I suggest that if you still have the head gear in your photo you should wear it all times.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Carnival cancelled it's Mexican Rivera ports I heard but not yet Cozumel or Costa Maya. I'm watching this close as I'm supposed to go in September. A doctor on tv said he expects this to peak, die down and then flare up again the fall Very scary. Also hurricanes might cause changes if the flu does not. This is my 2nd attempt at these ports ugh and I don't want to go to stupid Ocho Rios again but better safe then sorry.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...Flu-042809.cfm

Swine Flu and Mexico Cruise Options
by Paul Motter, CruiseMates Editor
April 28, 2009

The current state of affairs for cruises and Swine Flu and what you can do to protect yourself.

As I write this we have just received an update (4-28-09) from Carnival Corp regarding the line's future plans for dealing with the Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico. They will suspend stops at Mexican ports for all three ships it has scheduled to visit the country in the next few days.

Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Lines still hope to reassure their passengers they can provide sufficient health care and infection prevention measures onboard to keep them safe.

Norwegian Pearl, currently on a repositioning cruise with stops in Mexico, is conducting fleet-wide guest health questionnaires. Royal Caribbean notes that the outbreaks are inland rather than in the Mexican coastal cities popular with cruise tourists.
What are We Really Looking At?

First let's point out that it is much easier to cancel Mexican ports in the Caribbean, but for West Coast cruises to the Mexican Riviera there are no other port options. Without stopping in Mexico, West Coast cruises become cruises to nowhere.

Carnival has succumbed to pressure and canceled all port stops in Mexico this week, but have no doubt they will reassess that decision next week. There is no way cruise lines can stop cruising to Mexico without doing significant damage to their bottom line. It is the fourth most popular cruising region in the world and two cruise lines just made significant investments to locate new and bigger ships there.

Next, lets clarify that the Mexican Swine Flu is still an outbreak and not an epidemic, and it is certainly not a pandemic. Those words only apply to a virus that has infected a critical portion of the population and is getting more virulent.

Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said today that the number of new cases in Mexico had declined from 141 on Saturday to 119 on Sunday and 110 Monday. Does that sound like an epidemic?
Article continues below


Personally, I think it is sad to see Carnival forced into this decision by a small number of vocal complainers, people who have decided that since they do not want to go Mexico no one should go. Bottom line, it is far too soon to say that this is a crisis situation and hence it is too soon to start a panic about cruise ships stopping in Mexico.

I rarely tell other cruise reporters what I think, but yesterday I saw them asking the general public if cruise ships should stop cruising to Mexico. This is not a decision to be made by a few panicked consumers. Let the cruise lines decide what is most prudent, and let other passengers decide for themselves what they want to do. No one is forcing anyone to take a cruise to Mexico, so no one should be telling the cruise lines or me that I can't cruise to Mexico.

For those people calling on cruise ships to stop cruising to Mexico, I full expect you to be calling for the closure of flights to Mexico and all borders with Mexico as well.

And let's be clear; Canceling cruises to Mexico isn't like airlines canceling flights. It means displacing ships that sail solely to the Mexican Riviera year round. It means having to re-deploy ships to regions that are already pushing the boundaries of too much capacity, such as Alaska or the Caribbean. That would be acceptable if a specific danger had been proven, but that is not the case.

Repositioning a number of ships to non-Mexico routes will mean huge financial losses for the cruise industry leading to a loss of jobs and/or income for millions of people affiliated with the cruise industry in this country. Once again, public safety should come first, but only after it has been determined that cruises to Mexico are a real health concern.
Not as Bad as it Appears - Yet

The national Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have both raised concerns about non-essential travel to Mexico. But neither of these organizations has recommended that airlines or cruise ships stop traveling to Mexico. There are still flights going right into Mexico City, the point of genesis for this virus.

Neither the CDC nor the WHO has recommended closing the border even in one direction; stopping the streaming of Mexican citizens into the United States. Political issues aside, I ask if it is logical to ask U.S. citizens not travel to Mexico and not to put a similar restriction on non-U.S. citizens entering the United States from Mexico?

I grew up and live in Arizona less than 200 miles from the border. I have two Mexican nationals working in my house right now. In the residential park where I have a home in San Diego we have Mexican nationals who cross the border to come to work daily.

Should I be panicked? No one has told me I should be, and yet I can drive 10 miles and become completely immersed in a neighborhood of Mexican nationals who travel back and forth through the border several times a year.

My point is the critical aspect of proximity. Cruise ships generally do not visit areas of Mexico where outbreaks have occurred. Furthermore, passengers are not forced to mix with the general population. Cozumel, for example, is an island 10 miles from shore but over 1000 miles away from the nearest outbreak. In most ports cruise passengers can stay in tourist areas where it is very easy to control who goes in and out. This was before there was a health crisis. This can be improved upon and no doubt will be.

