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JudithLynne

Mexico Travel Advisory

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9 hours ago, dee2673 said:

 That’s how I choose to take it. I refuse to live in fear. I will travel by direct route. I will stay in the areas my government says it allows its employees to be in. I won’t be foolhardy but I also won’t be scared away . My choice

That sounds reasonable...but my concern is that the ship is offering &   selling tours to  areas NOT  "declared"' safe by our government. Do you think they will have extra security???

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1 hour ago, BruceMuzz said:

Several countries - including Canada and Japan - have advised their citizens not to travel to the USA, due to high crime rates and mass shootings.

What's the difference?

I don't recall the Canadian government ever advising its citizens not to travel to the US, and the current Canadian travel advisory for the US is:

 

Exercise normal security precautions

There are no significant safety and security concerns. The overall safety and security situation is similar to that of Canada. You should take normal security precautions.

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58 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

I hope you have cancelled your cruise by now, and booked something more suitable to your own needs.

Good advice for those who are so concerned as long as their cruise is not past final payment.

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29 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

The Mexico travel advisory for Sinaloa state went in to place last January, 2018.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexico-travel-warning-state-department-highest-do-not-travel-advisories/

 

29 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

The Mexico travel advisory for Sinaloa state went in to place last January, 2018.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexico-travel-warning-state-department-highest-do-not-travel-advisories/

 ...thank  you so much.. Very interesting especially since when I talked to  HAL's excursion department 2 days ago they were not aware of any travel advisories  at all for any HAL ports in Mexico. In fact I doubt any of us were until someone on our roll call noted that as of November 15  2018 it was in effect.  I guess it is old hat for parts of Mexico, so much so it carries no weight  for those in the know.

Edited by puli

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The Crime in the Mazatlan area is not just limited to Cartel wars ;but  also kidnaping & human trafficking  .  

Thus ,each pax must  abide by their own decisions  of where to go 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, puli said:

 

 ...thank  you so much.. Very interesting especially since when I talked to  HAL's excursion department 2 days ago they were not aware of any travel advisories  at all for any HAL ports in Mexico. In fact I doubt any of us were until someone on our roll call noted that as of November 15  2018 it was in effect.  I guess it is old hat for parts of Mexico, so much so it carries no weight  for those in the know.

 

It is not old hat. The advisory carefully directs passengers to specific places they feel can be safety visited. It is the dury of the passenger to ensure their own safety and to stay apprised of security conditions. HAL has its own safety and security thresholds too, but each passenger has to answer first to themselves. 

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59 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

The Crime in the Mazatlan area is not just limited to Cartel wars ;but  also kidnaping & human trafficking  .  

Thus ,each pax must  abide by their own decisions  of where to go 

 

 

 

 

 

The advisory identifies two specific areas in Mazatlan proper as reasonably secure for passenger visits. Don't conflate this with the "Mazatlan area" nor the rest of Sinaloaa state. 

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Sign up for the US State Dept STEP program if you are a US citizen, or just curious: Smart Traveller Enrollment Program - register what countries you will be visiting:

https://step.state.gov

Edited by OlsSalt

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11 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

The Crime in the Mazatlan area is not just limited to Cartel wars ;but  also kidnaping & human trafficking  .  

Thus ,each pax must  abide by their own decisions  of where to go 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry but this made me chuckle a little. Human trafficking and kidnapping?? No laughing matter unless you know that I am a 64 yr old short fat lady with gray hair. I will have zero “trappings of wealth” on my person. Inexpensive handbag, no jewelry, no hair dye or fancy nails and wearing a top I bought in PV 2 years ago. If someone were to take me for nefarious purposes, they’d likely be stuck with me..or just do away with me, in which case I will die true to my convictions.

 

No one is going to change anyone’s mind here. If you are afraid to leave the ship , then don’t leave the ship. As the alert stands, it doesn’t make me afraid to visit the areas my government has advised its employees they are allowed to travel within. If the alert changes, I would likely reconsider. 

 

I wish everyone a fun cruise however you choose to do it. 

