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richard1s

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  1. First, nicely done calling out some smart a** buffoon who finds it necessary to put down someone because they have a legitimate question that they don't approve of or think is silly. Disregard moronic comments such as this along with "I'd be more worried about travel to Chicago or Miami" etc. Secondly, you have already received some good advice and I will provide mine based on 4 decades of travel in almost every Latin American country. Many of these trips were business related and involved extended visits to some of the more dangerous places such as Columbia in the 1980's, the interior of Mexico as well as Brazil and Venezuela. For 20 years of my career I was responsible for border security for a major Mexican multi-national corporation. Being a victim of crime at home or abroad is often extremely random; it truly can happen anywhere. Statistically the odds are against it but of course tell that to someone who becomes a victim - it is not very comforting. And it is always prudent to be mindful of travel warnings. But in your situation however, I would not be overly concerned about a ship sponsored excursion such as you describe. First, I believe cruise companies perform decent and timely due diligence with regard to what is going on in the area, as well as the vendors selected for these excursions. If the worry is too much for you to handle, maybe you should consider another options but chances are extremely good that you will be fine. Whatever you decide, have a great time!
  2. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. We have sailed on the Summit several times and it was always one of our favorite ships. Celebrity, under new leadership, seems intent on rebranding their product and attracting a new demographic; good luck with that. I can only imagine how disappointing some of this must have been after so much anticipation. Of all things, sitting out on your balcony on comfortable furniture seems like one of the most basic needs a cruise line can accommodate. We gave up on them after our last cruise 18 months ago. If it fails, some other bright executive will come in and reinvent the wheel, until then we have chosen other alternatives. Again, sorry for your experience.
  3. One of our fondest and favorite memories from our many Royal Caribbean cruises, which for us started decades ago, was "Italian Night" in the MDR; as I recall it was on Wednesday night. The MDR staff would walk thru the room waving napkins and singing a beautiful rendition of the great Italian song - 'O Solo Mio. Is that tradition still around or has it unfortunately gone by the wayside in favor of other "efficiency" considerations?
  4. Norris - another interesting, entertaining and insightful report for all of us vicariously experiencing your exciting trip. Thanks for such a fine effort. And thank you for mentioning "Cuba and the Cameraman", and appreciation to another poster for suggesting "The Cuba Libre Story"; both were extraordinary. Enjoy the remainder of your trip and thanks again!
  5. I truly believe that the possibility of violence any cruise ship passenger may experience, or witness while in any Mexican port is highly unlikely and very improbable. I would probably be more concerned about the brakes on that taxi or bus you may take, or just crossing a street. Still, it is important to keep in mind that Cabo has the highest per capita murder rate in the world, a rather astonishing statistic, and that last year it was reported in Forbes that more Americans are murdered in Mexico than in all other countries combined. And on our first and only visit to Acapulco, our tourist van came upon a very fresh murder scene on the city’s coastal avenue in the middle of the day. Mexico is a charming, beautiful place but like anywhere, good sense and good choices need to prevail. It’s unfortunate that so many ordinary hard working citizens are victims of criminal behavior and an incredibly corrupt government and police system.
  6. Last year my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and we were in a similar situation. Her doctor advised that we should go on our cruise and she should do her best to have a good time under the circumstances. We went, she tried her best to be rationalize it all and we (most importantly she) had a great time. I love and admire my wife for her courage and attitude. Upon return, her prognosis was good - outpatient surgery, about 33 days of radiation treatment and finally she was declared "cancer free". I wish you the very best and hope for the exact same outcome (or even better)!
  7. An enthusiastic second for Panchos; for any excursion to town, this is a wonderful starting point. We have enjoyed many great Mexican lunches there while listening to the marimba music in the open air patio. The shopping adjacent to the restaurant carries a full range of excellent products from mexico - clothes, jewelry, tequilas etc. They are probably a little more expensive than some places but the products they carry are very high quality. About a block from Poncho's, in the direction of town, is a small "pharmacia" that carries reliable products available in Mexico without a prescription, along with skin care products at greatly reduced prices compared to the US (no knock-offs). From there, continuing to walk in the direction of the piers, there are many other shopping venues and great places to cool off with a drink and experience some lively Mexican music. The island is small enough to do both a town tour and a visit to the ruins. The only negative we have ever experienced is a Sunday port stop - when everything is pretty much closed and the downtown is absolutely dead.
  8. We visited to this port in March on the HAL Oosterdam. I could find very little on it on both CC and TripAdvisor, and a lot of what I did find was negative. While I am certain that some adventurous souls would enjoy a boat trip or bus ride to a remote area to hike or pass out school supplies to local children, this isn’t really what appeals to us while on vacation. And with that said, this was for us the absolute worst port of the approximately 30+ or so we have visited on our many cruises. It is true – this is primarily a loud, fairly busy (ugly) container port. The only thing to do if you are not on an excursion is walk through a large, crowed, stuffy building adjacent to the port where merchants all sell the exact same thing. I am not sure why HAL (or any cruise line) would put in here. Be forewarned.
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