Jump to content

Eclipse Tour Group Robbed in St. Lucia?


PinotBlanc

Recommended Posts

What is the real story on the tour or tours being robbed in St. Lucia?

The grapevine aboard Eclipse was full of information. It was hard to tell what to believe and no information was forthcoming from the Captain aboard the ship.

 

Was a Celebrity sponsored tour bus boarded by masked men with guns?

Ditto, were passengers robbed at the Botanical Garden because people were waving pipes and machetes?

 

Whether or not we have secured our camera, money, cellphones, jewellry, or passports is not my question. The incident was scary for those approached on the tours and as an Eclipse passenger on that ship, I wanted information and non was officially presented over PA, by paper bulletin, or Guest Services newspapers.

 

Is there a straight story from anyone robbed or on the tour(s). Is there a reason why the robbery was not officially addressed aboard ship?

 

Penny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Hope you had a great cruise otherwise.

 

It sounds like your major concern, related to onboard handling, is one you should be directing to Celebrity Headquarters either in writing or direct conversation.

 

As far as the "straight story"...at this point you'll probably get the most information from news articles. I can think of many reasons you might not see much on here. First, last time I checked, not all the suspects had been apprehended. Second, the involved passengers are witnesses, and might be called as such when the case is adjudicated. Thirdly, even in this day and age of social media/immediacy and such, victims of a crime might not want to share their story and related trauma on a public cruise discussion forum. Lastly, I think the ship just returned, and as such most folks are still making their way home, and I doubt that even those who might want to share part of their story are probably not immediately concerned with jumping onto Cruise Critic to post their observations

 

Hope you have your questions related to the onboard handling answered to your satisfaction.

 

Woody

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...It was hard to tell what to believe and no information was forthcoming from the Captain aboard the ship

 

.... Is there a reason why the robbery was not officially addressed aboard ship?...

 

I can certainly understand your curiosity, but I don't see any reason why the Captain, nor anyone else on the ship, should be expected to address the issue. They aren't news reporters and while it might be an interesting story I don't see why a discussion of the events would be of use to the other passengers other than their thirst for news and interesting stories.

 

Anyone else agree or disagree with this?

 

 

In cased you missed the prior postings here on Cruise Critic, here links to a couple prior threads about it:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=38013256#post38013256

See post #7 in the above thread for some interesting links

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1309574

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the real story on the tour or tours being robbed in St. Lucia?

The grapevine aboard Eclipse was full of information. It was hard to tell what to believe and no information was forthcoming from the Captain aboard the ship.

 

Was a Celebrity sponsored tour bus boarded by masked men with guns?

Ditto, were passengers robbed at the Botanical Garden because people were waving pipes and machetes?

 

Whether or not we have secured our camera, money, cellphones, jewellry, or passports is not my question. The incident was scary for those approached on the tours and as an Eclipse passenger on that ship, I wanted information and non was officially presented over PA, by paper bulletin, or Guest Services newspapers.

 

Is there a straight story from anyone robbed or on the tour(s). Is there a reason why the robbery was not officially addressed aboard ship?

 

Penny

 

How would that information helped you on the ship other than conversation?

 

Celebrity didn't (perhaps still doesn't) know all the facts...and there is every reason in the world for them not to give out information which could be wrong, etc. This is a police matter....and I am sure the people involved have been involved, to the extent they can help...but again, it's up to them if they want to talk about it or let the police handle the investigation.

 

Celebrity's involvement in this is limited by their contract which essentially says, they are not responsible....any responsiblity, claims, etc are between the passenger and the shore agent. Read the fine print....but if you think about it, how can Celebrity be responsible for an act of violence against a tour group?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the robbery - no, masked men did not board the bus and rob everyone on board. The tour was at the Diamond Botanical Gardens and Falls, in smaller groups around the gardens and one of the smaller groups (about 13-15 guests) were robbed by 3 masked men, waving a homemade shotgun and pistol - no machetes or pipes involved (although the homemade shotgun was made from a piece of pipe apparently). The lady tour guide for that group is the one who fell and busted her knee, she will need surgery to put it back together.

