CARNIVAL'S FASCINATION returned to Miami Monday
with more than 200 guests and crew reporting symptoms of a
gastrointestinal illness during the voyage. Carnival said it's
working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to
determine if the Norwalk virus has struck again. Meanwhile, the
ship was sanitized and was slated to depart on its next cruise last
night. A Carnival spokesman said that about 44 cabins elected to
cancel their plans. "The other 96% [of the guests] want their
vacation," he said.
THE AMSTERDAM returned to the seas Sunday after
a 10-day hiatus. The vessel's Nov. 21 sailing was canceled after
four consecutive sailings where guests reported Norwalk symptoms.
Holland America Line is touting it as the "cleanest ship at sea,"
following a heavy scrub-down. David Giersdorf, HAL's senior
vp-sales, told Travel Weekly that he cannot guarantee that guests
won't become ill on their vacations. But, he said, "For us to
cancel a voyage, that's really saying we're going to do everything
it takes." Giersdorf also said he hadn't seen any particular
downturn in future bookings -- or a major upswing in
DISNEY CRUISE LINE, meanwhile, removed the
Disney Magic from service Saturday and will give it a seven-day
scouring in port this week after about 170 passengers and crew came
down with what the CDC said was Norwalk virus on its cruise last
week. The ship was removed from service on Saturday.
A FIRE ONBOARD THE WIND SONG as it sailed near
Tahiti on Sunday forced Windstar Cruises to suspend operation of
the ship and reposition another of its vessels to the South
Pacific. All 127 passengers were evacuated when a blaze broke out
in Wind Song's engine room. The line, which said no injuries were
reported, was working with the French Navy to arrange for the ship
to be towed to the capital, Papeete, where damage will be assessed.
The Wind Star will operate Wind Song's the scheduled season
beginning Jan. 24. The Wind Star's Costa Rica, Belize and Panama
itineraries -- as well as seven Tahiti itineraries through Jan. 17
-- were canceled.
CRUISE LINES will be required to send
electronic passenger and crew manifests to the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS), starting Jan. 1. And the lines are
calling on travel agents to collect the additional passenger
information for those lists. It is the cruise line's responsibility
to provide a completed manifest to the INS, said Bob Sharak,
executive director of the Cruise Lines International Assn. The new
INS requirements are part of the U.S. Border Security Act, which
was passed earlier this year. But, he said, "since the vast
majority of our bookings come from agents, we are asking that they
collect this information."