Yahoo Travel published an article today that’s certain to upset the tourism representatives in the Caribbean islands which are dependent on cruise tourism.

Entitled The Worst Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call, the article lists the five ports in the Caribbean with the worst reputations. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis has heard of many of these locations. Here’s Yahoo’s selections:

Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas: At the top of the list is the Bahamas. Yahoo Travel writes that the Bahamas has fallen under crime warnings from the U.S. State Department this year due to the frequency of armed robberies, kidnappings, and rapes in Nassau. It includes this quote: “This is a shipping port. There is nothing Nassa Bahamasthere but a Senor Frogs and a few overpriced shops.”

Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica:  The article says that the ports are "ugly and scary." I don’t disagree, but I tend to like these places.

Belize City, Belize: Passengers have to tender in to the city but there’s little to do, says Yahoo.

Roatan, Honduras:  The article mentioned the U.S. State Department warnings about crime in Honduras including the Bay Islands, saying although Roatan "has a lower crime rate than other parts of the country, thefts, break-ins, assaults, and murders do occur and are still high by international standards.” Roatan is currently struggling with the recent disappearance of four local boys who have not been seen since December 3rd, with fears that they have been murdered.  

Somana and LaRomana, Dominican Republic:  Yahoo says that "abject poverty, filth, and drugs in these two ports" leave many passengers wondering why they are included in any cruise itinerary.  

My view: There’s no question that the Caribbean has some of the poorest and most dangerous ports of call in the world. There are more & more, new, and bigger & bigger cruise ships coming on line each year. The Caribbean is already crowded with ships. The cruise lines are left to market itineraries with ports which a prudent family would otherwise avoid. 

December 11 2014 Update: Nassau’s Tribune newspaper comments on the Yahoo article and our coverage of the story.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia / TampAGS, for AGS Media 

Have a thought?  Please leave a message below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Don’t miss reading: Top 10 Most Dangerous Cruise Destinations in the World.

  • Debbie

    I think more and more, with the crappy/dangerous ports the ship is going to become the destination instead of the islands. Unless they clean up the crime and violence in port they stand to lose a lot of business. Corruption by police and government officials are not winning anyone over. Clean up lose cruise traffic.

  • Mark gilmore

    i have been to Jamaica twice and each time
    Was one of the best ports to visit. Always felt
    Safe and the people were so friendly and
    The prices for gifts for friends and family were the best
    Would visit again and recommend it to all

  • Tim

    The Bahamas is the most dangerous place I have ever visited. Last year my girlfriend and I were robbed in the middle of the day in Freeport Bahama. Luckily we weren’t hurt, but my girlfriend was mentally affected by the ordeal. She told me she will never travel to the Caribbean again, she even turns the channels on the T.V. if there is any advertising about the Caribbean. This country doesn’t seem to care about tourist either, when we called the Bahamian police it took them 3 hours to arrive. And when they finally did arrive, they acted so unprofessional, asking us what we did to provoke the robbery. I lost it, I told them this was the most corrupt country on the planet, and we just wanted them to leave us alone. Warning to all WHITE people in the Bahamas, get out while you can because this country is racist in every way against WHITE people!

  • Robert Lopez

    Comment about Belize, There are many things to do in Belize, the country itself is home to a wide variety Maya Ruins, Caves and Reservations. Yes, there are only tenders in the City as it is shallow waters and we are home to the second largest barrier reef in the world. Needless to say, the business of cruise ships here is mandated so that the cruise ship and its various companies benefit from cruise visits. Tourist Village is owned by a Specific Cruise Line and is the arriving port for all cruise ships. Belize is a victim of cruise ships.

  • carlos

    Jim Walker, I know you are not the original author of this article, but… do you ever publish something good about Roatan?
    Did you had a personal bad experience in Roatan and now you feel like you need to tell the rest of the world about it?
    Roatan is not a dangerous place, this article is exagerating everything.