The 3 men were caught over the weekend; one on Saturday after bragging to friends and the police getting wind of it - he confessed and led the police to the other 2. All 3 have confessed and are facing charges. Some cash had been recovered, no word on any personal items. There are several news stories in the Looshan press covering it: HTS St. Lucia and DBS Television.

 

As for whether the captain should have addressed it, etc - I can't imagine why really. He doesn't address those issues when they have to put someone off the ship for whatever reason and so on, no reason really he should address this as it didn't happen on his ship, etc. Except to provide fodder to the gossips, the Captain has no reason to give any information, especially as information was scarce and not confirmed. As noted by other posters, this is a police investigation, and any statements made would become part of the official record.

Hope that helps clear things up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can certainly understand your curiosity, but I don't see any reason why the Captain, nor anyone else on the ship, should be expected to address the issue. They aren't news reporters and while it might be an interesting story I don't see why a discussion of the events would be of use to the other passengers other than their thirst for news and interesting stories.

 

Anyone else agree or disagree with this?

 

 

In cased you missed the prior postings here on Cruise Critic, here links to a couple prior threads about it:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=38013256#post38013256

See post #7 in the above thread for some interesting links

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1309574

 

Larry, I disagree with you.

 

Thank you for asking about curiosity, in my personal case, my 7 year old grandson watches the news but also worried that we would encounter pirates while aboard a Caribbean Cruise.

 

My sister does stayvacations for fear something will happen during travel. She often warns me to please stay at home for fear that something bad will happen.

 

We travel, we travel, and will continue to travel. Yes, dangers can happen anywhere. When the St. Lucia news was passed around the Eclipse, I went Guest Services where I got no information. Then to the internet for what small bit of correct information I could find.

 

Then, I emailed my grandson and my sister that though there had been a robbery of cruise passengers in St. Lucia, we were safe and having a very good time.

 

 

Penny, the OP, I brought up the threads given in LSimons post above, and also found information a few minutes ago on the St. Lucia message board where I posted:

 

"Thank you for posting on this matter. We took a Celebrity Eclipse tour to the Pitons the same day and heard about the robbery upon return to ship.

The news travelled quickly with various versions of the unfortunate event.

 

Anyone questioning why a passenger touring in St.Lucia on a Celebrity tour would want reliable information about negative reports that may frighten family at home, or understand that others may plan a trip to St. Lucia, are a bit confused. Maybe, glued to pursuits other than news that puts people on edge.

 

We had a wonderful cruise inspite of the lack of factful information aboard ship.

 

 

-Marisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Celebrity didn't (perhaps still doesn't) know all the facts...and there is every reason in the world for them not to give out information which could be wrong, etc. This is a police matter....and I am sure the people involved have been involved, to the extent they can help...but again, it's up to them if they want to talk about it or let the police handle the investigation....

 

This is a good point. I imagine the Captain would want info needed for the cruise line's purposes and to satisfy their own curiosity, but might not have the resources to investigate enough to do a proper "news" reporting to the passengers.

 

Larry, I disagree with you...

 

That's fine, and to be honest I have mixed feelings on the response I gave above as I would certainly want to know the information. That's why I was wondering what others thought about the need, or right, to know the story while on board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something happened on a particular excursion. Irrespective of what happened....were they threatened with a knife, a sharpened spear or anything else, it happened on that excursion. Is there any type of "news" that you might have received on the ship that would have changed your plans or your enjoyment of the trip, other than worrying about fellow passengers...but news wouldn't have helped that. Would you have cancelled a future tour?

 

I think the answer to the above is that if you were told something about what happened, nothing would have changed except perhaps some conversations on board. There was not even a rumor that someone was out gunning for celebrity passengers...this was a one off, unfortunate experience.

 

As far as folks at home...with no information at all, you could safely tell them that this was one excursion, you weren't on it and that the same thing could happen to anyone just walking in Miami. If they are going to worry about you, news isn't going to help.

