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Travel Warning for Mexico

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I am booked for a winter cruise to Mexico. The US State Department has posted travel warnings for US citizens for every area the cruise ship is to visit. The warnings have to do w/ the drug war violent crime and for kidnapping of US citizens by Mexican gangs.The warnings have recently been expanded beyond the border towns into some of most popular tourist cities/states.

 

These warnings are getting more diffacult for me to ignore after hearing just yesterday that a grenade was used in a tourist area of PV during the day injuring 15 people w/ many losing limbs.

 

Does anyone have any insight to how dangerous (or not) Mexico is for Americans planning to travel there?

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Interesting. I hadn't read the warnings in a while so I looked them up. They have expanded since the last time I read them: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_4755.html

http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html

 

We have previously done 3 land based vacations (have one booked currently), and several cruise stops in Mexico (have a couple of these booked). We've never felt threatened while in Mexico, but the new warnings do make me think about my activities that I have planned for my trips. I'm still going on my planned trips, but will more carefully consider my excursions.

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Thanks for the update and the links. Information is good. Despite the report of an armed convoy of vehicles driving thru Los Mochis shooting into the air (one of the places we were TOTALLY looking forward to going back to), I doubt that we will change any of our plans. But knowing about that kind of thing is important IMHO. We hadn't heard anything of the PV attack either.

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I am booked for a winter cruise to Mexico. The US State Department has posted travel warnings for US citizens for every area the cruise ship is to visit. The warnings have to do w/ the drug war violent crime and for kidnapping of US citizens by Mexican gangs.The warnings have recently been expanded beyond the border towns into some of most popular tourist cities/states.

 

These warnings are getting more diffacult for me to ignore after hearing just yesterday that a grenade was used in a tourist area of PV during the day injuring 15 people w/ many losing limbs.

 

Does anyone have any insight to how dangerous (or not) Mexico is for Americans planning to travel there?

In general, the tourist areas are still safe, particularly during daytime. The PV grenade went off at midnight, well past when a ship filled with tourists would have left. But it admittedly does give one pause that this sort of violence is escalating. I don't see where the warnings extend into the tourist cities, especially cruise cities, yet.

 

The Current advisory lists existing warnings that are more for the border cities and travelling between them and the interior on isolated roadways.

...border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros. ...mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, Reynosa, Matamoros and Monterrey. Firefights have also occurred in Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima.

 

Do you see warnings for cruise port cities, such as Cabo, Mazatlan, La Paz?

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I am booked for a winter cruise to Mexico. The US State Department has posted travel warnings for US citizens for every area the cruise ship is to visit. The warnings have to do w/ the drug war violent crime and for kidnapping of US citizens by Mexican gangs.The warnings have recently been expanded beyond the border towns into some of most popular tourist cities/states.

 

These warnings are getting more diffacult for me to ignore after hearing just yesterday that a grenade was used in a tourist area of PV during the day injuring 15 people w/ many losing limbs.

 

Does anyone have any insight to how dangerous (or not) Mexico is for Americans planning to travel there?

 

I read the article and I don't anything related to any of the major tourist towns? Where are you getting that?

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I think it's smart to read the advisories before planning and departing for a trip. It's better to be informed than surprised, unexpectedly after you've shelled-out your money.

 

Some of the port cities have been negatively impacted by drug cartel / drug war violence ... from time-to-time. I can't recall hearing of or reading reports of anything recently.

 

The incident in Puerto Vallarta - the grenade exploding - appears at this point to have been a prank that backfired on some guys who were drinking heavily and playing around in a bar where foreign tourists don't frequent ... from what I'm reading about the incident. The consequences were horrible - with 15-16 persons injured, 4 of whom had both legs amputated. As has already been said, it was late-nite when you or other cruise passengers wouldn't have been in that bar ... even if you'd stumbled upon it and entered for a drink.

 

I don't think the media has over-hyped the terrorist activities which are increasing in parts of Mexico, but I'll agree with an earlier comment that, generally, the ports of call have seen relatively little of this problem. The Mexican federal government has taken additional precautions to keep the pace in the ports because the revenue to the country is so very important.

 

Traveling to Mexico by cruise ship might just be the safest way to visit the country, at this point in time.