 

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49 minutes ago, dee2673 said:

I’m sorry but this made me chuckle a little. Human trafficking and kidnapping?? No laughing matter unless you know that I am a 64 yr old short fat lady with gray hair. I will have zero “trappings of wealth” on my person. Inexpensive handbag, no jewelry, no hair dye or fancy nails and wearing a top I bought in PV 2 years ago. If someone were to take me for nefarious purposes, they’d likely be stuck with me..or just do away with me, in which case I will die true to my convictions.

 

No one is going to change anyone’s mind here. If you are afraid to leave the ship , then don’t leave the ship. As the alert stands, it doesn’t make me afraid to visit the areas my government has advised its employees they are allowed to travel within. If the alert changes, I would likely reconsider. 

 

I wish everyone a fun cruise however you choose to do it. 

 

Having done over 20 Mexican Riviera cruises ,we do know the serious state of this area  for crime . Could  innocent people we caught in the middle of a cartel shoot out  ?  The answer is yes  .Thus ,if it is possible why should we temp fate  .We feel for the Mexican innocent people ;because their government will not destroy the cartels  .Even in Cabo San Lucas the cartel was caught, who had beheaded the people in Acapulco .

 

 Each pax makes it own decisions & then  what ever happens .  We are on  the Royal Princess Oct 4 ,2019 ,a 10 night Mexican Riviera cruise & Mazatlan is not a port that the  ship stops .

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13 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

Having done over 20 Mexican Riviera cruises ,we do know the serious state of this area  for crime . Could  innocent people we caught in the middle of a cartel shoot out  ?  The answer is yes  .Thus ,if it is possible why should we temp fate  .We feel for the Mexican innocent people ;because their government will not destroy the cartels  .Even in Cabo San Lucas the cartel was caught, who had beheaded the people in Acapulco .

 

 Each pax makes it own decisions & then  what ever happens .  We are on  the Royal Princess Oct 4 ,2019 ,a 10 night Mexican Riviera cruise & Mazatlan is not a port that the  ship stops .

 

For 2019, Mazatlan continues to be included in all the 10 day Princess cruises out of San Francisco; Loreto has been substituted in the few 10 day Princess cruises out of Los Angeles. 

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20 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

For 2019, Mazatlan continues to be included in all the 10 day Princess cruises out of San Francisco; Loreto has been substituted in the few 10 day Princess cruises out of Los Angeles. 

There was no reason for us to check cruises out of SF ,since we reside in the San Diego area . 

 What is important however ,is that Mazatlan has  been a problem for cartel crime for many years  .Each person that goes to that port makes their own decisions  as to whether to venture into Mazatlan or not 

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Simply make your own decision as to whether to go or not to go.

 

Why on earth try to justify your decision to others or attempt to persuade them one way or another?

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1 hour ago, iancal said:

Simply make your own decision as to whether to go or not to go.

 

Why on earth try to justify your decision to others or attempt to persuade them one way or another?

I agree.  Everyone knows when they feel safe and when they don’t and that isn’t going to change.  We have driven throughout Mexico over the past 10 years, never had a problem, never felt unsafe.  Even when others were terrified to visit the country.  We take basic precautions like listening to locals when they tell us to avoid an area, being aware of our surroundings, staying on the toll roads as much as possible, not driving at night, etc.   There are many places in the US that are more dangerous than most of Mexico.  

 

As far as Mazatlan goes, a local told us years ago that the police and cartels have an understanding that the cartels will leave the tourist areas alone.  Don’t know if that is still the case, the last time we were there was 2017.

