Worried about our upcoming cruise to Mexico! Help!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by LVMommy, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. LVMommy

    LVMommy Earning My Ears

    Feb 13, 2012
    We are supposed to sail on March 4 to the Mexican Riviera. After the recent travel warnings to Mexico, my husband & I are very worried about taking our children there. Has anyone returned from the Mexican cruise lately or have any words of advice? I am planning on calling DCL this week to discuss options.
  2. Kirbo

    Kirbo Runs with Scissors

    May 28, 2010
    We are on the cruise right before yours and we did this same cruise last year. From what has been posted here in the last few days, it seems that although the state that Puerto Vallarta is in is included in the warning, the city is not included in it. Also, Cabo isn't included. You should be fine :thumbsup2.

    We are sticking with Disney excursions and feel confident that if anything changes they'll cancel our excursion. (We actually don't have excursions planned for CSL, we plan on just going into the port for lunch and trinkets. But we do have something planned for when we are in PV.)

    You can always chose to stay on the boat while in port. But I think that Disney will watch what's happening closely and will change ports if they find it to be less than safe.

    Enjoy your cruise! pixiedust:
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  4. ravensilverlight

    ravensilverlight I reject your reality and substitute my own.

    Oct 6, 2011
    Disney has changed itineraries before due to situations in and around the ports to which they travel. I am confident they are once again keeping a close watch on the safety situations.

    So far, it has been stated that Cabo and PV are still safe for tourists, as long as you exercise common sense - as you should in any city you visit! I would feel confident keeping any excursions I had booked in either city, especially through DCL - as I'm sure they would cancel if safety were a concern, with full refunds for anything booked through them.

    As a last resort, if I were really concerned about the safety of the ports, I'd stay on the ship and enjoy all there was onboard! It'd be a great chance to visit the pool, or take in a movie...or check and see if the spa had any "port day" specials. :thumbsup2
  5. mississaugamom

    mississaugamom DIS Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    Just off the Wonder yesterday, and had no problems. We did not plan any excursions for Puerto Vallarta, but there's a small local market just outside Gate 11 at the port, and a Walmart and Galleria shopping centre across the street.

    My teen daughter enjoyed the market, shopping for small gifts for her friends and clothes for herself. I found a very pretty silver bracelet in the jewellery shop there and negotiated a good price. We were only off the ship for a few hours and enjoyed the warm sun relaxing on deck for the afternoon.

    My DH and I did Disney's whalewatching excursion the next afternoon in Cabo and felt very safe in that port. In fact, while we were there on day 1 we talked to the government official in the port area for a recommendation of locals to parasail with and got an outstanding deal with a very safe boat to take our daughter the next morning.

    Temps were cool on the first sea day, so it was wonderful to enjoy the warm weather in port.

    If you have any questions, let me know!!
  6. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    I was on a cruise where DCL chose to eliminate a port for safety reasons (Tunisia). If they consider a port to be too dangerous for their ship or their guests, they won't dock there. If you consider it dangerous, you can opt to stay on the ship.

    I suspect that DCL follows the US government advisories, and perhaps goes beyond that.
  7. marciemouse

    marciemouse Raised on Disney

    Apr 9, 2008
    OP, we're on your same cruise! And we're not worried. However, we don't have any excursions planned. I wouldn't worry. Just use some common sense!

    P.S. Our FE exchange is closed, but we are having a DIS meet. If you're interested, check out the meet thread.
  8. Brumbie13

    Brumbie13 Mr. Mickeybars

    Nov 8, 2011
    As everyone else says, the tourist areas are safe.
    Cabo exists as a tourist town, and I'd say you are pretty safe there.
    Puerto Vallarta is beautiful. As other said, if you're worried, just do Disney excursions.
  9. flyinbrian

    flyinbrian Earning My Ears

    Aug 10, 2010
    Our family is also on the cruise the 26th and have booked the rainforest horseback riding/lunch. I don't think Disney would put us into a position that would jeopardize our safety. However, I still have some concerns due to the travel it will take to get to our destination. As of now we are still planning to take part in the excursion.

    If anyone who reads this post has participated in the rainforest horseback riding/lunch, please reply to this post or PM me with your experiences.

  10. Criswell3000

    Criswell3000 Earning My Ears

    Oct 8, 2008
    We went in October. It was very safe. Do not worry about it. The crime in these cities are no worse than in American cities. If you are super concerned, stick with port adventures exclusively, but we did not and had no hint of trouble.
  11. MissSlimskys

    MissSlimskys Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2011
    I'd love to post just a link but it won't let me so here's the text of the article:

    I can't even remember when I last experienced the beheading of a close friend. Everyone assumes it must be a weekly, or even a daily event: after all, I live in Mexico. The truth, however, is that you are as likely to have your head removed against your will in my town -- Oaxaca -- as you are to be murdered by roving, machete-crazed gangs in Martha's Vineyard.

