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NCL Pearl Crew member killed in Roatan?

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This is a terrible situation and my condolences to the family of the victim.

 

It is not the rosy place the island residents portray. The homicide rate on the island has doubled from 2012 to 2013. Citizen groups report a rapid increase in crime , there have been several high profile incidents cases, etc:

http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2022806533_roatanhondurascrimexml.html

 

I took a Roatan excursion last February and overall I felt safe. However, the tour operator gave us the opportunity to do some local shopping on a main street somewhere outside of the terminal. I was uncomfortable walking more than a block in either direction on the main street. Perhaps the armed guards carrying assault rifles had something to do with it (they were guarding a bank, not us).

Edited by kylenyc

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...just stating a fact my friend...are you saying I shouldn't have flown into New York or Houston last week because someone was killed in those cities? Yes, NCL has to respond and I respect that...and feel VERY sad for the victim and his family, but only two incidents on an impoverished island over the years deserves SOME sympathy for an island of very kind and giving people, who have their share of troubled youth, just like wherever you are from....try not to be so quick to condemn a whole island because of one act of tragedy. If we lived by your logic...you would not be living anywhere in the world, because something bad happened there before you came...

 

Actually if you follow travelling some airlines refuse or suspend flights to certain airports in countries due to unrest or civil strife or poor airport security. What NCL is doing is similar. If NCL continued calling on the port and within a month a passenger be killed or injured that close to the port in the middle of the day the company could be held liable for it since they knew that the port could be dangerous.

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It's not the cruise line's responsiblity to solve a country's economic and social problems.... If the country can not provide a safe place for tourists to visit, they simply lose tourism business...

 

Sure, bad things happen everywhere, and the people of the island shouldn't be made to suffer because of the act of one individual.

 

But where you lost me in your earlier post was when you 1) basically blamed the cruise lines for pulling out of the port the past two summers and in effect causing the impoverished state of the area which makes people steal, and 2) saying that cruise lines should make donations to the government to make it a stable and safe place to visit.

 

Sorry, but no. Your island is providing a product. A safe and beautiful place to visit and explore while on a cruise vacation. If the product is not what it purports to be (a safe and beautiful place to visit and explore), then the cruise lines absolutely have a duty to keep their passengers safe and skip the port. Cruise lines are not charities. It is not their responsibility to provide economic and social stability to all the countries in the region.

 

I agree with both of you.. and I applaud NCL for taking action.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with the crew member's family.

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I think the majority of the people who frequent this board know how to comport themselves in a third world country ....especially this south Bronx native who rode the subway to and from work for years! I just don't believe that this poor fellow did anything to 'invite' what happened to him and so the do's and don'ts of travel don't really matter much. JMHO. Cheers.

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NCL

Just posted on their Facebook page

 

Norwegian Cruise Line is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of a crew member from Norwegian Pearl in Roatan, Honduras on Sunday, April 6, 2014.

Police reports indicate the crew member was killed during an attempted robbery while in Roatan. Local officials are investigating and have the alleged suspect in custody.

In an abundance of caution for our guests and crew, we have cancelled calls to Roatan this week for Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Jewel.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the crew member.

 

 

police have named the
suspect
as “
Barrabas

 

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My concern:

Yes, crime is bad and getting worse on Roatan.

Yes, Mr. Sheehan is right for temporarily suspending calls to Roatan until security concerns can be addressed to NCL's satisfaction.

 

However, even with the increase in crime, it's not nearly as bad as it is on the mainland. Yet NCL has committed to visiting Banana Coast (Trujillo) this fall, which is on the Honduran mainland.

 

Yes, Trujillo is at the end of Honduras furthest from the main urban centers, so that will offer some insulation from the bulk of the violent crime in Honduras; but Roatan was insulated as well. (The word "insulation" comes from the Latin word for "island"!)

 

So:

(1) On the one hand, along with the rest of you, I am hoping that NCL is actively addressing Roatan's port authorities, the Honduran govt, private security firms, and whoever else might have a stake in whether or not NCL and other lines continue calling Roatan. However,

(2) The same issues are bound to persist in Trujillo / Banana Coast, possibly with slightly greater potential due to the location being on the mainland. Sheehan & Co. better be re-confirming that appropriate measures are being taken at the new port as well. Also, it might even be prudent to ask for security measures additional to what has already been planned. Otherwise history may repeat itself.

 

This concerns me specifically because I'll be on the Jewel's 11/1 sailing visiting Banana Coast, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing the new port with my family.