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This is not new news.  The warning came out in January. If you are just now learning of it then that is on you.  Part of safe travel is being responsible for knowing the current state of affairs in any region you are traveling and this is no one's responsibility other than your own. Just like when I visit family in Baltimore, I will avoid areas known to be unsafe.  I imagine if the State Department issued warnings for US cities, Baltimore would rate a level 4, yet I comfortably enjoy my visits there as I will enjoy my visit to Mazatlan.  I will maintain awareness of my surroundings and follow the guidelines as set forth by the State Department.  I truly do not feel the risk is any greater in Mazatlan than it is in Baltimore.  I personally feel comfortable with the level of risk I assume in visiting areas deemed acceptably safe by the State Department for US Government employees to travel.  But that obviously is a decision to be made by each individual as the perception of risk varies greatly from person to person.  When was the last murder or kidnapping in the areas approved for US Government employees to travel within or the approved direct routes to those areas?  When was the last time a taxi driver from the cruise port kidnapped or murdered a cruiser en route to The Cathedral.  Understand your risk and decide your level of comfort with that risk.  Bon Voyage!

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1 hour ago, Wayfairers said:

I agree.  Everyone knows when they feel safe and when they don’t and that isn’t going to change.  We have driven throughout Mexico over the past 10 years, never had a problem, never felt unsafe.  Even when others were terrified to visit the country.  We take basic precautions like listening to locals when they tell us to avoid an area, being aware of our surroundings, staying on the toll roads as much as possible, not driving at night, etc.   There are many places in the US that are more dangerous than most of Mexico.  

 

As far as Mazatlan goes, a local told us years ago that the police and cartels have an understanding that the cartels will leave the tourist areas alone.  Don’t know if that is still the case, the last time we were there was 2017.

 

The El Chapo trial in the US continues to a lot of "leadership" issues among the rival Sinaloa gangs. More internal warfare going on than anything that affects outsiders. And yes, tourists who visit the fringes of this world, or who are drug dealing trips themselves may well put themselves in harms way if they get caught in this ongoing crossfire.  

 

Agree, there probably is an informal agreement to nor harm their ready international customer base by scaring away buyers who come to them; instead of having to traffic everything out of this area.  The whole system is so corrupt, and corruptable, a lot of this goes on in plain sight and locals do know where to go and where to stay  away. Thank the illegal street drug users right here in the good old US for creating this  horrific trade route.  

 

When i keep hearing marijuana is a "harmless drug" I keep thinking of what this trade did to the rest of us - and now the irony is making it legal in the US has only increased the crime among the illegal sellers who have no intention of being put out of business or undercut on prices. Ugly on all counts. 

 

At least to continue to go to Mazatlan as tourist brings in legal trade money and offers and alternatives to what the narcos provide the local population.  Except I would not be surprised they have already exploited to tourist and cruise ship transit connections too. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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On 12/8/2018 at 5:33 AM, mcrcruiser said:

The Crime in the Mazatlan area is not just limited to Cartel wars ;but  also kidnaping & human trafficking  .  

Thus ,each pax must  abide by their own decisions  of where to go 

 

 

 

 

So how many tourists were involved in this? Yes it can happen, but almost all times it involves people within the drugs trade not tourists. Plenty of cities in the world, nut just Mexico that have more shootings and killings (also with innocent people) are as dangerous or even more.

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just pointing out that one is far more at risk of death or injury from a traffic accident while in port, then from any criminal or terrorist activity.

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I completely agree that, for most of us, the dangers we face when traveling abroad are probably less than (or at least not greater than) those we face at home. I've long said that I'm much more likely to die on my daily commute (1 hour each way in rush hour traffic in a big metropolitan area) than as a result of any issues while traveling. Still, I do monitor State Department warnings (both the US ones and the UK ones, which I find more comprehensive, more detailed, and less likely to be influenced by a one-off incident) and do additional research before drawing my own conclusions about the safety of a particular destination. 

 

I found a very good analysis of travel warnings and how well these correlate to actual statistics of tourist deaths (from homicides, executions, deaths in terrorist attacks, and drug-related deaths). The researchers adjusted for the fact that far more tourists visit Mexico, let's say, than Pakistan annually -- so comparisons are apples to apples. Otherwise, the number of tourist deaths in Mexico looks very high relatively speaking...

 

Interestingly, Pakistan and Thailand came out as the two most dangerous destinations for travelers during the period analyzed (2009-2016); Mexico shows up at #10 but is still more dangerous than, say, Nicaragua or Colombia.

