Reports of New Violence in Mazatlan Spur More Cruise Cancellations

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#3
Southern California
36,443 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Synical Investor
That is just simply idiotic. They sail out of LA for goodness sakes! No murders there daily, I'm sure!
Why do you think they are sailing OUT of Los Angeles.

I think the sensitivity to Mazatlan come partly from the fact that Mexico in general is seeing an increase in violence.
#4
Toronto
1,474 Posts
Joined May 2008
There's an interesting story about drug violence in Mexico and its impact on tourism in the March 2011 issue of Conde Nast Traveler in a story titled "Acapulco's Image Problem." Bottom line is that while violence in Mexico is high compared to most destinations, it is mostly taking place outside of the major tourist destinations. Acapulco, unfortunately, has had more than its share of violence and its image has suffered as a result.
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#5
West Sussex
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Synical Investor
That is just simply idiotic. They sail out of LA for goodness sakes! No murders there daily, I'm sure!
In November 2010 we took a Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise as a top up holiday whilst visiting Yosemite. We were aware of the troubles in Mexico and had heard that the Drugs Barons were now targeting the cruise ports for more impact. This did not affect our decision to book as the main reason for the cruise was for relaxation after an action packed break ,being at one with nature ! We decided to take each port as we found it and play it by ear whether or not to leave the secure port area.
We boarded the ship the MS Oosterdam at San Diego and yes,some cruises do depart from Long Beach – but this is not in comparison with the seedy areas in LA. I speak from personal experience after ending up in the backstreets of LA and Hollywood!.
Our first port of call was Mazatlan and as we sailed into port we saw trucks of heavily armed troups arriving to ensure our safety. That was enough to make us decide to stick near the sanctuary of the ship. Even the ambience of port shopping complex was different to other Mexican ports. We had been advised not to venture far as we would stand out ,being Europeans (most of our fellow cruisers were from the USA or Canada).
The majority of cruisers, who ventured out were back within an hour – unless on an organised trip. We spoke to many ,who all seemed to feel it was a port that you could do without. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas were better , Cabo being the best of them all. This may be as many stars from LA spend sunshine breaks here –and they obviously boost the economy in this area.
Would I take this cruise again – yes ,purely for the relaxation as if you are in California it is a cheap way of taking a 5* cruise. We loved HAL so much we are flying to Florida for a break after which we will board the Nieuw Amsterdam on April 3rd for the 15 day Spanish Crossing ending in Barcelona.
Barcelona has dodgy areas - most places do - but most can't be compared with the general situation in Mexico.
#6
449 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We were not to concerned until we read yesterday of the seven bodies hanging from a bridge there! We especially love the church there which was built by the Jewish community as the city could not afford the building. There is a Star of David in the upper windows. Love this story!!
#7
208 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by Cuizer2
Why do you think they are sailing OUT of Los Angeles.

I think the sensitivity to Mazatlan come partly from the fact that Mexico in general is seeing an increase in violence.

http://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseto...lifestyle=none

Departure Arrival Length Ports of Call Season
Los Angeles Los Angeles 7 Mexican Riviera - Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta
#9
208 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by commodoredave
There's an interesting story about drug violence in Mexico and its impact on tourism in the March 2011 issue of Conde Nast Traveler in a story titled "Acapulco's Image Problem." Bottom line is that while violence in Mexico is high compared to most destinations, it is mostly taking place outside of the major tourist destinations. Acapulco, unfortunately, has had more than its share of violence and its image has suffered as a result.
Most of the violence in Acapulco does NOT happen in the tourist areas. The U.S. reporting calls anything within 160 KM, the "PORT OF ACAPULCO" --- very misleading.
#10
208 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by Cuizer2
Is there a point to this?
I suppose if you don't get the point, I am not going to waste my valuable time explaining to you the very obvious about LA crime.

The itinerary clearly states the cruise departs from LA. I would assume one has to fly to the LA airport in order to depart on these cruises, maybe even spend a night or two. Getting killed there would not be out of the realm of reality. In my opinion, a better chance there than in Mexico, regardless the port.

EDIT: oh wait, I see you LIVE there. Geesh, now I truly have wasted my time.............pick up your local paper!
#11
West Sussex
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Synical Investor
I suppose if you don't get the point, I am not going to waste my valuable time explaining to you the very obvious about LA crime.

The itinerary clearly states the cruise departs from LA. I would assume one has to fly to the LA airport in order to depart on these cruises, maybe even spend a night or two. Getting killed there would not be out of the realm of reality. In my opinion, a better chance there than in Mexico, regardless the port.