 

I do hope that celebrity helped the passengers involved contact authorities, file claims with the port agent, perhaps give them free internet time/phone time to contact their insurance agents and family, and provide counseling (PTSD) of some sort.....but that's between celebrity and those passengers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a good point. I imagine the Captain would want info needed for the cruise line's purposes and to satisfy their own curiosity, but might not have the resources to investigate enough to do a proper "news" reporting to the passengers.

 

 

 

That's fine, and to be honest I have mixed feelings on the response I gave above as I would certainly want to know the information. That's why I was wondering what others thought about the need, or right, to know the story while on board.

 

 

I did a google search and looked through 11 pages of websites covering the topic. Amazing is the variety of versions to the same story.

Was it 3 or 5 thieves? Was it 17 or 55 passengers? Was it on the bus, in line for the botanical gardens, or inside the gardens?

 

Of course, there is no count on variations to "news".

 

I appeciate the opinions expressed here, and understand the need to keep witness testimony private. At least St. Lucia has good reason to find the criminals as tourism is a major revenue.

 

Amen.

 

Penny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were also on this cruise. In fact we are in the airport in Denver waiting for our flight to Seattle. There were all kinds of "talk"going around the ship after this, I even heard it was Aruba, not St. Lucia! :eek: I totally agree that the captain should not be making any announcement about this, let the police take care of it. BTW, we also had at least 5 passengers taken off on stretchers at various ports (wewere port side) one port lady in Ft. Lauderdale before Eclipse even left, the captain did not makeany comment on those either. Those are also personal matters. Ijust hope everyone is OK.

We had a wonderful cruise and met some great people! The Martini bar is my new home!

Melody

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most dangerous part of our cruise will be parking in Miami. :D

 

Unfortunately crime tends to loom larger in our minds than its occurrence should elicit. The fact is that the percentage of cruisers robbed or harmed in St. Lucia and/or all Caribbean ports is infinitesimally small. Your money is much more at risk in the casino.

 

A cop recently posted some personal security tips on another thread which amounted to being reasonably alert to your surroundings & taking adequate care that you don't leave yourself open to snatches of unattended or loosely held items and pickpockets. All if that is great advice; none of it would have mattered if 3 armed bandits accosted you in the botanical gardens.

 

I disagree with those suggesting the captain shouldn't have said anything. Accurate, even limited, acknowledgement of known facts is the best antidote to rumor. Noting an incident as isolated and well aft of the ship is good public relations. Some of that may be shaped by legal considerations, but saying what you can seems better to me than silence. That said, it wouldn't have bothered me either way.

 

I'd be much more concerned with tending to those who actually suffered the stress and loss of the robbery. Supporting them is Job #1 - for the cruise line but also for us human beings to the extent we have such opportunity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on that cruise and talked to a woman who was robbed. She said that there were 11 passengers and 4 masked gunman, one who put a gun to the tour guide's neck. She said that the tour guide told everyone to huddle in a circle and let the gunman take what they wanted, which was cash only. According to the passenger I talked to, 3 of the 4 gunman were caught as of Friday morning. She also told me that Celebrity was very helpful to everyone involved in this situation. She did not go into details about exactly what Celebrity was doing (and I did not ask) other than to say that she felt they were handling it very well. This woman was visibly shaken but did not let the incident ruin the remainder of her cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on that cruise and talked to a woman who was robbed. She said that there were 11 passengers and 4 masked gunman, one who put a gun to the tour guide's neck. She said that the tour guide told everyone to huddle in a circle and let the gunman take what they wanted, which was cash only. According to the passenger I talked to, 3 of the 4 gunman were caught as of Friday morning. She also told me that Celebrity was very helpful to everyone involved in this situation. She did not go into details about exactly what Celebrity was doing (and I did not ask) other than to say that she felt they were handling it very well. This woman was visibly shaken but did not let the incident ruin the remainder of her cruise.

 

Very well positioned note. I would expect Celebrity to make the needs of the passengers affected first priority. I did not need to know the details while I was on my cruise. And, yes, I was on this cruise.