  • Kerry-Ann Prince

    We look forward to having you again Mark Gilmore and bring all your friends along. #visitjamaica

  • Margot Knight

    So unfair to Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica! With my teenage son, i went to all three. In Nassau, Bahamas, head straight to Greycliffe Inn for lunch, check out the cigar-rolling and third largest wine-cellar in the world and visit the Art Gallery of the Bahamas, an overlooked gem. Or head out to the landfill and have some conch fritters or ceviche. Jamaica? Bobsled! And the falls are a blast! Belize? Go tubing or take a private zodiac boat ride up the Belize River. Even if the ports are ugly, the countries and their people aren’t. Do some extra homework. Don’t let this report scare you away from cruises to these ports.

  • Let’s look on the bright side…when you arrive at one of these ports, you can have the ship to yourself for the day. There’s no need to disembark at all…kinda of an extra sea day without the crowds! But don’t tell any of your fellow passengers about this list…

  • Bradley Griffin
  • I’ve never been on a cruise ship but I live in Belize and the cruise port is SOOOOOOO not the way to see our country. Book a trip to the Maya ruins or the zoo or cave tubing? Awesome. But hang around in Belize City and you ARE going to be disappointed.

  • James

    Its very unfair to include all of the Bahamas as Nassau or Freeport. The outer islands are lovely and the people will do whatever they can to insure you have a good visit. We have been in Abaco for 11 years and never been robbed, beat up or anything that would make us consider leaving. I agree with previous posts the author should do his/her homework and report truthfully. Perhaps you are trying to keep all the visitors in Miami the safest place in the world!!!


  • Kelly

    Yahoo has been misled. Bahamians spend almost a billion dollars a year in the United States but you try to frighten the few who come to these shores. Maybe you should do some more research and see how the Bahamian people go out of their way to ensure a positive experience by tourists. One bad experience is not sufficient to put a whole country at the top of your list. Get over yourself. We are a tourism nation and have learned over time how to ensure our visitors enjoy their trip. The police also display professionalism when it comes to visitors so the one who had the bad experience may have been a one off that could happen in any country including the USA where the crime rate is 0 and anyone can feel safe wherever they go (sarcasm mine).

  • Christine

    I have been to Nassau Bahamas and would visit there again in a heart beat, and Im from Roatan, and would not change it fro the USA no matter what… and I for one agree with BRADLEY GRIFFIN that there is NO COUNTRY CRIME FREE, and considering the crime rate in USA our Islands are crime free compared to YOUR COUNTRY

  • Christine & Kelly:

    The murder rate in the Bahamas is over 30 per 100,000 compared to 4.5 per 100,000 in the U.S. Nassau is particularly dangerous.

    Look at murder rates in Nassau versus Miami (Miami-Dade County):

    Last year 119 people were murdered in the Bahamas. The vast majority of the homicides involved local citizens and occurred in Nassau (New Providence) with a population of only 250,000. By contrast Miami-Dade County has a total population of 5,500,000 with only 229 murders. Miami-Dade has 22 times more people but less than twice as many murders as Nassau.

    People who travel to countries in the Caribbean for vacation deserve to know that they are hardly cruising to “paradise” as the cruise line and tourism representatives suggest.


    i cant understand the idea of misleading info , about the ports on the cruises itinerary ,,, the port of Roatan in honduras is a paradise compared to other ports not mentioned in your survey,, ports such as MIAMI IN THE US, there are so many things to worry about , but cant be mentioned ..jacksonville fla ,, one of the must dangerous citys in the us , because of its high crime rate,, this are just two places in a large list of ports of call in the US soil..sorry for being such a bad ass telling you what you deserve for hiding “”little things “” about the reality in the US ports.

  • flambay

    “the article lists the five ports in the Caribbean with the worst reputations” Do you mean to say 5 countries? Because their is certainly more than five ports listed in this article.

  • Bevery ferguson

    What is so sad about this is that anywhere you go you will find some element of crime. Just because you have experienced it, gives you no right to diss an entire country.
    I sensed the ignorance in this the minute I saw the comment about Nassau ports. How ignorant! You obviously failed to explore other things on the port as there are some exeptionsl restaurants and stores there. As far as the pricing goes, prices are escalated in any downtown/ city area no matter where you go.
    As far as the comparison between murders in the bahamas and Miami goes, I would love to see the source of your quotes. Are you quoting murders of homicides in your comparison ? I see that you have interchanged these terms when in fact they are two deprecate crimes. Are you sure the murder count is 229? Or is it the number of homicides?

