Though any cruise ship lawyer at our firm can tell you that there are times when cruise lines don’t take the necessary steps to prevent an accident at sea or in port, we are pleased to learn that a number of cruise lines have recently made what appears to be a very good decision in order to protect passenger and crew safety.
In the wake of recent violence in Puerto Vallarta, several major cruise lines have canceled port visits to the city, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line. Reports of civil unrest and criminal activity against local authorities have worried both locals and travelers alike. News sources indicate that armed individuals have committed acts of arson and that shots have been fired. The violence is a response to Mexico’s increased policing efforts against a local drug cartel.
According to the U.S. Department of State, while popular tourist areas in Mexico tend to be safer than rural areas, violence and crime related to Mexico’s increased drug policies can happen anywhere and at any time. Given the frightening incidents in Puerto Vallarta, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity’s decision to bypass the port is a wise one. However, not all cruise ships are electing to cancel trips to the Caribbean port. Carnival, for instance, has indicated that it will continue scheduled port calls, but did cancel some shore excursions offered in the area.