Edited by The Mister

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I think the majority of the people who frequent this board know how to comport themselves in a third world country ....especially this south Bronx native who rode the subway to and from work for years! I just don't believe that this poor fellow did anything to 'invite' what happened to him and so the do's and don'ts of travel don't really matter much. JMHO. Cheers.

 

 

I understand and you are welcome to your opinion. :)

 

Mine is that using any kind of electronic in public, on the street no less, will get a person noticed.

 

Most if not all of the crime on the island is that of opportunity... if the bad guys see a thing they want.. they will attempt to take it not matter where it is. I don't leave anything out in the open in my hotel room either. There are reports of break in for phones, computers and cash.

 

I tell people all the time, don't take anything you are not willing to loose.

 

Indeed my do's and don't for travel do apply. :)

 

Cheers!

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I wholeheartedly agree with the poster who mentioned about pulling out of Roatan in favor of Banana Coast. Banana Coast is a worse idea than continuing to call at Roatan. The mainland will be an impossible place to find a culprit if any crimes are committed whereas on an island there are only so many places you can hide.

 

I also think the police force in Roatan needs to be stepped up - especially in areas frequented by tourists. My last visit to Roatan in October of last year I took a private tour to the other side of the island and a resort beach area there. Locals were trying to peddle their goods on the beach which is common in many places but these folks were downright aggressive. When the cops tried to push them back, they became quickly surrounded and backed down. What kind of law is that?

 

I love the island of Roatan and have been several times. I've noticed it's deterioration. Who is at fault for it is a discussion for another politically charged forum but all I want to drive home is Banana Coast is far worse than Roatan island.

 

My thoughts are with Jacob's family and the crew of the Norwegian Pearl.

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I'm also a bit perplexed by the silence from major cruise industry news outlets on this matter. Where is Cruise Critic's coverage of this? Usually this and another website are more up on things then others. :cool:

Edited by CruisinMaterial

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I love the island of Roatan and have been several times. I've noticed it's deterioration. Who is at fault for it is a discussion for another politically charged forum but all I want to drive home is Banana Coast is far worse than Roatan island.

Question: Is Trujillo / BC *actually* worse (i.e., do we know the crime stats)? Or is it simply a worse *idea* (which I could agree with)? I ask because, if crime rates in Trujillo are actually currently on par with the major metro areas of San Pedro, El Progreso and Tegucigalpa (I had guessed they were somewhat less), then I may have to re-think what my family and I (including DS9 and DD4) will do there, if anything.

Edited by The Mister

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I couldn't agree with you more, Blackwing! Well said.

I personally don't care to visit Roatan again. I booked an excursion through NCL last year and still didn't feel safe. Yes, this can happen anywhere we go. Even in our own countries, states, cities. This is just reassurance that the saying "What's beautiful on the outside is not always beautiful on the inside" is true. Beautiful island, but I'll pass in the future. My condolences for the family, friends, and fellow crew members of Jacob. My prayers go out to them.

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Okay, I concede your point. You will go 'down with the ship' saying, in effect, he brought this on himself for not following 'your basic safety rules'. Had he not had a phone and tried to use it, he would be alive today.

 

No matter that this is the time he can contact home because I doubt he can use wi-fi on board. He attracted the attention of the 'bad guys' and this is what happens.

 

What a wonderful world we live in. Cheers...and enough is enough, okay?

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I was just there last week and noticed I didn't see any police cars, only the guards with assault rifles here and there. The response from my private tour guide is that the police are very corrupt and aren't really around to help with crime, only to shake the local people down for money. We took a long tour of the island and it was very sad to see the living conditions of those people. You really just wished you had money to give to everyone

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Just to add a bit of perspective from a resident of Roatan...

First, the American government is chasing the drug cartels out of Mexico and that is why they are coming into Honduras and creating gang wars for control. This is an international problem that is not being handled well.

Second, Roatan IS a really safe place to live and visit. Like any place that permits gun ownership, incidents are bound to occur occasionally, and they are mostly drug related.

Third, pulling cruise ships from the Coxen Hole dock completely for six months of the past two summers has largely caused the dire economy which causes impoverished people to steal for survival.

Fourth, if the cruise lines who make huge sums of money from the attractive beauty of Roatan would contribute some of that wealth to effect the economic stability of the actual island and not their own cruise port shops, their would be less occasion for petty theft. It is important to see both sides of an issue and I don't feel Norwegian has been involved enough (or at all) in helping remedy the problems endemic to all the Central American countries it feeds itself from. Only by working together rather than threatening can we all prosper together...let's find a better way to ensure the safety not only of the cruise ship passengers, but the impoverished of the places they visit too.

 

 

Utter nonsense !!!! You can't post enough rhetoric to convince me that a person must kill another person and steal an electronic device because he is hungry. NOBODY is forced to kill and steal especially in a place where you can find food almost anywhere you look.

 

If that attitude prevails in Roatan, it goes a long way toward explaining why the crime rates are so high. If you give them sympathy, they will continue to do the things that are detrimental to establishing a viable society.

 

Money won't fix this kind of problem !!!!!

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For those of you who demand the cruise lines stop visiting Roatan, consider they should also stop visiting Tampa, Miami, Galveston, Long Beach, New York, Seattle, Hawaii as well due to crime.

Now hopefully you get the idea.

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For those of you who demand the cruise lines stop visiting Roatan, consider they should also stop visiting Tampa, Miami, Galveston, Long Beach, New York, Seattle, Hawaii as well due to crime.

Now hopefully you get the idea.

 

And don't forget the State Department warning are more severe for Mexico and Belize. So NCL and the other lines should also drop all of the Western Caribbean?

So far no other cruise line has canceled Roatan for this week.

This is a sad event for this individual and his family! But look around and see how many other reports there have been in the last 10 years involving cruise ship passengers or crew in Roatan.

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More and more cruiselines are creating private cruise centers hoping to keep passangers safely in and locals out. I know Royal has Labadee in Haiti and Carnival has a few including Grand Turk. Does NCL have any cruise centers in the works ?

 

NCL has Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas

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For those of you who demand the cruise lines stop visiting Roatan, consider they should also stop visiting Tampa, Miami, Galveston, Long Beach, New York, Seattle, Hawaii as well due to crime.

 

Now hopefully you get the idea.

 

 

Ridiculous. I don't feel unsafe in any of those locations. I live in Chicago, and drive through the scariest areas everyday on my way home from work. I do not scare easily. Roataan, we got off the ship, got to the fence and said "no freakin way" and got back on the ship.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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For those of you who demand the cruise lines stop visiting Roatan, consider they should also stop visiting Tampa, Miami, Galveston, Long Beach, New York, Seattle, Hawaii as well due to crime.

Now hopefully you get the idea.

I totally agree, there is actually far more crime and murders close to all of these cruise ports in the US, it is a sad statistic. Might as well add St Thomas in the mix and San Juan. And while this hit home and close to Norwegian Cruise Line and I feel very bad for the crew of the Pearl for losing a fellow crew member and the crew members family, don't think for a minute this is totally on the good hearted nature of the cruise line and thinking of only the safety of their crew and passengers while I am sure this is a small part of what they are doing this for remember.... EVERYTHING a cruise line does is all about the MONEY!! While I do not know statistics but it is a fact that the cruise line such as NCL makes far more with on board spending while at sea. Then the major reason a cruise line goes to a port is to make money selling shore excursions. When the private excursions start to OUT SELL the cruise line it is time for that cruise line to move on, which is why Trijillo/Banana Coast is being developed, for the past year Roatan has not been the least bit profitable to NCL. It will take a few years then everyone will be telling everyone of this great private excursions to take in Trijillo. Just like what has happened in Roatan. Don't think for a minute this was solely about the grievance.

Much the same happened with Mazatlan Mexico on the West Coast. I know several inside sources at cruise lines and they were getting to a point that they were lucky to sell a hand full of excursions in Mazatlan yet thousands would get off the ship and head off on a private excursions. The violence in Mexico was a convenient excuse to stop making calls in Mazatlan or just plain pulling out of sailing the West Mexico because the West Coast people were not spending money on board :rolleyes: Now that the Private Excursion operators have now gone out of business the cruise lines are starting to return.

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This is a sad event for this individual and his family! But look around and see how many other reports there have been in the last 10 years involving cruise ship passengers or crew in Roatan.

 

Actually they are becoming more frequent and there was another issue just in January

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While many of you are chiming in with the old "it can happen anywhere bit...maybe you do a little research before you speak. Try going to Cruise law news and you will find the U.S. State Department issued a warning that the murder rate in Honduras is the highest in the world. IMO all cruiselines should cease going there immediately or at a minimum forbid exit from the port gated area.

Edited by rolloman

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More and more cruiselines are creating private cruise centers hoping to keep passangers safely in and locals out. I know Royal has Labadee in Haiti and Carnival has a few including Grand Turk. Does NCL have any cruise centers in the works ?

