Monday, 27 February 2012

Cruise passengers robbed on excursion in Puerto Vallarta

Cruise passengers robbed on excursion in Puerto Vallarta

By Donna Tunney
Carnival Cruise Lines suspended a guided nature-trail excursion in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after 22 passengers sailing on the Carnival Splendor were robbed at gunpoint during the tour on Feb. 23.

There were no injuries and all passengers returned safely to the ship, Carnival said in a statement.

“Numerous authorities were notified and responded to investigate, as well as assist the affected guests. The tour in question has been suspended until further notice.”

Carnival said it is working to reimburse robbery victims for lost valuables and assist with lost passports or other forms of identification that were stolen.

“Carnival sincerely apologizes to its guests for this very unfortunate and disturbing event and is providing its full support and assistance,” the cruise line said.

The 2,974-passenger Splendor was operating a seven-day cruise that departed Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 19.

Puerto Vallarta, a city of 255,000, is located in Jalisco state. The most recent U.S. State Department travel warning concerning the region tells Americans to “deter nonessential travel to areas of the state that border the states of Michoacan and Zacatecas.”

Michoacan is located to the south and Zacatecas to the northeast of Jalisco. The warning does not specifically mention Puerto Vallarta.

Princess Cruises last June suspended calls to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, citing security concerns, but announced last October it would include both destinations on six Sapphire Princess cruises in winter 2012-13.

At the time, Princess said it could alter its decision to include Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan closer to departure, if its comfort level with the destinations changes again.

Holland America Line had extended its suspension of Mazatlan port calls through March 2012, replacing the visit with an overnight in Puerto Vallarta.

Meanwhile, Puerto Vallarta is poised to host a major trade show, Tianguis Turistico 2012, March 25 to 28 in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit.

Puerto Vallarta’s conference center will serve as the venue for the trade show, meetings and press conferences.