EDIT: oh wait, I see you LIVE there. Geesh, now I truly have wasted my time.............pick up your local paper!
I think you are misunderstanding the itinery when it states Los Angeles as the embarkation port.
I have experienced all the ports mentioned so my personal experience should hold more weight than someone who has watched too many American cop films. I certainly would take notice of a resident of LA.
The ports of LA are at Long Beach and San Pedro - 20 miles+ away from LA - and a million miles away from the hubs of extreme violence. The neighbourhood is affluent and as safe as any decent area of the USA.
Most people choose to stay on the Queen Mary ,which is now a floating hotel if they sail out of Long Beach.
I quote a Cruise Critic port information article
'One important note: Cruises don't actually leave from Los Angeles -- they embark and disembark from San Pedro and Long Beach, two adjacent ports. These are located about 20 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport '
#12
Tampa Area - Florida
1,317 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Regardless of the reasons violence is occurring in Mexico, why take the chance of simply being caught in the cross-fire so to speak?
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#13
San Antonio, Texas
1,542 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I think this is so sad. These ports depend on the tourism the cruise ships bring in. In a way, they are letting the violence win.

Heck, we have a deadly shooting once or twice a week in my hometown, and it's usually involving something and someone stupid. But I don't see any report telling people to stop coming to San Antonio to visit SeaWorld or the Alamo!

I just think people should use common sense when venturing out into Mexico or any foreign country. My husband and I are going to Puerto Vallarta for a quick 4-day vacation in April over Easter. When I see reports telling me the violence is aimed at the tourists (like we saw awhile back in Jamaica) then I will be concerned. But so far, that hasn't been the case.

I loved our port stop in Mazatlan last year. It was my first time there and we had an excellent tour with a tour guide named Frank. The church there was beautiful, as was the marketplace. One day I hope we can go back.


Ann
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#14
Long Beach, California
169 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Most people only read the headlines but not the full articles. In the Mexico almost all of the killings are between the drug cartels and/or the police. Seldom do normal people get caught in the crossfire. In the US almost all of the murder victims are innocent people. We live in Long Beach, CA. but have a beach house south of Rosarito. We are safer in Baja because there are almost no random murders in Baja but plenty in Long Beach. There have been several within two miles of our house during the last couple of years!

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#15
Greeley Colorado
52 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We were in Mazatlan during our port stop from the Oosterdam. We were smart about our plans, booked a tour with a known agency and had a FANTASTIC time! We visited several pueblos in the country, toured the old town, had lunch on the beach. NEVER felt in any danger. We did see a few federales, and while in the country even stopped at a road check, but everyone was very polite, and afterall the government presence is there for our safety.

It was truely our favorite stop of the cruise.
#17
San Francisco Bay Area
6,232 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We've not enjoyed our stops in Mazatlan or Acapulco for that matter. These are ports where it just has not been worth getting off the ship....but we do enjoy staying onboard when everyone else is out and about.
All the other ports in Mexico have been wonderful, but those two ports are cesspools....filthy with time share people and cabbies hounding you until you just have enough of it. Just say no gracias firmly and they should get the hint and walk away ...onto the next ....but oh no...they follow you and keep trying to talk you into giving them all your money....on and on ...they just don't give up. It is awful. The little shops are full of absolute junk and the beaches are filthy dirty.
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, La Paz and even Cabo are so much nicer than Mazatlan or Acapulco. Not happy about the violence there but it is better if these ports just aren't included in any future itineraries as far as I am concerned.
Oh...PS -- the one time I got deathly sick from the food / drink in Mexico was from Mazatlan. Ended up with a three month ...yes, three month illness with very long course of antibiotics involved. Plus, if I hadn't been really careful, would have ended up slicing my foot open on one of the many broken beer bottles that are hidden in the sand on the beach. Why would they even do that?? Pay for going there....not me! If the ship happens to stop...well, so be it...they won't see me wandering around in town. You can find me on the lido deck, to be sure.
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Cruise Raider
#18
12,307 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
The article isn't quite accurate. Carnival has made NO such announcement. Where does Carnival say they have pulled out until the "end of the season"? No where. The words "indefinitely" and "suspended" have been used.

What Carnival has said is this - "Once we are comfortable with their plans and implementation, we expect to return to Mazatlán. We are hopeful that this process can be completed within a short period of time."

That could mean any time. The change in schedule can't be applied to my April 1 Spirit cruise since we are already doing 2 days in Cabo. I've called Carnival and they are still saying a decision about Mazatlan hasn't been made for cruises beyond March.

I would assume that should they cancel our Mazatlan port call, we will get a simple switch to Manzanillo instead - but this is only an assumption since they never said "canceled until the end of the season".

Gina
#19
Santa Clarita, CA
61 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Having done the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise at least 10 times, I can say that I would much rather go to Manzanillo or to Ixtapa/Zihauntenejo than Mazatlan. Crime wave or not, Mazatlan has gotten really run down. The old town is interesting, and some of the beaches are nice, but the town and the "Golden Zone" are not what they used to be. Acapulco was nice 25 years ago, and now it's really unsafe. Mazatlan is headed down the same path. Maybe the local government will take notice and take steps.
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#20
Fresno County, California
4 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
My husband and I have been frequent cruisers to Mexico, but have made the decision to not visit there for the foreseeable future. The government's lack of control in Mexico, and the violence has forced us to make this decision. Sure there is crime in other areas (LA as noted by a CC member), but nothing like what is happening in Mexico. I have no desire to spend my hard earned money in a country that is so out of control. It's very sad, I understand, for the locals who rely on the income provided by the cruisers. For now, we will travel elsewhere.