The issue of the safety of cruise passengers in Mexico is again in the news with the armed robbery of twenty-two cruise passengers in Mexico on Thursday.

The passengers had sailed to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor and were on an excursion near Puerto Vallarta which was advertised and sponsored by the cruise line.

A Mexican newspaper reports that masked men robbed the passengers at gunpoint when they were returning to the cruise ship in a bus after touring "El Nogalito," a natural park.  The gunmen took off with the passengers billfolds, watches, cameras, cellphones and jewelry.  The newspaper reports that the local authorities initially tried to downplay the incident.

The Puerto Vallarta Robbery is Just Latest Crime Targeting Cruise Passengers

Puerto Vallarta - Cruise Ship  - Crime MexicoCruise lines and the local tourism boards usually respond to these type of crimes against tourists by claiming that they are rare.

In the video below (KCAL-9 / CBS Los Angeles) you can hear travel expert Peter Greenberg, say (excitedly) that armed robbery of cruise tourists in buses is "highly unusual" and an "aberration," while mentioning that he has plans to vacation in Mexico next week. 

But the truth is that crimes like this are not rare at all. U.S. passengers disembarking into Mexico and the Caribbean Islands are increasingly being targeted by criminals in groups.  We hear of virtually no crimes against passengers disembarking in Canada, Alaska or European itineraries.  But Mexico and the Caribbean ports of call, plagued by poverty and drugs, are a different story. The banditos go after the money and jewelry and cruise tourists have both.  Why target a single tourist when you can rob cruise passengers in bulk in buses in remote areas?  

Cruisers are sitting ducks.  Consider that over 100 cruise passengers have been robbed at gunpoint or murdered just in Mexico or the Caribbean islands in the last couple of years:

Eleven Royal Caribbean Cruise Passengers Robbed In Nassau

Eighteen Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Passengers Robbed at Gunpoint in Nassau

Fourteen Passengers Robbed at Gunpoint at Anse-La-Reye Waterfall in St. Lucia

Seventeen Celebrity Cruise Tourists In Bus Robbed in St. Kitts

Royal Caribbean Crewmember Murdered in Mexico 

Bahamas Cruise Crime Nightmare Continues 

Gun Fight in Cabo San Lucas – Is It Safe to Cruise to Mexico?

Violence Strikes Puerto Vallarta Jewelry Store While HAL Cruise Ship in Port  

More Caribbean Crime – Carnival Cruise Passenger Killed in St. Thomas  

NCL Cruise Passenger Murdered in Guatemala

Passenger From Star Clipper Murdered in Antigua

Cruise Passengers Attacked and Robbed in Antigua While Cruise and Tourism Officials Meet

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines Pull Cruise Ships From L.A. Due to Crime in Mexico

Does the Cruise Industry Monitor Crime in Ports of Call? 

Is the cruise industry providing adequate warnings to families of the dangers ashore in the ports chosen by the cruise lines?  It seems to me that unsuspecting cruise guests are being disembarked into increasingly dangerous ports of call in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Expect a lively debate where Mexican officials will understate the problem and the cruise industry defenders will chant "crime occurs everywhere."  But it’s only in Mexico and the Caribbean ports where cruise passengers are robbed at gunpoint, literally by the busload.

  • Diane

    I think as a travel agent I would never send any clients, cruise or otherwise to any Mexican area. Too dangerous and who needs it. I am afraid that cruises and tourists alike are going to stop vacationing there. Sad, there is so many nice places to visit, but not at this time.

  • Bruce Pierce

    Combine all of these stories, and you will have a daily dose of the news in the once great city of Detroit. I live north of Detroit, and stories of murder and mayhem are daily fare.

  • Bob Smallwood

    My wife and I are heading down to Cancun March 17. We feel safer there than we do in Miami. We just dont go to the places we are warned to stay away from (every city has those places).

  • Bob Smallwood

    My wife and I are heading down to Cancun March 17. We feel safer there than we do in Miami. We just dont go to the places we are warned to stay away from (every city has those places).

  • mike

    I live north of Detroit too stop it Bruce Pierce unreal!!!

  • marco

    there were lots of gun-shot killing last weekend in oakland california, just across the bay from san francisco; do they report it all over the world just as these type of news?

  • Bobby

    Unfortunately news like this drives more and more travelers and tourists away from areas in Mexico where the people need the income so greatly. The local people in the tourist areas may need to become some what of vigilantes along with a non corrupt law enforcement to help protect their tourism industry and to insure the the criminals are apprehended. The punishment for taking away the livelihood of your local people should not be taken lightly.
    My wife and I were in Puerto Vallarta on a different tour (Thank God) at the same time this crime occurred. We felt safe for the week we were in PV but noticed the lack of tourists, the resort we stayed at was about 1/4 capacity or less and other nearby resorts seamed to have few people as well.
    It is sad that violence, crime and drugs has to hurt so many people, be such a fight and that no country is free from this activity! To help suppress criminal activity every good person should turn in anyone they they know that is involved in criminal activity.