Swine flu is attacking the health of

Royal Caribbean Cruises

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The cruise line said the flu outbreak will hurt earnings by 22 cents.

"The flu outbreak had a short, but highly disruptive impact to our operations," Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain said in a statement.

The virus forced Royal Caribbean to steer clear of Mexican ports. The company also canceled the launch of Pullmantur's Pacific Dream, which targets Mexican nationals, and significantly lowered Pullmantur's Mexican tour capacity.

On top of all that, Royal Caribbean last month reported two probable swine flu cases on one of its ships, and yesterday Reuters reported that

Carnival Cruise Lines

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has five crew members on its Holland America cruise who were diagnosed with the virus.

Carnival reported

several other cases of swine flu on its Pacific Dawn ship last month.

Carnival also expects

itinerary changes to hurt

second-quarter and full-year earnings by 5 cents and 10 cents, respectively.

Still, the swine flu is far from the only hurdle cruise line operators have had to face over the last several months. The recession has kept vacationers at home and ships empty. Bookings have started to stabilize lately, due to deep discounts -- although a few more cases of swine flu could well put a stop to all that.

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