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Cruise Lines Now Offering to Reschedule for Pregnant Women Due to Zika Virus

Posted January 28th, 2016 in news by Admin

You may not have heard of the Zika virus, the the virus is spreading to the point of becoming an epidemic in many Latin American countries.

For most people, the virus is relatively mild. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and eye redness, lasting for a few days to a week. It’s enough to ruin your day, but not enough for lasting effects.

That’s not the case for pregnant women, however. The Zika virus causes major complications and birth defects to unborn babies. The situation has become so dire that some countries have asked their populations to avoid becoming pregnant if at all possible.

Zika is spread through mosquitos, making it hard to avoid in tropical locations like those that many cruises travel to. So far, the following countries that are also popular cruise destinations have been identified as having the virus:

  • Barbados
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Obviously, this is a major concern for expectant mothers. In response, the major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian Cruise Lines have all made announcements allowing pregnant passengers to either delay their trip or sail an alternative route.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

“Royal Caribbean will assist any pregnant women who do not feel comfortable sailing to countries affected with the Zika virus by providing alternate itinerary options,” a statement says.

Passengers also may receive a cruise credit good for two years. This applies to Celebrity as well.

Norwegian and Carnival also said they would allow expectant mothers “covered by CDC advisories” to delay their cruise or travel to a different destination, Reuters reported.

If you are traveling to an area where the Zika virus has been seen and would like to change your cruise, contact your cruise line immediately to see what options are available.

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