 

It was very interesting to me to read their detailed results, which confirm something I've long pondered -- that some countries seem to have a high number of travel warnings (or a higher level) and yet have very low numbers of tourist deaths (such as Turkey), while other countries have much higher numbers of tourist deaths, yet are rarely the subject of a warning (e.g., Belize, Guatamala).

 

Link:   https://priceonomics.com/ranking-the-most-dangerous-countries-for-american/

 

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22 hours ago, SailorMarg said:

This is not new news.  The warning came out in January. If you are just now learning of it then that is on you.  Part of safe travel is being responsible for knowing the current state of affairs in any region you are traveling and this is no one's responsibility other than your own. Just like when I visit family in Baltimore, I will avoid areas known to be unsafe.  I imagine if the State Department issued warnings for US cities, Baltimore would rate a level 4, yet I comfortably enjoy my visits there as I will enjoy my visit to Mazatlan.  I will maintain awareness of my surroundings and follow the guidelines as set forth by the State Department.  I truly do not feel the risk is any greater in Mazatlan than it is in Baltimore.  I personally feel comfortable with the level of risk I assume in visiting areas deemed acceptably safe by the State Department for US Government employees to travel.  But that obviously is a decision to be made by each individual as the perception of risk varies greatly from person to person.  When was the last murder or kidnapping in the areas approved for US Government employees to travel within or the approved direct routes to those areas?  When was the last time a taxi driver from the cruise port kidnapped or murdered a cruiser en route to The Cathedral.  Understand your risk and decide your level of comfort with that risk.  Bon Voyage!

While I can agree with you in general, I do think  there is a difference in the degree of personal responsibility for being up to  date on  travel alerts one  must assume when traveling independently or signing up for an  adventure excursion into  questionable areas  as opposed to taking a  routine  cruise  offered by a major mid-stream cruise line...  

 

  Many of us have taken  this cruise multiple time...sometimes stopping at Mazatlan and other times, due to  a travel alert, not having it as a port...I feel a precedent  has been set that HAL has assumed responsibility for monitoring this issue and am a little amazed that according to posters this  stage 4 alert has been  in effect since January 2018 and yet Mazatlan has  remained a port and one where tours are offered to areas outside of the recommended safe zones.

Edited by puli

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It might be better to stay home.  Double lock all the doors.  Close the blinds.  Whatever happens do not open the door.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, iancal said:

It might be better to stay home.  Double lock all the doors.  Close the blinds.  Whatever happens do not open the door.

 

 

Also be careful of falling in the bathtub.

Edited by RDC1

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Funny comments above!  funnier yet, is that on the HAL website  there is a statement saying that there are NO travel advisories at this time. Maybe this is all a joke as some posters  believe.

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Unfortunately, politics and lobbying efforts play a significant part in the decision to rate a particular destination on the no-go list.   Tourism plays a significant part in the economy of a country.   But political pressure can determine the status level of a destination.   The cruise industry does considerable lobbying for destinations they need round out their itineraries.  

Edited by TAD2005

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I don't think it's fair to ridicule people for being concerned about travel to areas where they may not feel safe. It certainly does not mean they should just stay in their homes. We all need to make these decisions for ourselves based on our level of comfort.

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We got off the Eurodam 10 day Sea of Cortez cruise this morning, going to all the ports mentioned in above.  We are always cautious and low key in ports.  There was a visible police presence.  We felt very safe as we walked around on our own.

 

Our cruise was great with fantastic weather.  The Eurodam was beautiful!

 

Karen

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52 minutes ago, Loreto said:

We got off the Eurodam 10 day Sea of Cortez cruise this morning, going to all the ports mentioned in above.  We are always cautious and low key in ports.  There was a visible police presence.  We felt very safe as we walked around on our own.

 

Our cruise was great with fantastic weather.  The Eurodam was beautiful!

 

Karen

 

Thanks for your report. A number of us are going on the Eurodam Holiday cruise - Mexican Riviera. Hope you write a separate cruise report and let us know more details about the ship and the specialty restaurants. 