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I am booked for a winter cruise to Mexico. The US State Department has posted travel warnings for US citizens for every area the cruise ship is to visit. The warnings have to do w/ the drug war violent crime and for kidnapping of US citizens by Mexican gangs.The warnings have recently been expanded beyond the border towns into some of most popular tourist cities/states.

 

These warnings are getting more diffacult for me to ignore after hearing just yesterday that a grenade was used in a tourist area of PV during the day injuring 15 people w/ many losing limbs.

 

Does anyone have any insight to how dangerous (or not) Mexico is for Americans planning to travel there?

 

Where did you get your facts from regarding the grenade ??? It was at night, in a shady bar of questionable reputation to say the least and is not one known by tourist nor snowbirds or gringos for that matter. In fact till yesterday I had never heard of it and *I* travel down to PV 2-3 times a year, have for the last five years and have many friends who live there (which is how I heard of it's shady reputation). Yes it was a horrible thing but come on .... playing with a grenade??? That ranks high on my list of stupid things not to do.

 

I think it is good to have your wits about you anywhere in the world and I actually agree with Gomexico (don't fall over anyone)

 

>>>> The Mexican federal government has taken additional precautions to keep the pace in the ports because the revenue to the country is so very important.

 

Traveling to Mexico by cruise ship might just be the safest way to visit the country, at this point in time. <<<<<

 

Personally I think it is one of safest places to cruise to in the world :)

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Keep reading! The newer warnings are extending INTO the States where the most popular tourist cities reside-this is new.I have traveled internationally just about everywhere over 25 years in a prior life and have found the CIA/State department reports to be very accurate and helpful.

 

It's important in my opinion to read these reports as factual -explaining them away could be a mistake! Theses criminals are hardcore desperados the like of which we have never seen in the states;for example, this week 72 bodies found 50 miles south of the Texas border: men, women and children killed.They are killing Judges,police officers,US Marshals,and this week on the BBC news they showed these bad guys trying to kill news reporters while they were filming!

 

Going to Mexico for vacation whether be it a cruise or land based doesn't make good sense,at least to ME!

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Keep reading! The newer warnings are extending INTO the States where the most popular tourist cities reside-this is new.I have traveled internationally just about everywhere over 25 years in a prior life and have found the CIA/State department reports to be very accurate and helpful.

 

It's important in my opinion to read these reports as factual -explaining them away could be a mistake! Theses criminals are hardcore desperados the like of which we have never seen in the states;for example, this week 72 bodies found 50 miles south of the Texas border: men, women and children killed.They are killing Judges,police officers,US Marshals,and this week on the BBC news they showed these bad guys trying to kill news reporters while they were filming!

 

Going to Mexico for vacation whether be it a cruise or land based doesn't make good sense,at least to ME!

 

 

You are saying that the entire country of Mexio doesn't make sense? That statement doesn't make sense???:confused: We spend a month at least in Cabo every year and have no intention of stopping. In fact we plan on retiring there for 6 months out of the year. There is crime everywhere and the crime rate in Cabo at least is far less than most cities here at home. The grenade incident in PV was not aimed at tourists at all. It was stupid people doing stupid things. Do you think when a crazy person goes on a rampage here in the US and kills people, that people shouldn't visit the US anymore or even the city that it happened in. That would be crazy.

 

Do your homework when you travel- anywhere whether it be in the US or in a different country. That is always good advice. But boycotting an entire COUNTRY is not good advice, at least in my opinion.

 

By the way, have you read your local paper and added up how many people were killed in your area in the last week, month or year? It may surprise you.

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:D

Keep reading! The newer warnings are extending INTO the States where the most popular tourist cities reside-this is new.I have traveled internationally just about everywhere over 25 years in a prior life and have found the CIA/State department reports to be very accurate and helpful.

 

It's important in my opinion to read these reports as factual -explaining them away could be a mistake! Theses criminals are hardcore desperados the like of which we have never seen in the states;for example, this week 72 bodies found 50 miles south of the Texas border: men, women and children killed.They are killing Judges,police officers,US Marshals,and this week on the BBC news they showed these bad guys trying to kill news reporters while they were filming!

 

Going to Mexico for vacation whether be it a cruise or land based doesn't make good sense,at least to ME!