 

Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A cop recently posted some personal security tips on another thread which amounted to being reasonably alert to your surroundings & taking adequate care that you don't leave yourself open to snatches of unattended or loosely held items and pickpockets. All if that is great advice; none of it would have mattered if 3 armed bandits accosted you in the botanical gardens.

 

I disagree with those suggesting the captain shouldn't have said anything. Accurate, even limited, acknowledgement of known facts is the best antidote to rumor.

With respect to the security tips thread, there were in fact a number of points made that would have been directly relevant to the St. Lucia robbery. Your very abbreviated summary doesn't do justice to a thread that would benefit many readers.

 

As for whether or not the captain should have said anything, I agree totally with your comments. Anxiety feeds on rumours, and silence on the part of the captain undoubtedly contributed further to the anxiety.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too was on that Eclipse cruise and luckily, was not with the group that was robbed. We did an independent tour and had a very enjoyable day. You can't imagine my surprise when I heard about it the next day... there was definitely talk about the robbery throughout the ship. I felt very lucky that I wasn't among those that were robbed.

 

I don't think it would have made the least bit of difference to my holiday if Celebrity had released information to those of us onboard about the robbery. I'm not sure what that would have accomplished. It may have actually panicked some people unnecessarily. By the time Celebrity would have been in a position to distribute information to passengers about the robbery, we would have been long gone from St. Lucia anyway. I think the only action that Celebrity needs to take is to assess the situation in St. Lucia and determine whether it's safe to continue offering tours there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for whether or not the captain should have said anything, I agree totally with your comments. Anxiety feeds on rumours, and silence on the part of the captain undoubtedly contributed further to the anxiety.

 

 

What was there to be anxious about? Was someone worried that the gang in St Lucia was going to fly over the ship and drop something, poison the food....this was a robbery of some passengers on a specific shore excursion. Did anyone on the ship think this was part of an organized plan to attack Celebrity Excursions at all ports.

 

I believe people are still pretty rationale. I do understand the intense interest in knowing what happened....but it wouldn't have changed a thing other than some conversation.

 

I am very glad to hear that celebrity stood up to the plate and provided assistance to those involved...That's great news.

 

I'm sure you were interested....I'm sure you would have liked to see a live replay on CNN on the room TV...but that doesn't happen in real life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With respect to the security tips thread, there were in fact a number of points made that would have been directly relevant to the St. Lucia robbery. Your very abbreviated summary doesn't do justice to a thread that would benefit many readers.

 

As for whether or not the captain should have said anything, I agree totally with your comments. Anxiety feeds on rumours, and silence on the part of the captain undoubtedly contributed further to the anxiety.

 

 

Point taken - it was a very brief summary and I didn't mean to sound dismissive. He did say some important things about not carrying valuables - which would include large amounts of cash as well as not foolishly hanging onto things at the risk of your personal safety. Let the stuff go if you're robbed. There is indeed a lot more. But some of it - being in a group, aware of surroundings, etc. didn't apply in this case as a formal group in a public place was simply ambushed by armed robbers, IHMO.

 

Here's a link to that thread so people can get the thorough detail.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1828678

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the captain should have said a simple " you may have heard xx of our guests were involved in an incident on St Lucia. Whilst you will understand this is now in the hands of the authorities so I cannot go into detail, but I am pleased to report all are physically unharmed and are still with us on board where we all as the Celebrity family will do all we can to make the rest of their cruise as enjoyable as we can. You will appreciate I and none of my officers can answer any more questions on this, but rest assured, this was an isolated incident and at every port, your safety is our main concern"

 

I was on an Azamara cruise last October when a passenger died in sudden and at the outset possibly mysterious circumstances. The way Captain Jason made the announcements was brilliant, he said enough for guests to understand the situation whilst being so respectful. He said the situation I am in is one which will delay our departure, it is not something I wish to discuss over the PA but if I am around and any guest wishes to ask me, I will update them

 

The upshot was, within about two hours most knew the real reason and that he was also delaying departure until the family back home had had time to make a decision as to whether the body was taken off in Israel (I understand they were Jewish) or not. Never once was the reason for they delay discussed on the PA, his final announcement was that he had resolution, we would be able to depart in the next two hours but in the meantime, could he ask people to stay away from the port side viewing areas. Everyone knew what that meant in terms of the decision.