The WHO currently has a six-point scale for rating viral outbreaks. According to some online sources this outbreak technically qualifies for a number five rating, defined as outbreaks affecting more than one nation. However they have not raised the rating. Why? Probably because they are not yet convinced this virus is a virulent enough to qualify.

An affiliate of Homeland Security under former President Bush said, "this is not a crisis yet, it is too soon to tell." Keiji Fukuda, WHO acting assistant director-general, told reporters, "There is a definite possibility that the new virus could establish community-wide infections in multiple countries, but it is too early to say that this is inevitable."

He also said, "It is entirely possible...that we may see a very mild pandemic. That would be the best of all situations short of this current situation simply stopping and disappearing." So, in other words, he is saying it might be mild, or that it could even just disappear. Granted, he doesn't say the latter is likely, but he alludes it is not impossible.

All of the health officials giving us guidance are saying they are preparing for the worst possible circumstances, as they have learned to do extremely well in the last few years, but they are not saying that the public should expect the worst. In fact, they are going out of their way to say a mild episode is a possibility and that there are no indications to the contrary.
Swine Flu and Travel Insurance

I understand the hard choice if you are already booked on a cruise to Mexico. If you are truly afraid and decide not to go you will lose your money. If you decide to still go you can still stay on the ship instead of going ashore. You will have to make sure you don't pick up anything from someone who went ashore.

If you are already booked on a cruise to Mexico, you are probably wondering if you can get cruise insurance. Yes, you can, under certain conditions. If you already paid for your cruise last month it may be too late to get full coverage, but you can still get insurance for coverage if you happen to get sick.

Let's discuss how travel insurance may or may not cover the Swine Flu. John Cook of online cruise travel insurance broker Quotewright.com knows the travel insurance business in and out. John says it is not too late to get insurance for your Mexico cruise, however the average policy will not cover you if you want to cancel your cruise - even if the State Department issues a travel warning. A policy will cover you if you get sick however, under most circumstances, but read on to find out the exceptions.

The only policy that will cover you if you choose to cancel is a "Cancel for Any Reason" policy, but it has restrictions, comes with a price and it may be too late to get one. "Cancel for any Reason" policies are usually written up as a "rider" to a standard travel insurance policy. To get this rider you will pay an additional premium, you must insure your trip for the full cost of your cruise and you must get the policy within two weeks of having made your first payment on the cruise. One insurer, Travelex, gives you 21 days.

For standard policies, I would have expected them to cover you if the State Department issued a travel warning after you booked your cruise, but NO! They do not. John Cook told me most travel insurance policies are "buyer beware" and the insurers purposely plan their coverage to minimize their own exposure to losses.

For example, any reference to the State Department in any travel insurance policy that John knows of only relates to terrorism, not illness. Furthermore, many policies add an exclusion for illnesses caused by an "epidemic." If this seems a little counter-intuitive and one-sided in favor of the insurance companies, well it is. Buyer beware.

As I said, if you get sick on your cruise and you have medical expenses or require evacuation then you should be covered, but NOT if the policy expressly forbids illnesses caused by epidemics. When it comes to the official definition of "epidemic" John says there isn't one in any policy, which can make getting insurance payoffs a sticky wicket, or it could work in your favor.

Basically, John Cook advises buyers to read a policy carefully and to take it very literally. "If a policy says your trip has to be interrupted for at least 24 hours then a 23 hour delay will not qualify you for a payout." Bottom line, it may not be too late to get insurance coverage for Swine Flu, but you are going to pay more and you have to be very careful what you buy.

If you are looking to insure a Mexico cruise we recommend you contact a travel insurance broker who already knows the limitations of most available policies. Or to make it easier, call John Cook at Travelwright.com, or go to another travel insurance site we recommend regularly, Insuremytrip.com.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showcat
Carnival cancelled it's Mexican Rivera ports I heard but not yet Cozumel or Costa Maya. I'm watching this close as I'm supposed to go in September. A doctor on tv said he expects this to peak, die down and then flare up again the fall Very scary. Also hurricanes might cause changes if the flu does not. This is my 2nd attempt at these ports ugh and I don't want to go to stupid Ocho Rios again but better safe then sorry.
Atleast you don't go in 2 weeks like some of us.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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October here.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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What the heck the Carnival going to do with the Splendor? I really hope they don't send our ship back to Florida. The Splendor is the ONLY new ship that sails out of the West Coast. Florida has lots of ships, we don't have anything decent out here. Maybe Carnival can use it for Alaska or Hawaii. Is there any word of what will happen to the Splendor now that Carnival has stopped sailing the Mexican Rivieria?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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My suggestion is to check with your travel agent or personal vacation planner if you are concerned. I feel sorry for those travel agents specializing only in Mexico now. It might put a few of them out of business.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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They are substituting with California ports. No choice.
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