    You protest: slavering butchers are thin on the ground in Martha's Vineyard. Ah, but we do not have beheadings in Oaxaca. To be honest, they're unconscionably lax about slaughtering tourists in this city. It just doesn't happen. There are whole great swaths of Mexico -- some 95% of the country -- that are untouched by the drug war. In these places, tourists are annoyingly safe.

    Take out a map. Mexico is rather large. To avoid all of Mexico because you fear drug violence, is like cancelling your trip to the Napa Valley because you hear that people are flying airplanes into towers in New York City. (I'm sure a lot of Europeans did just that.)

    The homicide rate in most Mexican cities is just not very exciting. People who read newspapers -- they are legion -- will tell you that Mexico City is Elm Street on steroids. No way any vacation is going to take them near the Mexican capital. Yet these same people do not think twice about hauling their beloved brood to Disney World.

    Disney World is in Orlando. Orlando, Florida.

    What, you're not trembling? The rate of violent crime in Orlando is really something. At the theme park itself you might not encounter drooling gangs with machetes, but the likelihood of getting slaughtered is much higher in the city of Orlando than it is in Mexico City. The homicide rate in Mexico City is sub-terrifying: 8.3 out of 100,000. The rate in Orlando? Honey, you don't want to know.

    If you're truly bent on living dangerously, hit the French Quarter for a shot of faux absinthe. New Orleans is gunning them down at a rate of 51 per 100,000. To be fair, that is an improvement upon the post-Katrina high of 71 or so. No doubt champagne is flowing at the tourist board.

    I happen to love New Orleans, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu admitted -- discussing a local high school -- that for part of last year "a student attending John McDonogh was more likely to be killed than a soldier in Afghanistan."

    Funny that people are not dissuaded from visiting New Orleans -- or Disney World -- by travel advisories that read like torture porn.

    Oh, you do want to know those Orlando stats? That would be 11.7: which is better than New Orleans or Baghdad, but way higher than Mexico City. (28 homicides, in a population of 238,300.) Ironically, in the UK you'll encounter the same kind of hyperventilating press about Orlando that you'll see here damning Mexico. To Brits, Orlando is the Mouse That Roared, Then Indiscriminately Dismembered.

    In fact, the capital of America is a much more dangerous place than the capital of Mexico: You are 10 times more likely to get beheaded on a school trip to the Lincoln Memorial than you are strolling through downtown Mexico City.

    Okay, I'm lying. You are ten times more likely to be murdered in a drug-related crime. (The rate of actual beheadings is suppressed by travel agents on both sides of the border.)

    People ask me, regularly, how they can travel safely to Mexico. Here I have impeccable advice: follow this, and you're pretty much guaranteed to keep your head. Taking notes? Good.

    Do not, under any circumstances, take a job with a major drug cartel. Just say no. You do not want to be a hit man, or a mule, or even middle management -- that's how people get killed.

    I mean it: that is how people get killed. Sunbathing, on the other hand, is oddly uneventful. Yes, there are a few places in Mexico that I would avoid, unless I were applying for that gig (which I urge you to reconsider). Most border towns are not the destination of choice, unless you are brothel-hopping, in which case a soupçon of danger is probably bracing. Acapulco has gone, sadly, from a town in which you had a good chance of having a bad time, to a town in which you have almost no chance of having a good time.

    And Mexico City, while not particularly murderous, is somewhere to be very careful: petty crime is rife, and not-so-petty crime (kidnapping) is a real issue. I travel through Mexico City all the time, and even chose to live there fairly recently, but I take the usual precautions -- I restrict myself to taxis from official taxi stands; I don't use bank machines on the street; and I suppress the urge to wave my arms around and yell, "Rob the Canadian!" (If you would like to give it a shot, that would be: "¡Robe del Canadiense!")

    Lots of really nice cities are getting a bit hairy: Guadalajara, for instance. The San Francisco Chronicle has a useful list of places to avoid -- mostly areas on the American border, and south along the Pacific Coast to the state of Guerrero. The Washington Post has another useful list: they add to this the entire state of Veracruz (which is very sad -- it's lovely). These two guides will steer you clear of all the places you have been reading about, including the very few resort towns that have become dangerous: Mazatlán, for instance, and Acapulco.

    Again, however, this is a tiny part of Mexico. "Of 2,500 municipalities (what we call counties), only 80, or fewer than five percent, have been affected by the drug war."

    Graphic anecdotes are hard to ignore, by design, but they are useless when trying to grasp the nature of a country that is not simply vast, but immeasurably diverse. You know how Los Angeles doesn't have a whole lot in common with an Amish community in Pennsylvania? Well, multiply that difference a thousand-fold when comparing Ciudad Juarez (a genuinely dangerous place) to an indigenous town in the Mayan Riviera (that edenic coastal strip between Tulum and Playa del Carmen).

