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About junglejane

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    Princess, Celebrity, Cunard

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  1. Thanks @brisalta. That's a genuinely helpful response. A big part of what has troubled me is the granular detail of the cartels fighting over the transportation of meth chemicals on the same route that the Princess tour bus will take from Manzanillo to Colima. That's why it's not that reassuring to have someone say just stick to the tourist areas and all will be well. But it is at least good to know that the cruise ships tie up far from the container area and that there's a heavy police presence.
  2. I see this comment a lot but at the same time we (on CC) always admonish people to read what the Passenger Contract says. And among other things it says this: Bottom line, I believe that Princess won't knowingly put its passengers in harm's way, but they also aren't guaranteeing your safety and they specifically say pay attention to State Dept. advisories. It all comes down to the level of risk you're willing to tolerate. As for @scottca075 saying don't hang out with locals who are political targets, note that the gunmen who attacked the mayor of Colima also hit a bus that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We haven't cancelled our Colima excursion but we're keeping an eye on the news and will decide as we approach the deadline to cancel and get a refund on the excursion.
  3. It all depends on when you can leave the ship. If you are in the first walk off group, you can be at LGB within 30 minutes on a Sunday morning. Once we had a 9:15 or 9:30 flight from LGB, which seemed crazy early, but everything went perfectly and we were waiting at the gate by 8:00. It all depends on when you can leave the ship.
  4. I've been to Mazatlan many times but this thread is about Manzanillo and Colima. Here's a recent (7-27-19) update on Manzanillo: https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/national-guard-to-protect-manzanillo-mayor/. Note that the report says that bullets intended for the mayor struck a city bus that was traveling along the same route.
  5. If you mean the Family Suite (pictured above) there are some issues to consider. First, Princess may charge the same fare for all four passengers, but the two couples will not really receive the same thing. One bedroom opens onto the common sitting room and balcony, and thus feels like it "belongs" to that bedroom. The other bedroom has a door and, when closed, is essentially an inside stateroom. Second, due to its forward location, the balcony in this room is often too windy to use when the ship is moving.
  6. This is not a helpful response @BruceMuzz. First it's mocking my question. Second it implies that all travel warnings are political and should be laughed at. The US State Dept has 4 levels of advisories. I have no idea how the systems in other countries work. But a Level 4 DO NOT TRAVEL advisory is obviously more serious than 2 (exercise extra caution) and 3 (reconsider travel). Also I provided some of the background reasons for the Level 4 warning, specifically the warring cartels fighting over the transportation of meth ingredients from the port to the interior, presumably on the very roads that the Princess bus excursion will take from Manzanillo to Colima, which is about 60 miles away. My question is asked in good faith and deserves to be answered in good faith. Reassuring answers based on relevant facts and personal experience are welcome (such as from @@riffatsea and @DanielBoone).
  7. OP here, thank you for the replies. You don't need two huge ramps for a 150 car parking lot, so I suspected that the current use was an "afterthought." This reminded me that google earth has historical images. Sure enough, the space on the roof was not striped as a parking lot until 2013. Before that, the ramps contained three pairs of up/down vehicle lanes that fed into specific paths marked by lots of directional arrows. The right lane led to a loop around the south side of the second floor; the middle up lane led to a loop around the center; and the left up lane led to a loop around the west side. This appears in an image from July 2007 (some cars were being parked up there by that point). The oldest image on google earth is from August 2003. At that time all traffic entering the World Cruise Center followed a smaller path that went right by these up ramps (through the middle of what is now parking lot). An image from January 2005 shows them rebuilding the vehicle lanes into the larger circle that now goes around the whole parking lot, down by the USS Iowa. Anyways, I'm glad to hear from someone who actually used the ramps for "passenger drop off" as originally envisioned. I wonder what they were thinking in the original plan. I'd love to hear more from 1990's cruisers.
  8. Kruisey, I just looked at the US State Dept website for Jordan. Jordan is listed as Level 2 "Exercise Increased Caution." https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Jordan.html By contrast, the State of Colima in Mexico, which is where Manzanillo is and where I'm booked on Princess excursion that goes 60 miles into the interior, is Level 4 "Do Not Travel." That the same level given to North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. If Colima were only Level 2, I would go. Even with Level 4, I'm not cancelling yet but adopting a "wait and see" approach until it's closer to the cruise date. But I"m leaning toward cancelling before the deadline.