 

First I read your post and laughed......then I thought, "Oh good, one less person on a flight or cruise to Mexico which makes it easier when *I* want to book" :rolleyes:

 

Househunter just posted what I was going to post....:D

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Keep reading! The newer warnings are extending INTO the States where the most popular tourist cities reside-this is new.I have traveled internationally just about everywhere over 25 years in a prior life and have found the CIA/State department reports to be very accurate and helpful.

 

It's important in my opinion to read these reports as factual -explaining them away could be a mistake! Theses criminals are hardcore desperados the like of which we have never seen in the states;for example, this week 72 bodies found 50 miles south of the Texas border: men, women and children killed.They are killing Judges,police officers,US Marshals,and this week on the BBC news they showed these bad guys trying to kill news reporters while they were filming!

 

Going to Mexico for vacation whether be it a cruise or land based doesn't make good sense,at least to ME!

 

 

If you are so afraid then I suggest you stay home because nothing any of us say on this board is going to change your mind. Your other choice is to stay on the ship. I have a cruise booked to Cozumel and Progreso in Nov. and I fully intened to be on it and go on my planned excursions.

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Do your homework when you travel- anywhere whether it be in the US or in a different country. That is always good advice. But boycotting an entire COUNTRY is not good advice, at least in my opinion.

 

By the way, have you read your local paper and added up how many people were killed in your area in the last week, month or year? It may surprise you.

 

I would tend to disagree. There are many safety reasons that it would be good advice to boycott entire countries from travel. Just this past Friday, there were fourteen reported murders in Acapulco (how many of you see similar crime reports in your local papers for one day??):

 

Fourteen drug-related slayings were reported on Friday in different locations in the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, popular with U.S. tourists but also a key transit point for narcotics. Several of the bound and blindfolded victims were covered with messages threatening rival cartels.

(http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100827/ts_nm/us_mexico_drugs)

 

So the evidence is clear that the drug violence and murders are spilling into some tourist towns. Just because one of them doesn't have many incidents doesn't mean it won't in the future. The Mexican government is inept in controlling the violence. There is no expectation of safety or assumption that a once "safe area" will stay that way. Some who loved their past experiences in Mexico euphemize this epdemic to everyday normal crime, and I can understand their viewpoint.

 

As for me, no thanks to a Celebrity Panama Canal cruise with Mexico or Colombia. I won't take the risk and be a sitting duck.

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I would tend to disagree. There are many safety reasons that it would be good advice to boycott entire countries from travel. Just this past Friday, there were fourteen reported murders in Acapulco (how many of you see similar crime reports in your local papers for one day??):

 

Fourteen drug-related slayings were reported on Friday in different locations in the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, popular with U.S. tourists but also a key transit point for narcotics. Several of the bound and blindfolded victims were covered with messages threatening rival cartels.

(http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100827/ts_nm/us_mexico_drugs)

 

So the evidence is clear that the drug violence and murders are spilling into some tourist towns. Just because one of them doesn't have many incidents doesn't mean it won't in the future. The Mexican government is inept in controlling the violence. There is no expectation of safety or assumption that a once "safe area" will stay that way. Some who loved their past experiences in Mexico euphemize this epdemic to everyday normal crime, and I can understand their viewpoint.

 

As for me, no thanks to a Celebrity Panama Canal cruise with Mexico or Colombia. I won't take the risk and be a sitting duck.

 

 

I agree with Quincy, stay home and that will just be more margaritas for the rest of us! Since I am not involved in drugs in any way, I am really not too concerned.

 

Edited- I just checked the largest city nearest to my home. The Tacoma News Tribune has reported 11 drug related crimes in the last 2 weeks in Tacoma WA. Maybe everyone should start boycotting Tacoma or better yet Washington or even better the entire US!

 

By the way, I am going shopping at the Tacoma Mall tomorrow- true story. One of the shooting happened in their parking lot!

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The incident in Puerto vallarta seems to be just that. Some crazy guys not realising what they did.

But of course very person killed is one too much.

However to me it is strange that most people hardly talk about killings in the USA, but every killing in Mexico gets full attention.

Fact is most killings are drug-related and in the border areas.

 

Nobody gets guarantees for safety in any place in the world, but donot be overly afraid when travelling.

Yes we will stay in Puerto Vallarta for a few months again this winter, looking forward to it.

