A fire broke out yesterday aboard the Explorer of the Seas, according to a passenger on the cruise ship who wishes to remain anonymous. He provided the following information:

“We had a fire onboard Explorer OTS yesterday.

Apparently in a store room on the sports deck.

Lots of staff in fire PPE (personal protective equipment) running around, lots of smoke,

Deck 13 and parts of deck 12 were closed

Captain made an announcement saying fire was under control but there was damage to the area.”

There are no reports of injury to either guests or crew members.

The Explorer of the Seas left Miami on September 16th and was scheduled to arrive today in Bonnaire, Curacao tomorrow September 21st, and Aruba on September 22nd before returning to Miami on September 25th.

This fire is the latest of several cruise ship fires in the last four months.

Last week, what was described as a “small fire” broke out on the Celestyal Crystal while the vessel was docked in Rhodes, Greece. On September 1st, a fire occured on the Quantum of the Seas as it sailed on an Alaskan itinerary, according to a Royal Caribbean crew member who wished to remain anonymous. On May 25th, a fire broke out in the funnel of the Carnival Freedom, while the cruise ship was in Grand Turk, and was widely reported.

There was a prior fire in February of 2003 on deck thirteen of the Explorer of the Seas.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to any passengers or crew members in these incidents.

Have a comment or question? Please leave on below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Explorer of the Seas (top) via Crew-Center  – on Twitter posts (middle) – Bahnfrend – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.

Another out-of-control brawl recently broke out on a Carnival Cruise Line ship. The Miami Herald reported on the large fracus which took place on the Carnival Sunrise on September 9th. Included in the article, titled A massive fight broke out on a Carnival cruise ship. Cellphone cameras caught it all, was video featured on Twitter.

The Miami Herald explained that “footage of the nasty bust-up . . . involved a handful of people punching and beating on each other . . . ” The “handful” of people were estimated to be around thirty. The fight occured between the pool and one of the ship’s many bars.

The Daily Mail in the UK covered the cruise ship skirmish and included a TicTok video which showed the begining of the fight. The Sun newspaper included a video with a portion of the violent fight.

Fights on Carnival cruise ships are hardly rare, as we have repeatedly reported. The last time a hoard of people began beating each other took place just last June on the Carnival Magic. Sixty 60 passengers were involved in an “all-out brawl” around 5:20 a.m. when the Carnival cruise ship was returning to port in New York following an eight day cruise to the Caribbean. As usual, no one was arrested or prosecuted although numerous cell phones caught many dozens of cruise guests in the melee.

Top 5 Brawls on Carnival’s Fun Ships

We first wrote about the problem of violence on Carnival owned cruise ships back in 2009 in Cruise Ship Brawls – A Problem that Will Get Bigger with Bigger Ships, where we covered a “mini-rampage” on the P&O cruise ship Ventura and a brawl involving passengers who punched, scratched and bit it out with police in Antigua. The following year, we covered another violent brawl on another Carnival ship in More Carnival Legend BrawlCruise Ship Violence – A Drunken Brawl On Carnival’s Dream. We also wrote about this problem in Another Brawl Breaks Out on a Carnival Fun ShipYouTube is filled with videotapes of violence on Carnival ships.

The problem arises when the “wider audience” (a term coined by Carnival chairmen Micky Arison) finds their way onto cruise ships attracted by low prices. Add too much alcohol, and too few well-trained security guards on these budget ships, and this is what happens. Carnival security guards are often seen kicking or hitting the guests or trying to keep onlookers from videotaping the raucous conduct.

Have a comment or question? Pleaeleave one below or join the discusson on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Videos/screenshot – respective YouTube/Twitter users.

CBS News Boston reports that the Massachusetts State Police and FBI agents were called to the Norwegian Breakaway around 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday while the NCL cruise ship was docked at the Black Falcon Terminal in Boston. The ship’s itinerary indicates that it previosly sailed from New York on September 11th and had left Rhode Island earlier on September 12th.

The law enforcement investigations “revealed the alleged assault took place previously while the ship was making way somewhere between Providence and Boston,” State Police spokesman Dave Procopio told WBZ-TV in an email Wednesday. “The suspect and victim are both employees of the ship.”