  9. Of course it's "lawyerspeak." It's also a time honored tradition on Cruise Critic to admonish people to read their Passenger Contract. And my reading of the lawyerspeak is that it plainly does NOT say: you are free to ignore travel advisories where Princess excursions are concerned. In fact it says the opposite. It says take the travel advisory into consideration when you make your decision.
  10. I posed a similar question on my Roll Call and on the Mexico board worrying about safety on a Princess shore excursion from Manzanillo to Colima, where there is a US State Dept Level 4 "Do Not Travel" Advisory. People generally trust that Princess will not take you on any excursion that could be dangerous. I want to believe that's true. But we also always admonish people to read what the Passenger Contract says. And among other things it says this: Bottom line, I believe that Princess won't knowingly put its passengers in harm's way, but they also aren't guaranteeing your safety. Part of the problem is that these trouble spots are also often the same areas where the local authorities may be corrupt. It all comes down to the level of risk you're willing to tolerate.
  11. We’re adopting a wait and see attitude for now but are worrying that maybe leaving the main Manzanillo port area to go on the Colima excursion is risky. “Rival cartels have been battling for control of Manzanillo’s port, a primary point of entry for drugs from South and Central America as well as for precursor chemicals coming from Asia that are used to manufacture synthetic drugs.” https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-mexico-states-warning-20180111-htmlstory.html “The bad luck for law-abiding citizens of Colima, however, was suddenly finding the main highway on the methamphetaminetrade route plowing right through their state. The drug cartels established Manzanillo, a busy commercial port handling 2.5 million containers a year, and the smaller Lázaro Cárdenas port to the south as the prime destinations for the meth precursor chemicals shipped mostly from China. From these two ports, the chemicals — benzyl chloride, ephedrine, hydriodic acid, methylamine and more — get shipped up Highway 54 to Guadalajara and its environs, where a network of meth labs convert them to supply a burgeoning demand from Texas to California. At the same time, two major cartels, the Sinaloa cartel and the New Generation, are vying for huge profits from the meth trade. With Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán out of the picture now, there are contending groups angling for control of the Sinaloa cartel. The Jalisco New Generation cartel has tried to fill the vacuum, but the Sinaloa cartel is believed to be working to splinter its new rival. The result? More violence all around.” https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/the-tiny-but-deadly-epicenter-of-mexicos-new-wave-of-violence/90680
  12. Here's a historical question for old-timers about the World Cruise Center and its original design from 1988. On the south side, two freeway-like multi-lane car ramps lead up from the parking lot to the second floor of the building. They form a "Y" shaped traffic-circulation system to the upper floor. You may not even notice them when you are there, but they are obvious on google earth or any other overhead photo. The ramps have been fenced off and unused since at least around 2007, when I first saw them. I have always wondered about their intended purpose in the original design. Perhaps a baggage drop off location on the second floor? I'd love to hear any recollection of these ramps being used, or ideas as to their intended purpose.
  13. Here's one I haven't heard mentioned, more applicable to older kids and teens. Obviously we all think our kids are well behaved but sometimes kids get caught up in some group misbehavior. There are lots of CCTV cameras onboard. So think twice before you join in with other kids pulling a prank or otherwise breaking the rules. You may think no one's watching when in fact they are. If you don't feel comfortable with what other kids are doing, walk away.
  14. Totally agree with this. We did a HOHO once and never again. Too slow and costly. We enjoy using public transportation in a new place because it's cheap and also it gives you a glimpse of the locals going about their everyday lives. If you're nervous you can usually find info online about how it works in that city, or even a helpful YouTube video. For us, usually the biggest issue is figuring out where the stop is. We've been known to get on trams or buses going the wrong way, lol. Also taxis in Budapest were quite reasonably priced.
  15. We've been through this issue. In theory I like the idea of an 18-20 year old meet and greet, that could be announced in the patters or in an announcement left in the staterooms of those in the target age range. The latter method might be safer to avoid any potentially predatory older people from trying to crash the meet and greet. Just give them an opportunity to meet others in that age range and let them take it from there. I can remember one Princess cruise where there was a "Club 1820" announcement but that was when my oldest was still 17. On her next cruise I looked in vain for an announcement and tried leaving messages for the cruise director about it, and never heard a word back. The "secret society" "secret handshake" stuff sounds too juvenile and is probably a turnoff.
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