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Sounds like there are a number of posters on this board who own real estate in Mexico!

Sadly not yet but within the next ten years, till then I will escape there as much as I can :D

 

For me the scary part is when I have to fly out of Vancouver BC....way too many murders and drug related crime happening right there and not in a border town hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

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I agree with Quincy, stay home and that will just be more margaritas for the rest of us! Since I am not involved in drugs in any way, I am really not too concerned.

 

Edited- I just checked the largest city nearest to my home. The Tacoma News Tribune has reported 11 drug related crimes in the last 2 weeks in Tacoma WA. Maybe everyone should start boycotting Tacoma or better yet Washington or even better the entire US!

 

By the way, I am going shopping at the Tacoma Mall tomorrow- true story. One of the shooting happened in their parking lot!

 

I have lived in Mexico for the past 5 years and have yet to see any sign of violence, but then I dont use, sell or transport drugs. We drive thru Mexicali every 6 weeks or so, drive our RV thru Tjuana several times a year and spend 3 months per year on the coast between TJ and Ensenada. Just left our RV in the park there for 3-weeks and came back to RV with absolutely no problems, not even petty theft of the items we left out like chairs, BBQ, etc. The per capita murder rate in many US cities far exceeds that of any Mexico city your cruise ship might visit , just check out New Orleans. Would you rather visit a city that has 2,000 people selling or transporting drugs or a US city where there are 200,000 using drugs?

Doing the 12 night Dec 2 Mexico Riveria Cruise on HAL.

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Sounds like there are a number of posters on this board who own real estate in Mexico!

 

No, but there is a nice choice of rentals.

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Sounds like there are a number of posters on this board who own real estate in Mexico!

 

Not yet, but looking at condos in Cabo very soon!:)

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There is nothing wrong with anybody having a level of concern for their personal safety. We have two timeshares in the Vallarta area (and spend several weeks every year) so I may be a little biased on the subject of safety in the tourist/port destinations.

 

Here is the bottom line . . . Cruise ships DON'T stop in ports where their passengers will be at risk if they go ashore!!! All of us can offer our personal opinion about how safe or deadly it is to travel to a given country but when all is said and done ... don't get off the ship if you don't think it is safe to do so.

 

And, while you're at it, check the crime stats for the city where you got on the ship. You will wonder why you were crazy enough to fly into that death trap.

 

The local web site in Vallarta is ablaze with heated discussion about the "grenade incident" and it just an isolated incident when a bunch of drunkin Mexicans, in a bar frequented by Mexicans, thought it would be fun to play with a hand grenade in a crowded bar. :eek:

 

We will be in Vallarta for our annual vacation this November and we are counting the days. I will also echo the comments of the other Mexican vacation regulars ... I hope your fears keep you away from Vallarta. They jack up the prices when the ships are in port and the addition of two to six thousand tourists does detract from my vacation enjoyment when you "cruisers" are in town.

 

Travel, shop, eat ... drink ... and enjoy!!!

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Paul and Marilyn are always more politically correct than me, but they´re right. Cruise ships would not come to a port that´s dangerous for tourists. I was on the Carnival Destiny when we had major incidents in St Croix....we stopped going. The same with La Guiara in Venuzuela.

 

The most violence I see in Vallarta is during Spring Break. The Malecon is awash with teenagers partying. Hammered. I have seen 4 young kids kicking the crap out of a Mexican guy lying on the ground. The police trucks are full some nights. Every night, there is some violence on the Malecon. These problems are nothing to do with drugs, but they are not reported on the news north of the border.

 

Bottom line.....if you want to buy or sell drugs, you are going to have problems.....if you just want to come for a nice, relaxing, or adventurous vacation, you will have a great time.

 

Mexico is a great country with super nice people. Of course, there is a small percentage who are not so nice, but isn´t that the way it is everywhere? In other countries, every town or city you care to mention?

 

Either stay at home and lock your doors or come on down and have a great vacation.

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I agree with Quincy, stay home and that will just be more margaritas for the rest of us! Since I am not involved in drugs in any way, I am really not too concerned.

 

Edited- I just checked the largest city nearest to my home. The Tacoma News Tribune has reported 11 drug related crimes in the last 2 weeks in Tacoma WA. Maybe everyone should start boycotting Tacoma or better yet Washington or even better the entire US!