Sexual assault is the number one crime reported on cruise ships, according to data maintained by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Cruise lines are legally required to report sexual assaults as well as certain other crimes which occur on their ships pursuant to the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. In the past, the cruise ship crime data was maintained by the DOT and available on an internet portal. Unfortunately, the DOT stopped reporting the data in April of 2021 as the cruise industry struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the DOT was still reporting about rapes on cruise ships before COVID-19 shut the industry down, there were seventeen (17) sexual assaults on NCL ships reported from January 2019 through March 31, 2020. During the same time period, there were fifty-three (53) rapes on Carnival Cruise Line ships and thirty-three (33) rapes on Royal Caribbean operated cruise ships. Most such alleged sex crimes on cruises go unprosecuted.

There is not much information in the local CBS news account. The report that the Massachsetts State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) both responded sounds unusual, because in most cases only the FBI has jurisdiction to investigate crimes involving U.S. citizens on cruise ships.  When a cruise ship departs and returns to a port in Florida, both the FBI and Florida state/local law enforcements officers have jurisdiction when a U.S. citizen is the victim or perpetrator.

Have a question or comment? Please leave on below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Image Credit: Norwegian Breakaway – CBS News Boston / CBS4 Boston / WBZ-TV

The Viking Kvasir collided with another ship this morning on the Rhine river near Wesel, Germany. The accident occured during the river cruise ships’s Antwerpen to Amsterdam low country cruise. A couple of passengers and several crew reportedly sustained minor injuries. We received the following information from a passengers on the ship who wishes to remain anonymous:

“The first officer was piloting the ship this morning in heavy fog and there was another barge/ship that was apparently sideways (you can see this from the photo taken from one of the balconies) on the Rhine that we hit.  It was at 6:50 a.m. this morning Wesel Germany time.  Most of the passengers were still in bed and we could feel the ship engines in full reverse for 3-5 seconds and then a massive crash and the sound of breaking glass in our room.

After things started to settle down, they held a shipwide meeting in the lounge and the Hotel Manager said it was the other ship’s fault, and the Viking ship has video proof of it.

Fortunately, injuries were minimal — except for the pride of the first officer . . . she was overcome with emotion and was applauded by all of the passengers for doing everything she could to minimize and avert the collision. There was very limited visibility and shortly after we collided, we saw the other ship perpendicular to our ship and then it disappeared into the fog.  One crew member was taken to a doctor for burns (the chefs were preparing breakfast service).  Others had minor cuts (mainly from picking up LOTS of broken glassware) including in the state rooms. A couple of passengers had minor injuries because they were standing when the ships collided.

The collision happened about a mile from Viking’s privately owned dock in Wesel.  Damage was above the waterline and no water was taken on.  They removed the tarp that covers the glass roof of the Aquavit terrace and have used it to cover up the damage (as in the earlier accidents this year shown on your site).

Breakfast and lunch services were cancelled. Not sure how much dishware is left. Morning excursions carried on and the ship is being resupplied as scheduled. It appears there is at least one Viking executive on the ship.  He wasn’t a member of the crew and was wearing a suit jacket with a Viking name tag.

There are a few police officers interviewing the First Officer right now, as well as someone from the port authority.  The captain and two land based technicians examining the extent of the damage.”

The last accident involving a Viking river cruise ship (the Viking Hermod) occurred in early July of this year.  There have been at least six accidents involving Viking river ships in the last six years, involving the Viking Aegir, Viking Sigyn, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, and an unidentified river cruise ship (some identified the ship as a Viking longship), as well as a couple of incidents involving river ships operated by other companies, including the M/S Swiss Crystal and Scylla Edelweiss. You can read a summary of these accidents here.

Have a comment or question? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

September 12, 2022 Update:

Newsweek covered the collision in an article titled: Cruise Ship Collides With Another Vessel After Getting Caught in Heavy Fog

September 13, 2022 Update:

NZ Herald reported on the collision: Viking river cruise collides with ship on the Rhine

A massive flood aboard a Carnival cruise ship captured on videos recently posted on TicTok became viral sensations today. The two videos posted by adrienne_marie_1 of a flood which started in a passenger cabin on the Carnival Vista has been viewed over 14,000,000 times today. There is no date on the video but news accounts suggest that allegedly this was a “recent” cruise.


