Cozumel is nowhere near my favorite port of call. It, however, is a necessary evil port of call if you take any western Caribbean itinerary. It would be a shame to the local economy if anything hampered cruise dockings. We, the cruise enthusiasts, have a symbiotic relationship with Cozumel. They provide us with entertainment and relaxation and we provide them with money. It's a win/win situation for both parties and I hope that it is not compromised by the actions of a few.
I was stationed in the Philippines when it was under martial law with the Marcos regime. It was interesting to say the least. Midnight to 5am curfew out in the ville, roving "PCs" (Philippine Constabulary) with M-16s, etc. I got rolled by a street cop for several hundred pisos (that is how it is spelled) in a scam he had set up with a bar. He took my military ID and said I could have it back for the money. At the time, anyone who lost their ID got restricted to the base for a month. It was also not healthy to complain about the local cops. I paid the extortion. It was around $50 but that was a lot for a Marine in 1976.
A few years ago a friend of ours took a group of college students into Mexico on a building project over J-term. One of the kids tragically killed a mexican national (car vs. pedestrian). They locked him up and threw away the key. They would not let him out until a frequently fluctuating amount was paid to compensate "the family" for the loss of the breadwinner. This was a not for profit group and had no insurance or funds for such an eventuality and I believe the young man's family had to do the payoff by wire transfer.
I do not choose to drive when I am a guest in these ports of call. Perhaps I am overly cautious about that one issue, but I do not wish to be pulled over, much less detained, and I have a deep seated desire not to be shaken down by the roadside for any cash I might be carrying.
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I do not choose to drive when I am a guest in these ports of call.
That's me too. Besides the hazards of the crazy traffic in some ports the liability is a huge factor. Not to single out Alfred, but I can buy a lot of taxi rides on Cozumel for $200.
When I was stationed in Japan in the 70's even riding in a taxi had it's risks. We were told if our taxi ever got in an accident, "get out and run from the scene as fast as you can". It seems that the passengers had a legal liability for any damages since "the taxi wouldn't have been there if you didn't hire it". In Japan everyone who has a driver license was considered a professional and could be liable for the equivalent of professional negligence. Happily, since this meant getting a license was quite challenging there were very few accidents. However we only had to have a valid American license and take a quick test to get a military license that was valid out in town. The only redeeming part was when I had to drive out in town I was in a "Six By" (or Deuce and a half for the Army types). A big truck. The locals gave us wide berth. I probably could have crunched several of those tiny cars at once without realizing it.
Thanks for all your replies. I have been out of town for work, so this if the first chance I've had to check replies. I did not think there would be violence in these areas because their economy is based on tourism. We have friends going with us on this trip and they were told not to get off the ship under any circumstances. I just wanted to give them a little reassurance.
We just returned from a cruise stopping in Acapulco (Big city), Zihuatanejo/Ixtapaa (Small cities) and Manzanillo (medium city) with no problems. You will see the military everywhere but we had a great time nonetheless.
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