 

Actually Grand Turk has nothing to do with passengers in and locals out...Grand Turk has no crime and the locals there are some of the nicest people you ever want to meet. That private center is more because there isn't really much on Grand Turk.

 

Carnival did post on Facebook that they are advising their passengers to stay in the Mahogany Bay complex while in Roatan. Personally I feel less comfortable in ports like that or Labadee. When I see armed guards protecting the port area I really have no desire to be off of the ship.

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While many of you are chiming in with the old "it can happen anywhere bit...maybe you do a little research before you speak. Try going to Cruise law news and you will find the U.S. State Department issued a warning that the murder rate in Honduras is the highest in the world.

 

Yes but the sad part is up until this last year that didn't translate to Roatan because it is so isolated from mainland Honduras. Apparently the riff-raff from the mainland are making their way over to the island.

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I'll leave others to discuss the whys - causes and cures. Good luck to you all.:rolleyes:

 

NCL had a death of an NCL crew member from a current NCL ship in Roatan two days ago. It is fresh on the current cruisers minds. The NCL CEO had to be perceived as "doing something about it". What else could he do in a couple of days. He cancelled the port. I would too. Not because of safety but because I'm sure the majority of the passengers expected something and this was really the only choice in this short time frame. I'm sailing on the Dawn in less than two weeks and we'll see what happens then.

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I am pleased to see NCL stand up and give notice to the Roatan authorities that they must control crime or lose business.

 

This may be construed as saber rattling but it may also have a widespread effect in making all the ports safer for cruisers.

 

If NCL did not take quick action, the local authorities could sit back in their comfort zone and continue to allow crime to flourish. This will bring pressure on them to do something about the problem.

 

How much notice are they really giving and is this an appropriate response from NCL?

 

Last month Tunisia would not allow a group of Israelis to get off of the Jade and NCL cancelled all remaining ports of call as well as the possibility of any future ports of call there in response. IMO this is the appropriate response.

 

This week one of NCL's own "family", a crew member who contributes to NCL making a profit, was brutally killed in Roatan. NCL's response to this was " In an abundance of caution for our guests and crew, we have cancelled calls to Roatan this week for Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Jewel."

 

passengers not being allowed off a ship = cancelled for good

crew member gunned down in port = cancelled for a week

 

I, for one, do not feel that NCL has reacted appropriately to this most recent situation.

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I believe some additional information needs to be posted to dispel the idea that the decisions to pull out of ports is solely based on money.

 

Mazatlan spent 3 million dollars installing a cobblestone marked route to the central district and spent 50 million installing security cameras all over town. This helped to get some cruise lines to start calling on the port again, but had no impact on the ability of the cruise lines to sell tours.

 

I was in Mazatlan last month and saw no decrease in the number of Pulmonia taxis, tour vans, or tour peddlers at the terminal.

 

The decision to cancel stops at Roatan was IMHO to get the attention of local authorities to take appropriate action to reduce crime at that port. It was indeed a reaction to an NCL crew member being shot, but the financial impact on the locals may help to get the authorities to act on the crime problem. As it did in Mazatlan, if all cruise lines stopped calling at the port, you can rest assured that action would be taken on the crime problem in order to lure the business back.

 

Cruise lines must do things to generate revenue, but they walk a fine line when their decisions affect the safety of their guests. It isn't all about money.

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My thoughts and prayers go out to Jacob's family. This is just horrible. I've walked in Roatan and never felt unsafe. I walked down the street taking pictures with my cell phone the whole time. It would have never dawned on me that this could have happened because it was day time in a touristy, heavy populated area. But based on this picture of the crime scene, there were many people around where this happened and I'm sure Jacob felt perfectly safe as well.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=708980932498967&set=pcb.708980942498966&type=1&theater

Edited by thecruisers723

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I believe some additional information needs to be posted to dispel the idea that the decisions to pull out of ports is solely based on money.

 

Mazatlan spent 3 million dollars installing a cobblestone marked route to the central district and spent 50 million installing security cameras all over town. This helped to get some cruise lines to start calling on the port again, but had no impact on the ability of the cruise lines to sell tours.

 

I was in Mazatlan last month and saw no decrease in the number of Pulmonia taxis, tour vans, or tour peddlers at the terminal.

 

The decision to cancel stops at Roatan was IMHO to get the attention of local authorities to take appropriate action to reduce crime at that port. It was indeed a reaction to an NCL crew member being shot, but the financial impact on the locals may help to get the authorities to act on the crime problem. As it did in Mazatlan, if all cruise lines stopped calling at the port, you can rest assured that action would be taken on the crime problem in order to lure the business back.

