There has been a very public debate about the safety of cruise passengers while in Mexican ports. In June of this year, Princess Cruises pulled out of Puerto Vallarta (and Mazatlan) stating "as the safety and security of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and based on the continued violence in these areas, we’ve made the decision to cancel our calls to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.”
Puerto Vallarta was not pleased and responded with an accusation that the crime rate was actually higher on Princess’ cruise ships than in this Mexican port.
Last month Princess announced that it would add these two ports back to its itinerary next year but will monitor the violence in Mexico to determine if it would continue to serve the two ports.
Well now we have another violent crime which struck pretty close to apparently unsuspecting Holland America Line cruise passengers as they visited a shopping square near the cruise terminal. (HAL and Princess are both owned By Carnival).
A Cruise Law News reader brought to my attention that a newspaper in Mexico reports that when a Holland America cruise ship was in port in Puerto Vallarta earlier this month, six armed criminals robbed a jewelry store right across from the ship pier.
The November 1, 2011 article states that six heavily armed men robbed a jewelry store, located at the exclusive Plaza Galleries and got away with millions of dollars of diamonds.
The robbery turned violent as the gunmen repeatedly beat the store manager in the head with a pistol.
The incident occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon while cruise passengers from the HAL cruise ship were in the shopping plaza where the jewelry store is located. The news article reports "several tourists from Holland America cruise ship, docked at the Maritime Terminal, located across the street, were in the square."
There is no indication that any of the HAL cruise passengers were in danger or even knew of the robbery. Nonetheless, it is unsettling that heavily armed banditos can stick up an exclusive jewelry store in a shopping square on a port day across from the terminal and get away scott free.
I wonder if Princess Cruises or HAL even know that the crime occurred?
November 25 2011 Update: "Radio Silence"
"Cruzi" @CruiseCritic had an interesting comment on this story: " . . . these days there is more "stuff" going on of concern to tourists right in the tourist zone in PV than ever happened in Mazatlan in the tourist zone. Difference is almost nothing gets press in English from Puerto Vallarta, and no "incident" chatter on forums permitted. The city relies on tourism nearly 100%. I also wonder if Holland America is even aware of what went on. Probably, because it happened under their noses in a mall frequented heavily by passengers. I just happened across this article searching for something else that just happened there. Was anyone on the HA ship in Puerto Vallarta on November 1st? This group has struck again, more than once, alluding capture, but that’s not all that’s going on there. Yet, radio silence."
Photo credit: informador.com.mx