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I also got off the Eurodam today.  Until I just read this thread, I had no idea about the warnings about Mazatlan.  I booked an excursion from a private tour company and totally enjoyed the tour of the city.  The tour took us to all the "touristy" areas but we also went through neighbourhoods where the locals worked and lived.  We also had time to walk around on our own after visiting the Cathedral and walked around the shops and large market where the locals shopped.  I never felt unsafe.  The Malecon was filled with tourists, joggers, and strolling local families.   The tourist areas, as in the other ports, had obvious police presence and I felt safe.    

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:49 AM, dee2673 said:

We will be on the Dec16 cruise and are not altering our plans at all. The advisory says Zona Dorado Center Historico are OK. Most of us don’t really go anywhere else, do we? We’re taking a pulmonia to Plaza Machado, having some lunch, walking around, and may walk back to the ship. We may also take a pulmonia to Zona Dorado as I have a specific thing I’m looking for. We aren’t going to any sketchy areas. We Never wear jewelry or flash money all over. And it’s daytime! I am not one bit concerned and certainly not about to be scared away. I’m not buying any drugs or looking for any criminal activity. I think we’ll be fine. Actually, I think we’ll all be fine. 

 

I agree with your post.  We are also cruising to Mexico this month and will enjoy Mazatlan like we did the last time we stopped there.   I am not going to hide in a walled port!

 

igraf

 

 

 

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On 12/6/2018 at 2:47 PM, JudithLynne said:

We will be on a Mexican Riviera cruise later this month.  As of 11-15-2018 there is currently a level 4 (the highest level) advisory for travel to Mazatlán, one of our ports:

 

Sinaloa state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based and operating in Sinaloa state.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Mazatlán: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must use direct routes when traveling to and from those locations and the airport and cruise terminals.

 

Some of us on our small roll call are nervous about this.  One member contacted HAL and got this response:  "No changes to the itinerary or available tour options have been announced at this point, but we do actively monitor the areas that we take our guests with their safety in mind. Should any changes be made in light of the travel advisory, we will notify our guests by email detailing the changes." 

 

Should we be concerned?

 

We are doing the Eurodam in April to the Riviera and since we have done the ports already and after reading this thread and knowning they have a new President who is taking the bull by the horns to clean things up politically in Mexico, we are going to enjoy the peace and quiet on board in the ports.

 

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We just did a private tour earlier in December with Vista Tours in Mazatlan with 10 or 12 other people.....went out into the countryside to a tequila factory, a great authentic Mexican restaurant & had a great time.  Never felt unsafe -  we were picked up at the cruise ship pier & returned there with plenty of time to spare.

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My tour in Mazatlan was also with Vista Tours.  The driver drove very responsibly and was especially kind and attentive with my mother when entering and leaving the van.  The guide was very informative and spoke excellent English.  As mentioned in my previous post, I never felt not secure.  

Having said that, it is up to each individual to decide whether to get off the ship or not.  If you do not have a sense of security, you won't enjoy Mazatlan and everything it has to offer.  A day on an almost empty ship can be quite enjoyable.

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I think the trick is to read and fully comprehend the travel advisories.  Don't stop after the first two paragraphs.  When you travel be aware of your surroundings and stick to well trodden paths.  There is far too much hysteria out there because people stop reading after a few minutes or take the say so of someone who has.

 

An OP posted some data about the most dangerous countries statisically-Thailand and the Philippines being at or close to the top..  We are spending our fourth winter winter in Thailand.  If anything, we feel safer there than in some other North American cities.  But we exercise caution.   We spent time in the Philippines last winter but did not feel the same level of personal safety.  We cut our visit short and returned to Thailand. 

 

 We do the same in Mexico-exercise common sense.   This year we decided against a cruise or an AI and opted for two weeks of independent travel in the Yukatan.   There was a fair amount of police presence in Cancun, Playa, Isla, etc.  Never once did we feel at risk.  In Puerto Morales we were typically walking around the town after a late dinner.  We enjoyed it so much that we plan to return for three weeks next Oct/Nov.

 

 We certainly would not be concerned about spending time in Mazatlan.  Other parts of Sinola are a completely different story.

Edited by iancal

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