 

Cruise lines must do things to generate revenue, but they walk a fine line when their decisions affect the safety of their guests. It isn't all about money.

I agree in this case it is not all about the money but trust me it has come into consideration, every decision made by any cruise line considers the $$$

I for one hope this is just temporary and they are trying to send a warning to the government of Roatan to have more protection for the passengers and crew.

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...just stating a fact my friend...are you saying I shouldn't have flown into New York or Houston last week because someone was killed in those cities? Yes, NCL has to respond and I respect that...and feel VERY sad for the victim and his family, but only two incidents on an impoverished island over the years deserves SOME sympathy for an island of very kind and giving people, who have their share of troubled youth, just like wherever you are from....try not to be so quick to condemn a whole island because of one act of tragedy. If we lived by your logic...you would not be living anywhere in the world, because something bad happened there before you came...

 

Um its been many more then 2 incidents. Maybe only 2 deaths but a lot of people have been robbed and some threatened to be kidnapped. I used to want to retire to Roatan until speaking with an American expatriate that basically said they feel unsafe having anything that even speaks of her having any money for fear of her safety. She lives in Belize now in a gated property with security guards

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While many of you are chiming in with the old "it can happen anywhere bit...maybe you do a little research before you speak. Try going to Cruise law news and you will find the U.S. State Department issued a warning that the murder rate in Honduras is the highest in the world. IMO all cruiselines should cease going there immediately or at a minimum forbid exit from the port gated area.

 

It's actuality for Honduras , yes I know Roatan it part of Honduras but it's a stand alone island just off of Honduras. I've been looking for crime rates in just Roatan but I'm not finding much.

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passengers not being allowed off a ship = cancelled for good

crew member gunned down in port = cancelled for a week

 

I, for one, do not feel that NCL has reacted appropriately to this most recent situation.

 

The above statements may be a little misleading. The ships now calling on Roatan will be repositioning to other areas within the next couple of weeks, so the time frame mentioned has no impact on NCL's decision or the severity of the incident. NCL can always cancel or change ports for next season.

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I believe that in this unfortunate situation just like the situation in Tunisia NCL and their management is "damned if they do, damned if they don't". They aren't going to make everyone happy either way with how they handle it.

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It's actuality for Honduras , yes I know Roatan it part of Honduras but it's a stand alone island just off of Honduras. I've been looking for crime rates in just Roatan but I'm not finding much.

 

I think you're splitting hairs.

 

The advisory issued by the Department of State is prudent. It makes no explicit distinction between mainland or island areas. Although the advisory indicates that additional special police forces have been established in areas frequented by tourists, violence in those areas is "still high by international standards." The advisory goes on to say that the "location and timing of criminal activity is unpredictable in Honduras," again, making no geographical distinctions.

 

The fact that "the vast majority of serious crimes in Honduras, including those against U.S. citizens, are never solved" is likely why you cannot find much in the way of crime statistics and the reliability of any statistics you did find would need to be seriously questioned.

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I think you're splitting hairs.

 

The advisory issued by the Department of State is prudent. It makes no explicit distinction between mainland or island areas. Although the advisory indicates that additional special police forces have been established in areas frequented by tourists, violence in those areas is "still high by international standards." The advisory goes on to say that the "location and timing of criminal activity is unpredictable in Honduras," again, making no geographical distinctions.

 

The fact that "the vast majority of serious crimes in Honduras, including those against U.S. citizens, are never solved" is likely why you cannot find much in the way of crime statistics and the reliability of any statistics you did find would need to be seriously questioned.

 

Look at the mainland of Mexico and then Cozumel , while crime is escalating in many areas of Mexico , Cozumel remains pretty safe and is not included in the travel advisories.

My point is that their using data from the mainland of Honduras.

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My point is that their using data from the mainland of Honduras.

 

And my point is the advisory makes no such distinction.

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passengers not being allowed off a ship = cancelled for good

crew member gunned down in port = cancelled for a week

The situations are very different at every level, and the reactions are different. NCL sends two or three ships to Roatan every week. They were scheduled to go to Tunisia like once every 3 weeks, if that.

 

The Tunis thing was a problem with the government of Tunisia. If NCL goes back there, it's going to be the same story every time: everyone can get off the ship without a visa except Israelis, and there will be a big stink all over again.

 

When people hear about this murder, they're going to cancel their excursions and stay on the ship for the next few weeks. So cancel the port. Until the news blows over, then everyone will forget about it, and NCL can go back there.

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