 

By the way, I am going shopping at the Tacoma Mall tomorrow- true story. One of the shooting happened in their parking lot!

 

Again, in Mexico, its not average US-variety crime, it is all over the news that tens of thousands have died and they are fighting a war with miltary (where some officials bribed to play on both sides!). Maybe less so in tourist areas, but there's always the chance for spillover. I personally won't take the chance and don't have faith in Mexican law enforcement if I encountered a problem. I will re-evaluate when I see reports of improvement. The others who feel comfortable, go and have a great time; my absence will make things less crowded for you. I can't criticize your choice just as much as no criticism will affect my choice.

 

Of course cruise lines will always come to Mexico, its always about money. People are to afraid to lose tourism revenue and property values so they sweep the problem under the rug. But I think it would be better for the country of Mexico long term if they could weed out police corruption and find a different approach to the problem. Then I think that those who love Mexico would have an even higher quality experience than they are accustomed to. Countries aren't just there to serve tourists, the quality of life of the citizenry is just as important (not to mention their right to life!).

 

Enjoy one of those authentic Margaritas for me!

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Well said Greg!

 

For Mexico to have the level and extent of the warnings put out by the United States State Department tells me that there is a serious travel risk- this is a fact. There are no warnings about any place in the United States or Canada where men, women, and children are being murdered in mass, judges murdered,police officer's murdered and their heads delivered to their families door steps,and the murder of our brave US Marshals.This is not good.

 

The people who winter in Mexico will have a uncrowded beaches and will probably benefit from the decreased number of tourists.

 

I do wish all you the best and sincerely hope you have a safe winter vacation!

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I don't think anyone, including myself is denying that there are some pretty awful things happening in many parts of Mexico. I'm just saying that it is not happening everywhere and it is not happening in any tourist areas. I have read the State Dept warnings and so far Cabo is not mentioned at all. I will not be changing my plans in Cabo until there is a problem in Cabo. Right now, it is safer there than in most US cities. There was one recent report of a tourist being stabbed but he was in the wrong part of town doing the wrong things. Not that that is an excuse but as I mentioned above there have been lots of drug related stabbings and shootings in my area and it doesn't change the way I do anything at home.

 

If you are trafficing drugs, expect to have problems. Since I am not, I am not worried. If there are suddenly reports that tourists or US citiizens are suddenly being targeted that would be different. But right now almost every single one of the problems are drug related and not in the tourist areas. I won't be visiting the border towns anytime soon and I won't be walking around in downtown New Orleans or east LA either.

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I read the article and I don't anything related to any of the major tourist towns? Where are you getting that?

 

How about, "Twenty people were wounded, including two whose legs had to be amputated, in an explosion early Thursday morning in a bar in the Mexican Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta..."? (8/27/10)

 

Or, "In April, a shootout on the main tourist strip in Acapulco left six people dead, including a mother and her 8-year-old daughter. In June 2009, a firefight between cartel gunmen and the military left 16 people dead." (8/5/10)

 

Or, "Acapulco is located in Guerrero state which is right in the middle of a major drug trafficking artery. Drug Cartel’s use the route to push cocaine from South America up to the United States. Once a chosen destination for many, Acapulco and other resort towns in Mexico have been sullied by continued drug cartel violence; headless bodies and stray bullets are not what people sign up for when they decide to travel to our southern neighbor." (5/8/10)

 

This is almost unprecedented in Mexican tourist towns, but now it is there and apparently spreading. Frankly, IMHO, the cruise lines need to consider their visits to Mexican ports. I can recall how they hectored Cozumel and the Mayan Riviera after a devastating hurricane, threatening not to return if they didn't quickly restore themselves as destinations. Perhaps it's time to do the same regarding violence. I see a few macho guys are posting here. I've lived along the border, regularly crossing and visiting when such current murder-holes as Juarez and Nogales were merely considered "rough." Spent a fair amount of time roaming Sonora, too. Wouldn't these days. The yahoos in Tacoma aren't spraying AKs on the streets, nor dropping frag grenades "accidentally" in bars. American and Canadian bad guys don't hold a candle to the Mexicans, who'll lop heads and skin faces. I'll be in Acapulco soon, and for the first time ever, I may stay on the ship at a port.

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