Pallmantur, the Spanish cruise company owned by Royal Caribbean, was all set to make a splash with a new boat and cruise itinerary aimed at the Mexican audience. The boat, the Pacific Dream, would leave from Acapulco with 1,900 passengers and make stops at Ixtapa, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The 7-day cruise was seen carrying 60,000 passengers this year alone after the initial voyage on May 10. But just a week or two before the launch date, news of swine flu in Mexico began to spread.
No one wanted to take a cruise around a country where it appeared an epidemic was spreading. So, the launch was cancelled and the Pacific Dream was idled. It has since been put back into service on a cruise from Lisbon to Funchal and Casablanca. But the impact of the idling has been felt by the parrent company, Royal Caribbean. Today, it said earnings would be 22 cents a share lower because of the swine flu epidemic in Mexico. The company had been forecasting earnings to be flat or off about 5 cents a share.