Woke to water rushing into our cabin…our lives flashed before our eyes #cruise #titanic #flooding #carnival #wet #survived

♬ My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) – Maliheh Saeedi & Faraz Taali


Disclaimer!! We are not trash talking the crusieline or the crew. Just documenting a scary experince that turned out funny. We did actually wake up to this flood and water past our ankles…so titanic vibes for about 5 minutes😳😅 #titanic #indoorflood #cruiselife #cruiseship #immersiveexperience #flood #vaca #funship #itscorn #forthemems

♬ Titanic (Trap Remix) – Trap Remix Guys

This is not the first time that a pipe has ruptured on a cruise ship. Four years ago, a broken pipe aboard the Carnival Dream flooded around 50 cabins on the ship. A video shows shows water dramatically cascading down deck 9. Photos (below right) and videos posted on Facebook show water pouring from the ceiling and down the walls. Carnival explained that the water line break involved “clean water from a fire suppression system.”

By all accounts, Carnival did the right thing in that flood. After crew members quickly dried the area and replaced the carpeting, Carnival offered a 100% reimburment to those affected, an additional 50% off a future cruise and the option to be flown home.

There is no indication how Carnival has handled this current, soggy mess.

Also around four years ago, the MSC Seaview suffered a flood down the main stairwell when a water line apparently broke on the ship (photo below left).

But some cruise lines have not been generous when passenger cabins flood during cruises.

A flood aboard Royal Caribean’s Serenade of the Seas back in January 2015 affected several hundred cabins, but the cruise line offfered only a partial cruise credit to the affected guests.

Probably the most egregious situation involved a flood due to a broken pipe aboard the Freedom of the Seas back in January of 2011. Royal Caribbean refused to refund any portion of the cruise fares of the inconvienced passengers – instead offering only a 50% discount on a future cruise. One story involved the couple’s first vacation after the husband returned from service in the Iraqi War.  You can see a video of the mess here.

Anyone know when this latest leak occurred and how Carnival handled this flood?

Please leave a a comment or question below, or join the discussion on our Facebookpage.

Video Credit: adrienne_marie_1


Yesterday morning, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a sixty-six year old woman from the Ruby Princess cruise ship. The USCG station in Astoria, Oregon dispatched a MH-60 Jayhawk which winched the cruise guest from the Princess cruise ship when the ship was approximately seventy-five miles southwest of the Columbia River Bar near Portland.

KATU news station in Oregon reported that the woman was airlifted to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland and is now in stable medical condition.

There is no public information regarding what medical condition this particular passenger suffered from or the reason for the emergency medical evacuation.

Medical evacuation of guests or crew members from cruise ships is provided by the USCG without cost or expense to the cruise guests, crew members or the cruise lines themselves. It is one of the many expenses incurred by U.S. federal agencies which are paid by U.S. taxpayers.

Have a comment or question? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Image credits: Screengrab and video – U.S. Coast Guard via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) and USCGPacificNorthwest / @USCGPacificNW.

Yesterday evening, a fire broke out on the Quantum of the Seas as it sailed on an Alaskan itinerary, according to a Royal Caribbean crew member who wishes to remain anonymous. The crew member notified me of the following information:

“Fire on Quantum OTS last night in the engine room/casing in zone 5, multiple decks. Bravo announcement (code to alert crew to a fire or other serious incident on board without alarming passengers) at approx. 8:50 P.M., then again a few minutes later. When the theatre let out passengers were met with fire crews rushing down the stairs. Passengers were visibly a bit panicked. Kilo announcement (Royal Caribbean general signal for crew to report to emergency stations) shortly after 9:00 P.M. with crew running down hallways with emergency vests on. Deck 6 aft passenger cabins evacuated and deck 5 closed past aft elevators. Passengers were advised not to use aft elevators and stay clear of the area. Captain and Cruise Director made a few announcements stating there was a fire and crew members were working on it. Around 10:00 P.M. they announced fire was out and they were working on clearing the areas to open again.

Just a little excitement for the evening!

This morning, we arrived in Juneau a little early (1 hour), but other than that it seems like business as usual.

Later this afternoon, the captain made an announcement thanking the crew’s ‘quick action which prevented a potentially very serious situation.’ Knowing the Kilo code was called, this was a very serious situation anyway!”

When I inquired of the crew member whether there was a public announcement of the cause of the fire, the employee responded:

“Nothing. As usual, the only information given was the absolute bare minimum.”

A number of cruise guests tweeted about the fire with several people complaining about the lack of public information released to the passengers.

One guest commented that the crew was “professional and quick” although he also mentioned that “it was still a little scary with the alarms and doors shutting.”

The Royal Caribbean ship departed from Seattle, Washington on August 29th for a seven day Alaskan Glacier cruise. Before it arrived in Juneau this morning, the ship sailed to Ketchikan on August 30th and Sitka on September 1st. The ship is scheduled to call on Victoria, Canada on September 4th and will return to Seattle on September 5th.

