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Is Port of Spain safe???


cheone
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We will be going on a Princess cruise to Port of Spain Trinidad in November.. I have read that there is a murder every 13 hours in Trinidad. Over 150 robberies, rapes and other crimes occur everyday. They say 50% of the crimes are in the Port of Spain area. Has anyone had a recent experience-good or bad, visiting Trinidad.

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  • 2 months later...
We will be going on a Princess cruise to Port of Spain Trinidad in November.. I have read that there is a murder every 13 hours in Trinidad. Over 150 robberies, rapes and other crimes occur everyday. They say 50% of the crimes are in the Port of Spain area. Has anyone had a recent experience-good or bad, visiting Trinidad.

 

I am also going in November. Think I'll stay on the ship.

 

Travel.State.Gov

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE — BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS

Travel Advisories

 

Travel.State.Gov > Travel Advisories > Trinidad and Tobago Travel Advisory

 

Trinidad and Tobago Travel Advisory

 

 

Travel Advisory

February 22, 2018

 

Trinidad and Tobago - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

OENHUTC

 

Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.

Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common.

Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display overt signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting ATMs.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Trinidad and Tobago.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Port of Spain

Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the following areas: Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah. After dark, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.

 

Travel Advisory Levels

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Assistance for U.S. Citizens

 

 

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West

Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago

 

Telephone

+(868) 622-6371

 

Emergency

+(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

 

Fax

+(868) 822-5955

 

Email

acspos@state.gov

 

Website

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

 

Trinidad and Tobago Map

 

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We almost always take an excursion with the ship ... sometimes with an extended taxi ride.

Downtown there is a Big City and not a place we would go on our own.

Staying within the secured port area is safe which is what we did on our last port stop there in January 2018 because the shore excursions offered by the ship were leaving too early in the morning for us.

Trinidad is a lush green island and quite worth seeing. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Is there a big difference in the safety of Trinidad vs Tobago? We will be in Tobago in December - we are generally not ship tour minded. this will be the first port after several sea days and I have been told Tobago is very different, but if anyone has first hand knowledge I would appreciate it.

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  • 4 months later...

Vineyard View, Yes there is a big difference between Port of Spain (see the state department warning posted above) and Tobago.  The places listed by the state department are in Trinidad, not Tobago.  

 

I'll repeat what I listed in another thread:

We were in Trinidad on the Caribbean Princess the day after the couple from the MSC cruise got robbed  recently and the woman slashed at Queen's Park Savannah but only heard about that from other cruisers.   There were absolutely no warnings from Princess nor the person at the first tent on the dock who had a microphone.  That speaker, who I think was from a tourist bureau in Trinidad rather than with Princess, was in fact advertising Queen's Park Savannah among other things to see on the island (you could hear him from our balcony on the ship!).  The US State Department and Canada also warns about Queen's Park Savannah and other areas of Trinidad. 

 

Be informed and stay safe.  The couple had to stay in Trinidad to recover before they flew home I have read.  We enjoyed the secured port area looking at the shops there and the view from the ship.  Others took ship excursions.  

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54 minutes ago, Wpooh1968 said:

We have heard the same of Roatan, Honduras but have visited twice and have enjoyed a beautiful time.  I think in some cases, common sense wins out.  Crime exists everywhere, even in our beautiful Savannah, GA.

Roatan is perfectly safe.  It is a island off the coast of Honduras.    I was in Trinidad in November.  Three people from our ship were robbed within 4 blocks of the ship terminal.  

Cruise ships should not be going to Trinidad.  Bay was brown with Sewer and felled with garbage that Trinidad dumps into the ocean.  You should only take the ship tours and never go out on your own, including taking taxis.

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14 hours ago, cheone said:

Roatan is perfectly safe.  It is a island off the coast of Honduras.    I was in Trinidad in November.  Three people from our ship were robbed within 4 blocks of the ship terminal.  

Cruise ships should not be going to Trinidad.  Bay was brown with Sewer and felled with garbage that Trinidad dumps into the ocean.  You should only take the ship tours and never go out on your own, including taking taxis.

There is actually a lot of theft and I know of a crew member being murdered for his cell phone, so there is crime there.  Again, common sense should rule.

