West Coast cruise fans have long faced a choice for their cruise vacations. Fly to the East Coast, or at least Texas, to board a ship, or else generally get stuck with the same-old same-old itinerary for seven day cruises – Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. Or cruise Alaska in the summer from Seattle or Vancouver.

Now, because of swine flu, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is offering a new seven-day cruise through June 14 from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia.

Other ships are altering itineraries to avoid Cozumel, but the ships sailing in the Caribbean ships are just replacing the Mexican port with another nearby – Jamaica, Grand Cayman or the Bahamas. But this new Royal Caribbean itinerary is something completely different. And it will even include sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

No doubt other cruise lines are assessing the situation and may make similar moves. Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines are in some cases just eliminating the ports in favor of extra sea days. Of course, with passengers staying aboard ship for longer periods of time there is always the additional worry about norovirus outbreaks. Which means the number one cruising health rule again, is “wash your hands.”

The situation in Mexico may change, although Royal Caribbean says it is committed to these new itineraries. The Mexican Riviera is actually pretty warm (read “hot”) this time of year, so for those who aren’t confirmed beach and sun people, the new itineraries could actually be preferable.