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported. There has been no public disclosure of the extent of the property damage or the cause of the fire.

According to cruisemapper.com, on June 5, 2014, a fire broke out on the Quantum during construction at the Meyer Werft shipbuilding yard in Papenburg, Germany. During the incident, two of the workers were injured, suffering from smoke poisoning. The ship sustained damages estimated at around USD $68,000.

Ship fires are not uncommon occurrences, although cruise lines try to create  the illusion that such dangers are rare. In an article titled dated 2013, the New York Times concluded that cruise ship fires were “not unusual,” (citing cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein who testified before the U.S. Congress), stating that:

“There have been about 79 fires onboard cruise ships between 1990 and 2011, according to Mr. Klein’s data. Up until about 2006 there were usually three or four fires a year. From 2006 onward the number of fires doubled to about seven or eight a year. That increase, Mr. Klein said, is the result of a combination of better reporting (thanks, social media) and the rapid growth of the cruise industry.”

As part of their efforts to restrict adverse public sentiment, cruise lines prohibit their crew members from releasing information to the public. Thanks to this particular crew member for disclosing details to the public.

Have a comment or questions? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

September 3, 2022 Update:

We are receiving additional informaton from passengers on this ship. One guest (Jenna Kavana), who provided the video above, stated:

“My husband and I saw smoke and fire embers from our 7th deck balcony a little before 8:35 pm. We also noticed that the boat had come to a complete stop. We ran up the stairs to deck 15 for a closer look and did not understand why there were no announcements and why the decks seemed empty with no people. I think they closed the fire doors and we’re keeping people in the restaurant and theater around this time. We finally heard them announce the Bravo x3 and later the Kilo x3 closer to or past 9:00 pm. I was having to message my family to ask what these codes meant. At some point we realized our muster station access was blocked and we had no life jackets in the room. It would have been nice to have more information about where to go and what to do. I was in a panic for at least an hour. ☹️

. . .  I could see the fire from my balcony about 30 minutes before an announcement was made and was panicking due to the lack of acknowledgment and instructions. There’s no excuse for withholding information that may put someone’s life in danger. People should have a right to be informed as quickly as possible so they can make the best decision they can.

. . . this one isn’t a great picture but that black looking cloud is smoke.”

Image credit: Quantum of the Seas – Frank Schwichtenberg – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.

This morning, I received an inquiry from a family member of one of the passengers on Oceania’s Nautica seeing information regarding what is happening on this cruise ship.

The ship was apparently “circling” for hours last night and I was informed that tape was subsequently placed on one of the ship’s decks. Turkish police was apparently on board the ship now, according to one of the passengers.

The ship’s itinerary indicates that the Nautica left Barcelona, Spain on August 15th and sailed to Spain, France, Monte Carlo, Malta, Italy and Greece before being schedule to arrive in Turkey around noon today.

Images per crusemapper.com of ship’s AIS  indicates that the Nautica conducted what appears to be search and rescue last night while approaching Turkey. A person commenting on Facebook stated:

“A person has gone overboard on our ship… Oceania Nautica. Off the coast of Turkey. We are stopped and have been searching since last night….. just shocked.”

The cruise line, as usual, has not issued a public statement regarding what happened.  There is no public information whether the missing person was a guest or a crew member. We anticipate receiving additional information from passengers or crew on the ship.

Should you have any comments or questions, please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

August 29, 2022 Update:

To date, neither Oceania nor parent company, NCL, have issued a statement regarding the person missing from the Nautica. 

One passenger on this ship left this comment on our Facebook page: “They have kept us in the dark as far as any information.”

August 30, 2022 Update:

A passenger on the Nautica has left this information on our Facebook page:

“Female Passenger from deck 8., Penthouse starboard side. Went overboard from her balcony. from her cabin. Her body was recovered, and ship went to port in Istanbul the following day. Unclear whether she jumped. Husband left the ship in Istanbul. Ship has issued no statement to passengers except to say a sad incident had occurred.”


As the Miami Herald reported this week in an article titled Top U.S. Cruise Lines Set to Allow Passengers Without COVID-19 Shots on Most Voyages,  “Royal Caribbean and the other major cruise lines are moving to soon allow passengers to board most voyages without COVID-19 shots.”

The “big three” cruise companies, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, have also recently rolled back their policies of requiring pre-cruise COVID-19 testing for most guests boarding their cruise ships.