  • greg borden

    Am from the bay island mr walker and am gonna say it to you like it is u dont
    Have to come to our Ilands we dont have to put up with people like you
    The ships are not going to stop coming because you say its scary and ugly
    Dont look down on our island and call it ugly and scary because all of that
    ugly scary and crime thing u talking about take a good look around you its
    Right in your back yard sir

  • Leah

    As far as murder in the Bahamas goes, the majority of murders in the bahamas take place in Nassau and are not in tourist areas.They take place in local communities and are for the most part retaliation related taking place between local. The out islands are beautiful and practically crime free. The crime situation in Nassau is bad, but really not as bad as people are making it out to be. My best advice to tourists would be to be careful dont go out alone and dont get drunk off your head with expensive jewellry on and flashing money because you become a target. If you can be careful and smart you will most likely be just fine on your visit.

  • Warren

    Our ports mentioned in Jamaica could use some facelift, but that does not make them dangerous. See Falmouth Port. It is an example of Paradise….

  • Professor Gilbert Morris
  • Fernando

    Roatan is a safe and wonderful place. I you go a bad neighborhood in any country, you will surely find trouble. That is why they recommend where to go. There are many things to do in Roatan. Roatan is home to many Americans, Canadians and Europeans who would strongly differ.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely that the author has visited any of the ports he mentions.

    This article has been written by somebody who ignores many of the aspects, just because he has Copied and Pated many of the comments.

  • Kasandra

    to the publisher and all of you who says that Roatan is dangerous. what about the things that is happen now in the US, with white cop killing black people for no reason and the law is doing nothing about, this is racist, why don’t you talk about that……..

  • Angel Du Charme

    Too bad people are going to believe these comments instead of making up their own mind by visiting the places….People who enjoyed them do not write about it, but the few who have bad experienced do…
    The US should start by looking at themselves…
    They should put advisory not to travel there, their crime rate is so high…
    In Freeport, Bahamas they probably stay at the harbor and did not come out to see the island….
    How then can you make this kind of negative comments
    and destroy people livelihood.
    Shame on you!

  • Sharron Manion

    I have been on 15 Cruise vacations, that is how Jamaica became my Home. Truly the Jewell of the Caribbean. I have lived here 30+ years and have experienced many changes good and bad. Absolutely the safest place I have ever lived. Our Cruise Port in Ocho Rios is Beautiful, Island Village a wonderful place to shop and Dine. We have a Lovely, Free,Park right in the Heart of Town less than a 10 minute walk from the Pier. Our happy, friendly Tourism Police are everywhere, providing info or just a smile to welcome you. I walk anywhere in Town from the Pier to Town end and enjoy every second of it. If you have any worries when you visit my Home just give me a call and I will meet you at the Gate and show you around. It is lovely.

  • keisha Kelly

    I am a Bahamian that has traveled the World & I wouldn’t give this country for anything. Every country has crime whether it be rape, murders, robbery , kidnapping etc.The Bahamas has 700 Islands one of the most beautifuliest is Harbour Island with beautiful pink sand & friendly people.Nassa & Freeport is the 1st & 2nd city and I live in Nassau where I have never hear of kidnapping. Our slogan is It’s Better in the Bahamas but we as Bahamians will make a Better Bahamas for visitors. I am apologizing for any bad experience that any visitor had.In conclusion I would like to say I have had bad experiences in other counrties but, I never tried to discredit any country because every country has its challenges.So pkease remember Tourism is our no.1industry so please don’t destroy it with negative press.

  • Keisha:

    Please read your own newspapers:

    ” In October, a US citizen who resides in the Bahamas was kidnapped and violently raped while walking home.”

    Tribune newspaper, November 4, 2014

    Also in the Nassau Guardian.

    Yes, Harbour Island is very nice. I have been there many times.

    But the millions of your guests who visit the Bahamas via cruise ship need to know that the high numbers of murders, armed robberies and sexual assaults in Nassau make the “It’s Better in the Bahamas” marketing slogan a joke.

  • Lawrence Schlesser

    Good morning Jim;
    I saw your post this morning on Roatan and felt it necessary to weigh in. I understand that your site is meant to generate business for you, as mine is for me. I am not sure if you will actually post this comment because it really brings into question your credibility and motives, but I guess time will tell.

