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psychocruiser 05-24-2007 10:22 AM

Looking at a Mexican Riviera cruise for next year, but I'm reading a lot about the drug cartels taking over towns, killing each other, police on strike, and military troops taking over towns. What the H? Should I even be considering what looks more and more like Nicuaragua, El Salvador, Columbia, etc?

goin' cruisin' 05-24-2007 11:06 AM

Welcome to cruise chat, psychocruiser!

Ah, the Mexican Riviera; good question about the safety of the region. I'm booked for 3/16/08 and have some similar concerns. Certainly, if you take any excursions, be sure the company is reputable, and I'd be cautious about taking anything more than a mile or 2 inland. As the date of our cruise gets closer, I'll be looking very closely at the political tenor of the region; check the state department's travel advisories, as well.

The good news is that it does not appear the ports are in the middle of the war zone or in the middle of the "hot" smuggling (drugs and humans) transportation routes into this country. They are on routes into the country, but not yet "hot" routes...

penny3333 05-24-2007 11:19 AM

Hi psycho, welcome to cruise-chat. The safety of the passengers is one of the biggest concerns of the cruise industry. One of our cruises was scheduled to stop in the Dominican Republic years ago, they cancelled the port due to a coup. Goin' cruising has some great advice and I strongly suggest sticking with an excursion. On all ships they have advice on the ports you are visiting, most of it is shopping, but they do offer safety tips as well. They even play the video on the ship's station on the tv in your cabin. I really think you'll be fine. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!

bigmike7 05-24-2007 01:18 PM


We have done the Mexican Riviera five times since 1986-

One thing that always impresses me - is the very obvious presence of military around the ships and in the towns-

99.9% of what you see in the news is on the borders - and the ports are nowhere near the borders-eh!


Dave 05-24-2007 01:32 PM

Drug gangs aren't stupid. They know that a great way to get real pressure brought to bear is to start messing with the tourist areas.

goin' cruisin' 05-24-2007 03:57 PM

With all due respect, Dave, I think those might be rose colored glasses out of which you're viewing. The cartels don't give a rip about the tourist economy and will do whatever it takes to further their purposes. The police in Mexico are underpaid and underarmed, and in many locations, bought by the cartels. The police are worthless which is why the adminsitration sent in the army late last year to fight the cartels (all the while, iring civil rights groups in Mexico!). The Mexican military has its hands full as the cartels are armed as well if not better than the military!

There is also a human smuggling train well entrenched that begins in El Salvador that makes its way up through Mexico and in some locations, along the coast. This train is "managed" by the cartel.

So, again, no offense, but the cruise lines (translation: tourist) will have no impact on the cartels any time soon. At the same time, knowing what I know, I'm still going to the Mexican Riviera next year.

Dave 05-24-2007 04:06 PM

<ahem> So if a bunch of drug war killings started happening in Cozumel you think the Mexican government (and the U.S.) would simply stand by and do nothing?

My glasses may be rose-colored but I think yours need some adjusting too.

goin' cruisin' 05-24-2007 05:08 PM

Didn't say that, Dave. In fact, quite the opposite. The Mexican military is already involved in other locations. In other words, despite intervention, Mexico, in certain locations is already far more dangerous than any gang zone in the US. All I'm saying is the cartels are not going to be deterred, which, could very well make our favorite places to go, too dangerous to visit. It's not the case now, but it's not out of the realm of the possibility.

And, I'll give it to you that perhaps my vocation for the past 24 years has skewed my vision to some degree. I may be hypersentitive to what I see happening; but, when in Mexico, if I'm to err, it will be done so on the side of caution.

goin' cruisin' 05-24-2007 05:47 PM

By the way, psycho, just wanted to reiterate; go to the Mexican Riviera, just stay close to the beaten path.

steve elster 05-25-2007 07:26 AM

Most of the money that is being produced by this trade has to be cleaned so it is invested in a lot of cases in the local tourist industry, so for drug related gangs disturbing this is counter productive, freedom fighters target tourism to put on economic pressure E T A in spain, various factions in egypt, although you should take care and good advice the only thing that worries me in South american countries would be kidnapping, it was a problem in Sardinia many years ago, a number of tourist were taken, we spent 6 months working for various client in costa smerelda, fredo the hill sheperds of nuoro, the cheese with maggots, maybe I should come out of retirement, or maybe not, just take care, be safe

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