The Observer in St. Kitts-Nevis is reporting that cruise passengers on a tour bus were robbed this morning, apparently during an excursion from a cruise ship – "Busload of Tourists Robbed at Gunpoint."
The robbery reportedly occurred in the Sandy Point area on the island. A "local tour bus of cruise passengers had been robbed at gunpoint along the island’s main road as the bus made its way to Brimestone Hill."
The tour bus is identified as the "Caribbean Journey Masters tour bus," which was being driven by owner Urban Herbert at the time of the incident. While the tour bus was heading towards a historic site, rocks and branches were strewn across the bus’ path. Mr. Herbert exited the bus to investigate, and the robbers threw a rock into the windshield of the bus. Two armed, masked men rushed from the bushes and entered the bus.
The newspaper reported that seventeen (17) passengers including an infant were aboard the bus at the time of the robbery. The cruise passengers were robbed of their money, cell phones, jewelry and other personal items. The police released a statement that no one was physically injured.
As is often the case, the police did not release the name of the cruise line or cruise ship. Local police and tourism bureaus in the Caribbean are very sensitive to bad press and avoid embarrassing the cruise lines on which they rely for the U.S. tourist dollar.
It turns out that the passengers were from the Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury cruise ship.
The St. Kitts police / tourism people claim that crime like this is unheard of; however, another local newspaper SKNVibes reports in an article – "Tourists Robbed at Gunpoint Near Brimstone Hill" – that local taxi drivers state that this is nothing new and security needs to be improved, particularly when cruise ships arrive.
I have written many articles about the high crime rates in many of the Caribbean islands frequented by cruise lines – Crime in Caribbean Ports of Call Against Cruise Passengers. Consider the following articles in the last year alone:
Additional information: Tourism and Crime in the Caribbean
December 3, 2010 Update: