Sail Away: Cruise Lines Take Precautions Against ‘Flu

In a discussion regarding the AKontheGO Fam cruise options this summer, I brought up what has been on everyone’s mind this past week; the Swine Flu (I know we aren’t supposed to call it swine flu out of respect for pigs, but the scientific name is too long, sorry pigs).

I happened to be on the phone with Sarah Scoltock, Public Relations Manager for Holland America Lines when she “hit the button” on an announcement regarding current and upcoming cruises that involve Mexico. “We are taking every precaution, and in many cases, simply rerouting our ships to other ports, like Costa Rica, Guatamala, and the like. Our concern is of course for our passengers’ safety and comfort.”

With cruise lines these last few years having a little bit of trouble with various viruses stowing away with passengers, cruise lines are certainly going the extra mile to prevent outbreaks of anything, much less the pig flu. Hand sanitizing gel is widely available on all HAL ships, and when ships currently in service down South return to their home ports, you can bet your Lysol they’ll be scrubbed, mopped, and degermed within an inch of their lives. Same for the crew. Just kidding, but crew members on all HAL cruises are well-versed in measures towards preventing the spread of any contagion.

So, what does this mean for Alaskan cruising, in general? At this point, travel to and from Alaska is assumed low-risk for you and your kids. Of course, this could change at any minute if the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control make any more proclamations for disease awareness.

As always, and parents, we know this best, the best precaution towards flu prevention is to wash hands well and often, take along that sanitizing gel (60% alcohol or better), and carry some antibacterial wipes for handles, door knobs, telephones, etc. in staterooms or hotels. And for pete’s sake, if you or a family member gets sick with a fever, tell the staff! Medications are always on board to help those symptoms be less irritating, and medical professionals are present at all times on cruise ships.

Should any cruise line information become available, I’ll pass it along to AKontheGo’ers. Be sure to sign up for regular updates so you don’t miss anything!

Posted in Miscellaneous.