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Just a quick report about one of our taxi experiences on Trinidad.

A number of years ago the wife and I hired a taxi to take us from the cruise terminal to the Emperor Valley Zoo.

The taxi driver waited for us while we were in the zoo as he said taxis were difficult to find here for the return trip.

We were gone a couple of hours and the driver was waiting for us.  We got in the cab and he started driving except he wasn’t going south to the cruise terminal, he was going north.

I questioned him and he pulled over.

He then asked both of us individually how much we were going to tip him! I think we had agreed on US$50 for the fare round trip so I told him I was going to tip him US$10.  Then he asked my wife how much she was going to tip him and she said that the US$10 I just mentioned was for both of us.

He said if we weren’t going to give him more he wasn’t going to take us back to the ship and we could walk. Looked like a good two miles from where we were, maybe more.

I paid the crook the US$50 and no tip and we walked back to the ship.  I considered only paying him US$25 for the trip, but didn’t want any trouble with the local police.

If you want to see the zoo (a great zoo, indeed), I’d find secure transport like a ship’s tour. I would never take a cab on that island again unless my hotel had vetted them for me.

An island worth seeing but use caution and GOOD sense.

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  • 7 months later...

We stopped at Trinidad on the Grand Princess in 2010.  I made arrangements for a private tour to take us to the Asa Wright Nature Centre with another couple.  Both of us gals are birder enthusiasts and photographers.  It was a wonderful place.  The driver then took us to a beach on the north shore where we could buy some lunch from a barbeque place where he helped us pick out what to eat.  We all enjoyed this excursion very much.  However, when it was time to leave the vehicle and pay the driver, the driver wanted more money than we had been told it would cost.  The other gal and I left the scene to let the fellas work things out and I don't remember how much they ended up paying him.  This nasty experience led us to never return and I'm not sure Princess has gone there in recent years.

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5 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

We stopped at Trinidad on the Grand Princess in 2010.  I made arrangements for a private tour to take us to the Asa Wright Nature Centre with another couple.  Both of us gals are birder enthusiasts and photographers.  It was a wonderful place.  The driver then took us to a beach on the north shore where we could buy some lunch from a barbeque place where he helped us pick out what to eat.  We all enjoyed this excursion very much.  However, when it was time to leave the vehicle and pay the driver, the driver wanted more money than we had been told it would cost.  The other gal and I left the scene to let the fellas work things out and I don't remember how much they ended up paying him.  This nasty experience led us to never return and I'm not sure Princess has gone there in recent years.

Thank you.  We have elected to take a Princess run excursion for safety.  Yours isn't the only story I have heard of being asked for more money, but it was before return to ship.  We have never been there and want to see the island, but safely.

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16 hours ago, Wpooh1968 said:

Thank you.  We have elected to take a Princess run excursion for safety.  Yours isn't the only story I have heard of being asked for more money, but it was before return to ship.  We have never been there and want to see the island, but safely.

I should have added that the driver stopped the car near a park before reaching the port so he had the opportunity to try to rip us off in private, so to speak.

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  • 2 months later...

We visited Port of Spain, Trinidad on our most recent cruise.  We elected to take a Princess organized tour, which was enjoyable.  We were dropped off back at the port where there were several vendors.  It was crowded and I held my small bag close.  Vendors were friendly and not pushy at all.  On a side note, Maracas Beach was beautiful, Bake and Shark amazingly delicious, however...the beach did have trash so would not walk without shoes on. 

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On 11/21/2019 at 10:23 AM, Wpooh1968 said:

We visited Port of Spain, Trinidad on our most recent cruise.  We elected to take a Princess organized tour, which was enjoyable.  We were dropped off back at the port where there were several vendors.  It was crowded and I held my small bag close.  Vendors were friendly and not pushy at all.  On a side note, Maracas Beach was beautiful, Bake and Shark amazingly delicious, however...the beach did have trash so would not walk without shoes on. 

thx for info . By chance did you go into the water at all-how did it feel if you did? 

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Err on the side of caution, don't go in the sea anywhere.

The raw effluent problem is still not resolved.  

From toilet, to the failed sewage plants, to the rivers, to the sea, in one smooth uninterrupted process, then let the sea tides take it South, all the way down the coast to the port.