 

What we had in that situation was rumours for about 20 mins, excellent words chosen by the Captain and actions by him and his team such that everyone knew enough but not too much and rumours stopped as quick as they started

 

A few words and the right actions go a long way in these situations

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With respect to the security tips thread, there were in fact a number of points made that would have been directly relevant to the St. Lucia robbery. Your very abbreviated summary doesn't do justice to a thread that would benefit many readers.

 

As for whether or not the captain should have said anything, I agree totally with your comments. Anxiety feeds on rumours, and silence on the part of the captain undoubtedly contributed further to the anxiety.

 

I think he "did the thread justice".... He made people aware of the thread and "SUMMARIZED".

 

Everyone should read that thread as it has a lot of good information in it......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the captain should have said a simple " you may have heard xx of our guests were involved in an incident on St Lucia. Whilst you will understand this is now in the hands of the authorities so I cannot go into detail, but I am pleased to report all are physically unharmed and are still with us on board where we all as the Celebrity family will do all we can to make the rest of their cruise as enjoyable as we can. You will appreciate I and none of my officers can answer any more questions on this, but rest assured, this was an isolated incident and at every port, your safety is our main concern"

 

I was on an Azamara cruise last October when a passenger died in sudden and at the outset possibly mysterious circumstances. The way Captain Jason made the announcements was brilliant, he said enough for guests to understand the situation whilst being so respectful. He said the situation I am in is one which will delay our departure, it is not something I wish to discuss over the PA but if I am around and any guest wishes to ask me, I will update them

 

The upshot was, within about two hours most knew the real reason and that he was also delaying departure until the family back home had had time to make a decision as to whether the body was taken off in Israel (I understand they were Jewish) or not. Never once was the reason for they delay discussed on the PA, his final announcement was that he had resolution, we would be able to depart in the next two hours but in the meantime, could he ask people to stay away from the port side viewing areas. Everyone knew what that meant in terms of the decision.

 

What we had in that situation was rumours for about 20 mins, excellent words chosen by the Captain and actions by him and his team such that everyone knew enough but not too much and rumours stopped as quick as they started

 

A few words and the right actions go a long way in these situations

 

 

Thank you for posting, this approach could have saved me time and money using the Eclipse internet service to find a press release to notify my family at home that we were not involved (as in any unfortunate news, ie. a tornado in our area.

 

-Marisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I was sorry to hear of the robbery incident on St. Lucia, which I think is one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands. Not to minimize the incident, but unfortunately, crime is a fact of life there and elsewhere. As far as dropping St. Lucia for another destination - where?

Outside of some boring beach day on a private island there is no Utopia. The robbery rate on Antigua is more than 4 times that in St. Lucia. The robbery rate in St. Thomas is much higher than St. Lucia's, and, by the way, the St. Thomas homicide rate is 3 times higher than Detroit's. Don't think the cruise lines will be leaving St. Thomas anytime soon. Bottom line, don't travel scared, just be smart. Be aware of your surroundings and don't wander off alone into unfamiliar areas. You can't completely avoid crime anywhere. All you can do is reduce the chance of becoming a victim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over recent time we have observed more & more incidents of robberies to cruise passengers both in Caribbean islands & Mexican Riviera ports .There has definitely been a increase in these violations :oWe believe that both poverty & drugs in these locations have contributed to a rise in these incidents to cruise passengers .:(:mad:

 

With the above in mind we are very careful in where we cruise & what precautions we must take to safe guard our person & possessions ;).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is of major importance to know exactly exactly happened. When you know something you can understand it and maybe avoid becoming a victim. For example, if you are in a tour and see 3-4 men checking out your group you can make eye contact with them to let them know you are aware of your surrounds. As a group you can quickly move towards a more public area such as entering a business, restaurant etc... If in this port i will not take any credit cards and only a small amount of money. I will even leave my gold wedding band in the cabin safe. You learn by knowledge so it's not just idol curiosity about what happened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...