Vision of the SeasA couple of days ago, we posted an article about cruise passengers who were robbed while visiting the Altun Ha Maya ruins site in Belize. During this incident, two cruise passengers were reportedly robbed of a gold necklace and $450 in cash by two men, one with a machete and one with a handgun.

A local television station said that "the tourism police officers were lax in carrying out their duties. When the last tourist bus left, so did the tourism police, although the site had not been closed."    

But the Ministry of Culture later issued a press release saying "there was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site."

Today, we were notified by a passenger, wishing to stay anonymous, who visited Belize City on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Vision of the Seas, and told us that her husband had been physically assaulted and battered in an apparent robbery attempt on March 8th after their cruise ship docked at the Tourism Village. She indicated that after a ten minute walk from the port on Gabourel Lane, she and her husband ate luch and began to return to the ship.  A local man "came up from behind with a rifle and said he was going to kill us if he did not get my bag."  Here is her account:

"We were victims of an attempted armed robbery on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 near the Museum of Belize after lunch at Senor Coconuts while walking back to port. My husband was hit on the head with the barrel of a rifle and sustained injury to the head (requiring stitches) and bruises on the arm and hand and I also sustained scratches and bruises. Luckily, there was a women nearby who scared him off. The police never arrived until we were at the hospital. We were driven there by a couple in the area. We were treated at the hospital and driven back to port. We were on RC Vision of the Seas. It is our understanding there is little police presence because they are underfunded and undermaned. This is a very dangerous place filled with crime and cruise ship visitors are not advised of this by the ships. I was really concerned because of all the young college girls on the ship. Do not go out of Tourism Village. The city of Belize is very unsafe."

The passenger told me "I want people to know if it weren’t for two kind women, I don’t know what more could of happened . . . There were three cruise ships in port that day, probably over 3,000 people. The cruise ships need to warn you, but they don’t. We learned the hard way."

Photo credit: ZipIt at English Wikipedia transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons

  • Allan Horner

    I’ve been to Belize once back in 2005. I made the mistake of thinking my wife and I with our one year old grand daughter would just get off the ship and walk around. First, there was nothing to see and second, we were immediately followed by some guy. We headed back to the ship and nothing happened. Still, between that experience and all the news, if I am ever on a ship that goes to Belize, I would just stay on the ship.

  • J. Cristini

    All travelers wishing to acquaint themselves with safety and security concerns would find it helpful to read the country page by link travel.state.gov.

  • Jackeline Varela

    May I just say that as a crew member I can’t believe how little common sense passengers have in general. I worked at the Shore Excursions desk at RCI during years and guests just seem to have no clue what they get into when going on a cruise. Is NOT a secret that most cruise ports experience security issues!!!

  • JOHN

    We visit Belize several times over the years, but have always been on an excursion offered by the ship or a well known operator. We never have gone on our own outside the port village. This couple is lucky. Always go in large groups if you want to venture out without a tour guide.

  • Carolyn Okland Friesz

    The city is called Belize City, Belize is the country. We have visited there a few times and absolutely love it; however, we have visited other areas – not Belize City. One does have to be careful there; we were there during the time of this reported robbery. We stayed on the island of Amerbris Caye, but had to go to that area to take the Water Taxi to the island, as well, we returned to Belize City to rent a car and go to some local ruins – we hired a person from Belize to escort us – we felt very safe. That said, I would not venture out on my own! Belize is a beautiful country; if you ever have the chance, visit again. Placencia is beautiful, as well as many areas in between there on the Mainland. We love the islands of Ambergris and Caye Caulker and can’t wait to go back!

  • chris christofield

    As a long time traveler to Belize and back, my advise is avoid Belize City.