Do Police Escort Tour Buses ?

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#1
56 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Hello, I hope someone can help me. I read on another post that, in Guatemala the police escort the tour buses, and that the police are on the pier. Is this true or has anyone else notice this. Thanks in advance.
#2
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Yes they do, they are pretty hard to miss but quite frankly it wasn't until the next morning that while having breakfast with a retired British "bobby" that I found out that they were really escorting us....then finally everything I saw fell into place.
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#3
1,437 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Was on the Nov 15th NCL Spirit cruise. Went on the city tour and did notice a blue pickup truck with police lights follow us around. I think that they have stepped up security since it was only two weeks after that tourist got murdered in the town.
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#4
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Last January there were two small pickups, each had 2 police officers in the cab and 3 heavily armed soldiers in the back. One truck was on our stern and the other in front....it didn't occur to me until the next morning why we could never catch up to the truck in front.
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#5
Vancouver
183 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by justhavingfun
Hello, I hope someone can help me. I read on another post that, in Guatemala the police escort the tour buses, and that the police are on the pier. Is this true or has anyone else notice this. Thanks in advance.

We just returned from Puerto Queztel and didn't see anything of the kind. I think the Pacific side is very safe.
#6
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by sloney
We just returned from Puerto Queztel and didn't see anything of the kind. I think the Pacific side is very safe.
That is where we were last January.
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#7
Texas
1,821 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by sloney
We just returned from Puerto Queztel and didn't see anything of the kind. I think the Pacific side is very safe.

We just returned from Puerto Quetzel and we took a ship sponsored excursion to Lake Atitlan which is a 2 1/2 hour drive each way. Our caravan of three tour buses was escorted by two pick up trucks carrying heavily armed security. They were carrying machine guns. We were told by our tour guide that the route we were taking was dangerous and prone to hold ups by extortionists who kidnap, rape, rob and kill.

There really was no way of missing the line-up of black pick-up trucks in the parking lot awaiting the dozens of vans and buses to be loaded. As the tour vehicles exited the parking lot the security trucks would pull out in front and fall in behind.
#8
152 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by thescot123
Was on the Nov 15th NCL Spirit cruise. Went on the city tour and did notice a blue pickup truck with police lights follow us around. I think that they have stepped up security since it was only two weeks after that tourist got murdered in the town.

ooooooooooook. I'm sitting here looking for something to do at this port and I think this seals the deal for me. I think I'll stay on the ship.
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#9
arkansas
63 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by CharismaticWoman
ooooooooooook. I'm sitting here looking for something to do at this port and I think this seals the deal for me. I think I'll stay on the ship.
I am looking right now for a tour in Santo Thoma De Castella. I agree, staying on the ship sounds safe. We will be there2/24/2010. Just wondering , did you get off the ship??
#10
88 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I was there in December on Island Princess. We took the Textiles tour which was all day with lunch. I loved Guatemala--it was my favorite port on the trip. I felt safe with all of the ships tours, but I would not book any on my own in these countries.
#11
502 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
My husband and I (in our sixties) have been on numerous cruises over the years. We have enjoyed all the ports and have never 'just stayed on the ship'. In January we spent 2 weeks in Guatemala on our own and felt perfectly safe. If, like us, you hesitate to take the ship's excursion due to the cost, check out reputable tour agencies online in the area and sign up. You don't want to miss this lovely country.
#12
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
14,355 Posts
Joined May 2001
Don't stay on the ship in Santo Tomas. The country is just so beautiful. We did a Rio Dulce tour, with a side trip to Livingston, and never noticed police. But of course, we were on the water most of the time, or in the jungle school. Livingston seemed pretty safe, but it's a different kind of place, very interesting.
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#13
3 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by howell
I am looking right now for a tour in Santo Thoma De Castella. I agree, staying on the ship sounds safe. We will be there2/24/2010. Just wondering , did you get off the ship??
I was in Santo Tomas 2 weeks ago, took a local excursion, finished by 1pm. Took a walk into town, walked the streets, went to the local market, ate local foods and sat in a roadside restaurant drinking beer and watched tour buses drive by. The locals were very nice, i know very little spanish, but was able to get by. I felt very safe, the only time I was asked for money or even bothered was within 2 blocks of the guarded entrance. I am a 59 year old male, approximately 190 lbs.
#14
106 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I have to say I'm a little shocked to read this. We were on the NCL Spirit right after Thanksgiving last year and stopped in Santo Thoma De Castella. I had no idea a cruise ship passenger had been murdered there just a few weeks before.

Maybe I should be glad I didn't though. The port was nothing to speak of, but we did the excursion to the Las Escobas Waterfall through NCL. I loved it and it was one of my favorite excursions ever. The rain forest was just amazing. I would have thought seriously about skipping it if I had known then.

I felt safe with the tour group and I never noticed any police escorts although I was in the middle of the bus so that could be why. I did see good police presence around the dock.
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#15
Bavarian Forest, Germany near the Czech border
2,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
We went DIY in Guatemala with our backpack on the local bus for a month, through the jungle, eating, sleeping with the locals and never felt unsafe anywhere.

Security personnel is present everywhere in Guatemala. They get a kick out of it. It is prestige for a shop owner to have an armed guard in front of his store, that means he is well-off (he can afford the guy) and he must have beautiful goods in his store. McDonalds in Guatemala City even has an armed guard...

Please don't stay on board, you will miss out on a wonderful country with wonderful people. People are dead-poor, but very honest generally.
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#16
South Carolina
28,519 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We were in Puerto Questal for two port stops in February & March 2010. Always, armed security was with us on any tours we took. No problem or any problems ... maybe because they were with us and there were check points as well along the way. You may not notice ... but they are there.

For sure, don't miss the opportunity to see this wonderful country without fear for your safely!
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#17
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by OCruisers
For sure, don't miss the opportunity to see this wonderful country without fear for your safely!
I quite agree with this, we certainly never felt threatened in the least.
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#18
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
of tour buses being escorted by police????
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#19
florida
3,664 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
But they have police check when leaving port area,,,,and returning,,,came onboard and checked our ship passes....

Really nothing to do except take tour or stay in port area,,,,so plan accordingly.
#20
224 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
We watched a TV program last night about a woman from the UK who worked in Guatemala City as a paramedic for 2 weeks and it was unbeliveably crime-ridden. It has put my husband off from stepping off the ship when we reach Guatemala so I can certainly understand police escorts for tour groups. However there are other countries where as a tourist you are provided with armed guards such as Egypt.
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