    The long and short of it is that you seem to be out of line in what you write regarding the port and island of Roatan. Since I started seeing your posts last summer I started doing research.

    What I have come up with is that the murder rate in the Bay Islands is about 18. That number is far lower than many locations, including two of the destination favorites, Panama & Belize.

    I have also wondered why it is that you continue to post things about cruise locations when, when according to web stats, your home location of Miami has far greater murder and crime rates than almost everywhere you write about. Maybe I have missed it but I have never seen you post anything about how people should not be coming to Miami to catch the ships that go off to all other ports that you write about. Why is that?

    Here are my stats, gathered from many sources and I would like to hear from you about this. Yes it is my site which promotes the Bay Islands, but also true is that I have been here for 15 years and have never had a bad thing happen to me. Do bad things happen, of course they do, everywhere.

    That said why to you write about all these ports when your own ‘home port’ has 2-3 times the murder rate of everywhere you write about?

  • Mrs.Susan Lewis

    115 murders in the Bahamas as of today 12/10/2014, and the year is still not over. A man was stabbed to death while helping a woman who was being robbed at 10am this morning. Trust me folks, I live here and there is no safe place right now in the Bahamas. We are being held hostage by crime, anyone telling you otherwise is a tourism salesman or works for our bloody corrupt government. Everyone here try’s to be home before it’s dark outside, our homes are like jails, steel bars everywhere, even our air conditioners are locked down. Anyone telling you they feel safe here is an absolute liar, and should be ashamed of themselves by endangering peoples lives by telling them otherwise. If someone loses their lives here because of misguiding Bahamian information, may God O Mighty judge you on those lies! We need help and we need it now,our police have no clue what to do next, read our newspapers, it’s all bad news. Instead of telling people lies about our so called paradise, we should be honest with them, and asking for help. But Bahamians too proud to ask for help, will most likely destroy us. It’s already happening, I’ve attended 24 funerals just this year alone, I’m tired of seeing death Lord!

  • Lawrence:

    No, this site is not intended to “generate business” when cruise passengers are victims of crime in foreign ports of call. It’s intended to warn cruise passengers and crew members because no one else is warning them.

    75% of our legal work involves representing crew members who are injured on cruise ships and receive bad medical care and then abandoned in their home country. The remaining 25% involves representing cruise passengers who are injured or assaulted on cruise ships. Less than .1% of our work involves the representation of crime victims ashore.

    In 30 years of practicing law, I have represented only one family whose child was shot and killed while ashore in a cruise port. The only basis for that case was that the cruise line falsely advertised the port as safe and the staff recommended the family go to a specific attraction in a location which was gang-and-drug infested and violent. The family had no idea that they were being taken to such a dangerous location. But the cruise line and local tourism representatives knew and concealed the truth. The child came home in a coffin.

    I hope to never represent another family in a similar situation. I’m focused on warning cruise passengers of ports which represent dangers to their families. The sad reality is that the Caribbean ports, particularly ports in Honduras, are unreasonably dangerous and far more dangerous than Miami.

    The statistics prove this.

    All of the Caribbean destinations I have mentioned here have higher murder rates than the U.S. Here the country’s murder rate is around 4.5 per 100,000. However, the crime in the Caribbean islands is staggering. Honduras is at the top of the list.

    Roatan, Honduras has a higher murder rate than Miami, even if I accept the murder rate of 18 per 100,000 figure you quote.

    Some of the citizens of the Bahamas routinely make similarly false accusations as you do. The truth is that last year 119 people were murdered in the Bahamas (it will be higher this year). The vast majority of the murders involved local citizens and occurred in Nassau (New Providence) with a population of only 250,000. By contrast Miami-Dade County has a total population of 5,500,000 with only 229 murders. Miami-Dade has 22 times more people but less than twice as many murders as Nassau.

    Yet the Bahamas is far, far safer than Honduras.

    Roatan has real problems. High crime (the U.S. state department specifically points it out). High unemployment. It’s wholly dependent on tourism. Inefficient, non-motivated, ill-equipped and/or corrupt local & national police. A broken and frightened judicial system. A major stopover for drugs shipped from Colombia to the U.S. Roatan is becoming less distinguishable from mainland Honduras with its incredible problems.