Not coincidentially, all cruise lines have announced an explosion in the sale of cruises. The Miami Herald reports that:

“Carnival said its sales nearly doubled on Aug. 15 — the first business day after announcing that unvaccinated people would be welcomed aboard sailings shorter than 16 nights starting Sept. 6 — compared to bookings the same day in 2019. (emphasis added)

Officials of Norwegian, which will permit passengers on all sailings regardless of vaccination status beginning Sept. 3, told investors in a recent quarterly earnings call that announcement was ‘an instant catalyst’ for a deluge of reservations.”

The Washington Post recently published Welcome Aboard, Unvaccinated Cruise Passengers where the newspaper reported that as cruise lines drop vaccine and testing rules, companies are seeing a  ‘huge spike” in bookings.”

CCL, RCL and NCLH Are Imploding With Over $73,000,000,000 in Debt – Is Bankruptcy on the Horizon?

While reporting that most cruise lines are dropping vaccine requirements, the Herald did not report on the obvious fact that all three of these large cruise companies are struggling with enormous debt which places their continued viability in jeopardy.

One analyst (Motley Fool) recently explained the stark finacial reality which cruise lines are now facing:

“Cruise companies are laden with debt — $36.4 billion at Carnival, $23.8 billion at Royal Caribbean, and almost $14 billion at Norwegian Cruise. Interest rates are climbing, and the higher they go, the more expensive it gets for cruise stocks to service their debt — and the longer it will take these companies to return to profitability (if they even can).”

The same analyst further explained that the cruise lines’ cost of servicing the over $73,000,000,000 in combined debt which CCL, RCL and NCLH are facing, is over 11% a year in interest, an amount which no cruise line has ever netted in profits in a year:

“Royal Caribbean confirmed that its new $1 billiion + debt will cost 11.625% in annual interest. That’s more than triple what the old debt that gets rolled over used to cost, inasmuch as that old debt was paying (interest) only between 2.875% and 4.25%.

Royal Caribbean will incur expenses to service its $23.8 billion debt load in future years. . .. If Royal Caribbean spent $1.3 billion on the interest on its debt in 2021, a tripling in interest rates would indicate interest on debt would be $3 billion or even $4 billion a year.

Given that even in its most profitable year ever — 2019 — Royal Caribbean didn’t generate even $2.1 billion in operating profit, the potential for interest costs rising past $3 billion calls into question Royal Caribbean’s ability to ever return to profitability (without even considering the effects of future inflation).

Meanwhile, if Carnival and Norwegian Cruise sail a similar route, their interest costs could soar toward $4.5 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively. And — you guessed it — neither Carnival nor NCL have ever earned that amount of pre-interest costs operating profit, either, potentially putting those two in a similar bind.”

“Carnival Corporation: The Perfect Storm”

Another analyst (Seeking Alpha) concludes that although revenue has increased at Carnival Corporation, the cruise giant suffers from a “continuous deterioration” and its financial structure is now “completely compromised after 2 years of huge losses.” He suggests that Carnnival’s $35,000,000,000 in debt has more than tripled, and there are stringent covenants limiting corporate maneuvering. Meanwhile, “COVID-19 difficulties are still persisting.” He writes of the contining effects of COVID-19 on the cruise line:

“To date, what is left of the 2019 Carnival is very little. The cruise industry has been hammered by repeated difficulties and there is still no end in sight. In 2020 COVID-19 destroyed the entire industry . . . ”

The Cruise Industry Has Opted to Improve its Bottom Line at the Expense of the Health and Public Safety of its Employees and the Traveling Public 

Faced with the extreme financial pressures created by crippling debt and the ongoing difficulties presented by COVID-19, the cruise industry has decided to try and improve its bottom line by essentially abandoning its COVID-19 vaccine and testing protocols and inviting unvaxxed customers aboard.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped reporting to the public COVID-19 cases on cruise ships in July, 100% of the approximately 100 ships sailing from U.S. ports had at least 3% of the guests and crew testing positive for COVID-19.  For the last six months, we have reported that there are routinely cruise ships with between 100 to 200 passengers and crew positive for the virus.

The Washington Post reported this week that cruise ships “reported nearly 15,000 cases between Dec. 30 and Jan. 12, the agency said.” This averages more than 150 infected passengers and crew per cruise ship.

