Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by sayhello, May 29, 2012.
Have you talked to ABD about any of this? Do they seem concerned?
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FWIW, there is no proof they were kidnapped but I'll practice caution if I am booked to go there. Cuzco didn't look like a seedy town. It is quite busy during the day time and I'll be very careful going out at night, or go in groups at least.
They have been found alive and well. They were not aware ppl were looking for them. They were in the Amazonian region headed to Ecuador & fell off the grid. The bike shop they work for is 10 minutes from my house.
Apparently the families still haven't heard from them. Hopefully, they will hear from them tomorrow, when supposedly they will arrive in Ecuador. The young man's mother posted on Facebook that she is waiting for proof.
I haven't called ABD because I really haven't been all that concerned. If the reports from Peru's Minister of Tourism that the two cyclists have been found turns out to be false, then I will be more concerned and I will call. The embassy warning only mentioned a threat through the end of Februrary, so I was hoping that in the next few weeks the State Dept. might feel the situation had changed for the better.
So glad to hear that. I *hope* it's true!
I hope they really are OK. And I'm glad you're not concerned. I hope it all blows over soon.
I probably shouldn't have read the posts on Facebook. I've had some time for my imagination to run away with me and now I'm worried. I'll probably call today and let ABD reassure me.
Let us know what they say!
I called today and was told that ABD stays in contact with the Embassy and if they recommend that tourists not visit the area, ABD will cancel the trip. But for now they haven't received any such communication and we are a go. I was also told that we will have a security team that will follow us throughout our journey. Did any of you who have taken the trip notice this or were they surreptitiously keeping an eye on you? The security warning expires tomorrow and ABD says they haven't received any further warnings, so I'm hoping the State Dept has intelligence that indicates the threat has abated and there will not be a new warning in March. But we shall see. Nothing to do now but trust that ABD will keep abreast of the situation and keep us safe. I know that is their intention.
ETA: The couple in Peru have posted on their Facebook pages, so unless somebody has hacked both of their accounts, it appears that they are safe. Very good news! The mom hasn't posted that she has spoken to her son yet. Hope she gets to speak to him soon, so she can stop worrying.
I spoke to ABD today, they are "aware and studying the issue" and feel that a large group with guides is safe from kidnappers. Personally, I am anxious. I have 2 children and can travel anywhere on Earth with them, why would I chance it? Maybe a large group of criminals want to grab a large group of Disney travelers for effect? How do you protect us from a large band of banditos? Scotland is sounding better to me about now....... why is the threat through Feb still on the US Embassy website in March?
Sorry bobo, if I sound an alarmist, just reading that the Embassy staff is prohibited from travel to Cusco and MP concerns me. I have anxiety disorder.
The word "prohibited" bothers me too. If it's not okay for Embassy staff to travel to Cusco and Machu Picchu, why would it be okay for a group of tourists (and we have at least 44 on our trip, with a large contigency of children)? On the other hand, government issued warnings are not uncommon and usually nothing comes of it. I am still concerned. I check the State Dept. website every day to see if they have removed the warning.
queenmother, did you discuss the possibility of changing to another itinerary with ABD?
ETA: Although the warning hasn't been updated on the State Deparment website yet, there is a post from March 1 on the US Embassy in Lima's facebook page stating that the warning is still in effect.
Bobo912, did you ask ABD what would happen if the warning was still in effect when you are scheduled to go? If they have to cancel the trip? Did they offer you any alternatives?
No, I should have asked, but I didn't, and all they said was they they would continue to be in contact with the embassy in Lima and if it was necessary to cancel the trip I would receive a refund or could change to a different date or itinerary. So they didn't say specifically what conditions would lead them to cancel the trip. I'll be calling again tomorrow.
If it is any consolation, Peru is not included in the current list of travel warnings. Hope all goes well with your trip!
According to the US Embassy Citizen Service, the warning has not been lifted yet......
They will update this page as soon as it is!!
This update was issued today.
Security Message for U.S. Citizens Reduction of Potential Kidnapping Threat in Cusco
U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
March 6, 2013
The U.S. Embassy has conducted a thorough review of current information surrounding the potential kidnapping threat against U.S. citizens in the Cusco and Machu Picchu area by members of a criminal organization. Based upon this review, the February 13 restriction on travel by U.S. Embassy personnel to the region has been lifted.
The Embassy continues to strongly recommend that when traveling in areas near the Peruvian VRAEM Emergency Zone, defined by the Government of Peru as parts of the Regions of Apurimac, Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica and Junin, U.S. citizens heighten their security awareness and implement additional security measures. You can find additional tips for safe travel here. The full listing of areas to which Embassy travel is restricted are included in the Threats to Safety and Security section of our Country Specific Information for Peru.
Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Peru enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy.
Earlier today the Consul General at the Embassy in Lima was answering questions on Facebook and she mentioned several times that the Peruvian police had stepped up their presence in Cusco/Machu Picchu in response to the security threat. Then a couple of hours ago they posted that the warning had been lifted. Here's the communication on the State Dept. website:
We will remain cautious in any event, but I do feel better about the situation.
I did speak to ABD again earlier this week and didn't get a definitive answer on what conditions would lead them to cancel the trip. I was told that their Global Security Team assesses the situation and decides if the trip should be cancelled. So, still don't know if the trip would have been cancelled if the warning were still in place. Luckily, I won't need to find out. Next time, depending on where I'm traveling, I may forego ABD's travel insurance and get insurance that allows me to cancel for any reason, so I'll be the one deciding what level of risk is acceptable to me. The ABD polciy doesn't provide converage if there is only a threat. Here's what it says:
Glad the situation looks better!
About the insurance, just thought I'd mention, Cancel for any reason policies almost always only reimburse you for 60-75% of the value of the trip. Better than no refund, but you should know you probably won't get a full refund if the reason is uncovered. And lots of insurance would not otherwise cover you if you're offered an alternative & turn it down (unless you have cancel for any reason coverage).
If I was worried that I would be kidnapped, I think I'd be happy with 60%.
If I had received more information on what criteria ABD bases their decision to cancel a trip, I would have felt better about it. For instance, if they had told me that they would cancel if the warning was still in effect a week before our departure date, then I would have known they were just waiting to see if the situation changed before making a decision. Or if they had information that the "criminal organization" only targeted individuals and not tour groups, that would have been reassuring. But it was just a big unknown. For all I know, the situation could have gotten worse and the trip still not have been cancelled. I am happy I won't have to find out. For the next trip, I'll probably pick someplace that is typically safer. For now, I'm going to put this out of my mind and get back to being excited about the trip!
Yes, bobo you are on your trip! Can't wait to hear all about it!,
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