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22 hours ago, Sparkllle said:

thx for info . By chance did you go into the water at all-how did it feel if you did? 

No, we were on on island tour and our stop at Maracas Bay was about 40 minutes...Bake and Shark was our priority and we were told that we were not stopping for beach time. 

On a side note, it is sad that many of the islands have trash and sewage issues.  Many blame the US for trash in seas, but they hug their trees there but toss trash in the ocean.  

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old post so hoping someone sees this!!! We are hopefully going to Trinidad and Tobago on our NYE cruise this year....we plan on staying at the hilton in Trinidad for the day and just using the pool and the grounds..do you think this is safe.  We will be traveling with my older in laws ( late 60s) and my small children ( 12, 9, 5)......After reading these posts, I am thinking of just staying on the ship!! We have tours booked for some of the other ports that seem wonderful but after reading this post I am a little suspect of T&T! Thanks for in advance for reading and responding!!

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5 hours ago, GalwayGirl03 said:

I know this is an old post so hoping someone sees this!!! We are hopefully going to Trinidad and Tobago on our NYE cruise this year....we plan on staying at the hilton in Trinidad for the day and just using the pool and the grounds..do you think this is safe.  We will be traveling with my older in laws ( late 60s) and my small children ( 12, 9, 5)......After reading these posts, I am thinking of just staying on the ship!! We have tours booked for some of the other ports that seem wonderful but after reading this post I am a little suspect of T&T! Thanks for in advance for reading and responding!!

On top of the ongoing problems, Trinidad is now in a COVID state of emergency with nighttime curfew.

Add to all the horrors of sewage, theft, scamming, fraud,  corruption, the percentage of residents refusing to be vaccinated against COVID is “quoted” by the Government as over 60%, but in truth it’s over 75%.  So much so, my friend left the country after returning from his hospital, where he was a consultant eye surgeon, to find his house looted, furniture and clothing gone.

Luckily his wife and children we’re already safely out of the country.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/16/2021 at 6:14 AM, PORT ROYAL said:

On top of the ongoing problems, Trinidad is now in a COVID state of emergency with nighttime curfew.

Add to all the horrors of sewage, theft, scamming, fraud,  corruption, the percentage of residents refusing to be vaccinated against COVID is “quoted” by the Government as over 60%, but in truth it’s over 75%.  So much so, my friend left the country after returning from his hospital, where he was a consultant eye surgeon, to find his house looted, furniture and clothing gone.

Luckily his wife and children we’re already safely out of the country.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the feedback, I guess I will keep the reservation for Trinidad and I will decide closer to the vacation.  I just don't want to feel unsafe and God forbid something happen.

 

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1 minute ago, GalwayGirl03 said:

Thank you for the feedback, I guess I will keep the reservation for Trinidad and I will decide closer to the vacation.  I just don't want to feel unsafe and God forbid something happen.

 

For the record, around the port area and on official cruise tours, armed undercover police and plain clothed armed forces will be present.  
Plus the areas to be visited on the ship’s tours will be pre-cleared of certain people, and you will only see what the Government want you to see, this being only the nice looking stuff with positive words from the tour guide directly from the Government’s pre-prepared script.  
Basically, a highly sanitised highly armed tour.  But you will be safe and tours will look quite normal, but under the surface…..

The Government will ensure nothing will happen, as the money from ship tourism will go into their funds. If you know what I mean….

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On 5/17/2021 at 5:19 PM, PORT ROYAL said:

For the record, around the port area and on official cruise tours, armed undercover police and plain clothed armed forces will be present.  
Plus the areas to be visited on the ship’s tours will be pre-cleared of certain people, and you will only see what the Government want you to see, this being only the nice looking stuff with positive words from the tour guide directly from the Government’s pre-prepared script.  
Basically, a highly sanitised highly armed tour.  But you will be safe and tours will look quite normal, but under the surface…..

The Government will ensure nothing will happen, as the money from ship tourism will go into their funds. If you know what I mean….

thanks for this info.  We despise ship excursions but will definitely take one here.  We have a port intensive 14 day cruise in February 2022 on the Grandeur and will gladly use our extensive OBC for an excursion here especially when we have ports in the ABCs.  We usually rent cars and explore but probably not here.

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