In the aforementioned Washington Post article, over 100 readers left comments bemoaning the cruise industry’s dropping of vaccine and testing policies. Here are just a few:

“. . . It’s very foolish for the cruise lines to drop the vaccination requirement – and dangerous. We always sail on the smaller more expensive luxury lines and feel very safe. But now I have read that even our favorite line will be dropping the vaccination requirement – if that is the case, we are so disappointed that they will lose our business. We’ll not cruise with them or anyone again until we see how this disastrous change of policy works out. Goodbye cruising for now.”

“Just got off a European river cruise where everyone was required to be vaccinated. Nonetheless 1/3 of passengers came down with COVID on the 15 day cruise. Things are about to get worse.”

“They may have had a pent-up demand surge for a couple of days after the announcement, but once the next big outbreak happens lots of people will join me in finding safer ways to travel.”

You can read all of the comments here.

Cruise Lines: Cooperating with the COVID-19 Virus?

The Miami Herald quoted Dr. William Greenough, an infectious disease specialist at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who advocated continued COVID-19 testing of everyone on a cruise ship. Dr. Greenough talks about COVID-19 and its new co-dependant friend, the cruise industry:

“It’s adapted to not kill us and to have us go out into crowds so it can spread; that’s what the virus wants, so the cruise ships are cooperating with the virus . . . ”

Double-Whammy: Cruise Lines Scrap COVID-19 Rules while Hiding the Number of Infected on Ther Ships

Members of the public who are considering taking a cruise are now facing a doule-whammy: cruise lines (and the CDC) are refusing to disclose the number of passengeers and crew infected with COVID-19. At the same time, the cruise lines are, in most situations, scrapping their vaccination and testing policies.  At this point, the cruise lines’ financial desperation has resulted in a brazen gamble to forego basic disease prevention and monitoring simply to attract new income to their fast-sinking businesses.

Have a comment or quesstion? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Top – photo image: Sinking of the luxury liner Oceanos after taking on water in rough seas during a voyage around the coast of South Africa in 1991 – Getty Images via BBC.

According to numerous reports, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises canceled their itineraries to Ensenada, Mexico after a weekend of vandalism, looting and threats of mass violence by a drug cartel in that port city and other locations in Northern Baja. The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), formerly known as Los Mata Zetas, burned vehicles in the area and threatened violence.

These two Miami based cruise lines, which sail from Long Beach, California to the west coast of Mexico, stopped calling on Ensenada this past weekend. AIS tracking systems show both the Carnival Radiance and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas sailing in circles off the coast of Ensenada earlier this week. Last Friday, the Mexican drug cartel sent a warning promising “mayhem on the streets” throughout the weekend unless some of its gang members were released from prison. Reports followed of automobiles being hijacked and burned, roadblocks being erected and stores being looted.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “messages also began circulating on social media, purportedly from the Jalisco New Generation cartel, declaring a curfew in Tijuana (about 100 kilometers of Ensenada) and warning residents to go home or risk being attacked.” The Times also reported that “hundreds of military troops and special forces had arrived in Tijuana to help restore order and reinforce security. Some 300 troops, along with 50 members of the national guard, were flown in to support 3,000 national guard troops and the 2,000-strong Tijuana police force that, according to the mayor, were already patrolling.”

According to the Border Report, the mayor of Ensenada, Mexico issued a public announcement that “cruise ships are coming back” after pulling out over security concerns for passengers and employees.

According to the mayor’s office, Carnival had “threatened to cease operations in Ensenada unless security measures for passengers were enhanced.”

The mayor claims that he obtained unspecified “assurances” from Carnival during a conference call Monday afternoon.

“I’m very happy they confirmed the rest of their scheduled arrivals and they trust in the actions we’ve implemented,” Mayor Ayala Robles said. The nature of the so-called “security procedures” allegedly undertaken were not mentioned. Carnival has not publicly stated that it has specific plans to resume its previous iteniraries to Ensenada. Royal Caribbean has been silent about this danger.

Selling cruises to Mexico has always involved being tricky. Gunmen robbed 22 Carnival passengers on an excursion in Mexico around ten years ago.

Back in 2012, Royal Caribbean and NCL cruise ships, which sailed to Mexico, repositioned from Los Angeles because of fears of violence in Mexico. We wrote numerous articles over a decade ago about the danger of drug-related violence and crime in certain Mexican ports of call.

An AP article from over a decade ago stated that although port officials and cruise industry representatives have tried to emphasize that most violence in Mexico takes place away from cruise destinations, this message has a hard time “competing with images of beheaded bodies on the news.”

Have a comment or question? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Top images: AIS information Ensenada, Mexico and Navigator of the Seas – MarineTraffic.com.