    I’m not from Miami originally. I don’t pretend to defend it. It’s far from “paradise” and I would never advertise it as such. But it’s safer than any of the ports listed here.

    You and others in Roatan who write ad hominem hate-mail seem motivated only by protecting your financial interests. You’re not transparent. You attack people who shine light on your community. You’re trying to sell real estate which is becoming more dangerous each year. How can you write about your Remax Realty business when the four boys and young men who were just killed in Roatan (not included in your “statistics”) haven’t even been buried?

  • Jack

    It’s funny, Jim, how people blame you for an article that yahoo wrote. Also funny that people posting here don’t know what a crime *rate* is.

  • Timothy

    I really like Belize despite the crime warnings. I felt safer there then I do outside my local Wal-Mart or near the mall. Also, the zoo is Belize is much better than the one where I live.

  • The Truth Shall Set You Free

    The guy running this site “Jim” is obviously jealous of the bahamas and our “better in the bahamas slogan”

    i tell you sir kick rocks barefoot because these silly articles online will never hurt OR AFFECT the tourism industry in my beautiful country.

    As long as im alive my main goal is to make the Bahamas a better place for Bahamians and the first destination for every person in the world that wants to visit a foreign country and leave HAPPY.

    Mark my words I will invest all I have to ensure the Bahamas becomes and remains one of the best on this planet

  • rique

    Have the people writting these.blogs…or what u may call them ever visit these destination…or only go by a couple post here and there. I am belize and tired of being put down because US. need us to bow down to them..we like any other place we have our good and bad..but i am still here family and all.i have a lot of american friends who love and visit BElize over amd over
    .and even retire here…i love BELIZE

  • Ollie Thompson


    I just read your reply to Larry. I know Larry has the best of intentions, he loves Roatan! He does indeed make his living from selling real estate and so do I, we all have the best of intentions at heart. Having said that, as sad as it is for me to admit, we ALL hate what you write about our island. However. I don’t see how you can not shed light on what is going on. Every violent crime that is happening, it seams it’s happening far too frequently on Roatan these days. You cannot stop writing the truth because we defend our island.

    Unless, we ALL, myself included take off the ROSE COLORED GLASSES and face reality, I along with many other islanders will not be able to leave our island, customs and history to our children the way our parents left for us. Our islands need the transparency of knowing what is going on. The world needs to know there is a rising crime level on our island and the current elected officials need to do more to protect the islanders.

    Calling you out and sending you hate mail, defending the current status quo is wrong on every level. The families mourn for the loss of the boys and we islanders morn the loss of our islands safety. Our safety has never been a concern until recently. I along with everyone who loves our island and wants to see this current wave of violence stop, need to focus our energy on implementing the necessary changes needed to monitor who is coming to our island and not stopping/hating you for being transparent…..

    Your post is extremely sad for me to read, but so is the realization of the current unsafe and violent situation we are in faced with on our island…..

  • Mrs.Susan Lewis

    “The Truth Shall Set You Free”…..Sounds like our worthless Prime Minister making that comment. Why don’t you return all the money you have stolen from the people over the years instead of added VAT to our overtaxed lives? Why don’t you control the crime rate destroying our nation instead of visiting your Cuban friends the Castro’s and we pay the bill? Why don’t you fire people like Mr. Leslie Miller from the BEC who rips us off everyday with high electric bills instead of spending millions on a stupid carnival? Why don’t you just go away instead of bullshitting us everyday with your foolish talks? You and your kind have turned the Bahamas into your own bank account, we don’t like you , we don’t want you, just go away.

  • The Caretaker

    Roatan is a beautiful island, but there are clearly serious issues. If an expat lives in a private home they also build a resident for their “watchie”, or watchman. Many resorts have armed guards (this was back in 2007). It is possible to visit Roatan and have a safe and wonderful visit, but it’s necessary to recognize that Roatan is part of a third world country. Precautions are necessary.

  • Doris32

    Hi folks,
    I’ve been living here in Freeport Bahamas for over 51 years now and can conform that it’s not the same place it was when I arrived. Since the day of independence 41 years ago I’ve have seen this country decline yearly. And I can testify that it isn’t the Bahamian people, it’s the corruption of government. The day Britain left and gave power to Bahamians, Bahamians saw it was an opportunity for them to make the country their own piggy bank. It is unbelievable what they get away with too, millions in drug bust and then the drugs and money are misplaced or disappear…lol. Just this year the ex-widow of the first Prime Minister, who by the way lives in a $10 million dollar mansion (Pindling) was appointed a government position after it was exposed that she owned 10 years of back taxes….lol. And to top it off, one of the government officials paid her bill in cash ($300,000) and rewarded her with a new BMW….lol. Only a corrupted nation would do such a thing….lol. As for me I have seen enough, it is getting worse here by the day. I thank God I have a nice little house in Canada waiting for me. My house is up for sale here, but I don’t expect that to sell anytime soon, and probably at a lost due to the high crime rate. But at least I have some where to go, a lot of my friends here don’t, and I’m very worried and sad for them. Mr. Walker I think people blame you for their own misery, but they don’t realize your comments make corrupt government as our take notice, hopefully they’ll take action. Thank you for your time and service Sir.

  • Dr.Thomas Rolle Jr.

    I was born in Nassau, Bahamas. Went to college in Miami, Florida. Opened my own practice in South Beach, Florida. Built a brand new home with swimming pool in South Beach Estates, Florida. I can jog on the boardwalk, fish at the beach even at night with no problems. My house doesn’t have steel bars on them like a jail. My yard doesn’t have a 6ft. razor fence around it. I pay a fair percentage of taxes here and still live every well (Thank you Lord). None of this is possible in the Bahamas. Until the Bahamian government realizes their corruption and greed is dictating the lives of the people, only foreigners will live in the Bahamas. Every Bahamian that I know that went to a foreign college and graduated, never returned to the Bahamas; there is no future there. Nice water and beautiful fish don’t pay the bills of life, the youth have no future there, that’s why their killing each other at such an alarming rate. The Prime Minister is a Dictator, only him and his government officials live well. He is the worst Prime Minister the Bahamas has ever had. A liar, a control freak who even try’s to silence the media at times. A thief who is selling the country right under the feet of the Bahamian people, and selling it to his Chinese friends who are making him wealthy with pay off. And what is really sad is that he doesn’t even care if the people know, he just won’t comment on the matter. The crime rate in the Bahamas is not because of gang war fare, it’s because people are trying to survive the best they can with such a Dictator in charge. I thank God I’m out of paradise.

  • jhaytea Roatan Artist

    Am from Roatan Born and raise crime in Roatan not hight crime on the mainland Honduras hight but not Roatan the bay island first language English native Black people and England desent white and mainland Spanish we have a west endies culture similar to the rest of the west endies island nice Bandance music white San beaches nice lovely people and culture food to enjoy this island have lots of love to offer you will never know Roatan tell you Go Roatan….Don’t believe every article you read the only show the bad side every way in the world you go therest is good parts and bad parts. BLESS ROATANEANTHING

  • Carlson

    Why would anyone in their right mind visit the crime ridden Bahamas when we have the beautiful Hawaiian Islands? I’ve traveled everywhere in the World and there is no place like Hawaii. The Caribbean has become way to dangerous to travel now a days, unemployment is making the honest do things they never would have done before. I visited Grand Bahama five years ago and was not impressed at all. Run down buildings, gang graffiti everywhere, trash and beer bottles on the beaches; shameful. And let me tell you, it wasn’t cheap either, tips are included with everything you buy,15% I believe, so service was terrible. And I was surprised to hear gang rap music everywhere we went instead of nice calypso music; what happened to their culture? The last trip I made to the Caribbean was last year to Turks and Caicos, that was a nice place, people were nice, and the beaches were unbelievable. I want to make it clear that Turks and Caicos is not part of the Bahamas, it is it’s own country. And if you do visit TCI, make sure you call them “Belongers”, and not Bahamians, they get very insulted if you do and I don’t blame them at all.

  • O.P.P.

    You aren’t kidding about making the honest do things they never would before Carlson. Just today here in Nassau, a police officer has been found to have murdered a follow detective for his gambling winnings. Our country is in big trouble, the population is on survival mode, no one is safe who has money here. And as Christmas nears and people are seen with shopping gifts, this is probably the most dangerous place on Earth right now. This government needs to stop it foolishness and stop the killings, we are supposed to be a Christian Nation folks!