    In fact, you are a whole lot safer in this entire region -- the Yucatan Peninsula -- than you are in Canada. The national homicide rate in Canada is 1.85 victims per 100,000. Sorry, kids, but that's a war zone relative to the Yucatan: .1 in 100,000.

    Mexico's homicide rate as a nation isn't even world-class. The country is in fact something of a sissy relative to the thugs in the neighborhood. Before avoiding Mexico, cross the following nations off your list: Honduras, El Salvador, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Venezuela, Jamaica, Belize, Guatemala, Bahamas, Columbia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil... ah, but I'm boring you. I shouldn't be: All of these countries -- and this is only half the list -- are murderfests relative to Mexico. Some of these places are worse than Miami.

    Let's put this in perspective. Imagine a nice family from Oaxaca planning their vacation in Canada. They do research on the internet, and decide that some things are just too risky. Tea at the Empress Hotel, for instance. Victoria, B.C.: the second most dangerous city in Canada? Must be called Butchart Gardens because people get butchered.

    So our family turns elsewhere. Hm. Probably best to avoid "Edmonton's Murder Belt." Aiee. We'll go east. Regina? Are you out of your mind? "Saskatchewan reported the highest Crime Severity Index, followed by Manitoba." How about the West Coast? Not if our worried Mexican family cares about that crime severity thing: "St. John's had the largest increase." This is awful.

    At last, after carefully considering Prince Edward Island, our sensible family decides it is just not worth the risk. (After all, homicide in PEI has skyrocketed.) You would have to be a fool to leave Mexico.

    All right, all right. The beyond-exponential increase in homicide associated with Prince Edward Island -- when looked at closely -- is not really that alarming. One whole person was killed in 2011. As opposed to zero, in the five preceding years. Prince Edward Island is hilariously safe. The Mexican government has been decent enough to refrain from issuing travel advisories, despite the crime rates in Abbotsford and Thunder Bay. Level heads have prevailed.

    The truth is that most of Canada is almost as safe as the Yucatan.
  12. mickey2000

    mickey2000 Pin trader

    Jan 2, 2000
    U.S. issues Mexico travel warning before spring break Monday, 13 February 2012 11:30

    In its latest warning, the Department of State urges Americans to take precaution when traveling to Mexico. The travel advisory, issued Feb. 8, is the strongest statement from the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Americans, many of them young Spring Breakers, heading to the warm beaches of the country’s southern neighbor.

    “The Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter (Transnational Criminal Organizations) which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico,” the announcement reads. “The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity.”

    If traveling south of the border, the Department of State recommends the safer major tourist destinations, rather than the areas along major trafficking routes. The statistics show that Americans have been killed and kidnapped, in addition to becoming the victims of carjacking and highway robberies.

    Between Dec. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2011, the Mexican government estimates that more than 47,000 people have been killed in narcotics-related violence. Of these deaths, Americans represent a small, but not insignifcant, fraction. For example, in 2011, approximately 120 United States citizens were killed.

    “Gun battles have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs,” the advisory continues. “TCOs use stolen cars and trucks to create roadblocks on major thoroughfares, preventing the military and police from responding to criminal activity.”

    The State Department recommends traveling only during the day and avoiding isolated roads.

    Currently, there is no advisory in effect for Cabo San Lucas and Cancun, two popular travel destinations, or the capital of Mexico City. However, tourists should “exercise caution” in Tijuana and “defer non-essential travel” in the entire state of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez, which lies just south of El Paso, Texas.
  13. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

    Mar 7, 2007
    We are doing the MR cruise in April and I'm just going to keep an eye on the reports but not cancel anything yet. We are doing the Pirate excursion in PV so I'm not worried about that one. I was going to book me and my DS on a beach resort excursion in Cabo while my DH and DD scuba dive, but I think we will stay on the ship instead. I'm not worried about violence really, but my DH isn't comfortable with me and DS off on our own (no matter which foreign country we might be in, LOL). I'm not worried about it but I don't want DH to worry about us since I would rather he just concentrate on having fun scuba diving with DD (it will be her first time in the ocean). So DS and I we will enjoy a hopefully quieter pool experience on the ship instead.

    We will still all 4 get off the ship on our second day in Cabo to tour the port area though.
  14. LVMommy

    LVMommy Earning My Ears

    Feb 13, 2012
    Thank you for all the responses. I feel much better and as of now we are planning to go on the cruise. Can't wait! Thanks again.
  15. miry

    miry Mouseketeer

    Apr 30, 2011
    My 13 year old son and I were on the Wonder to the Mexican Riviera on the December 11th sailing. We did a Disney excursion (Outdoor Adventure) in Puerto Vallarta which was probably the very best excursion we have ever been on. We did travel away from the port - taking a speedboat to a quiet beach, then boarding unimogs up into the mountains, then futher up the mountain on donkeys and working our way down on zip lines. I felt completely safe and absolutley would recommend it to anyone who might be considering a vacation there. After the excursion, we did change and walk across to walmart for a few souveniers. Again, I felt very safe.

    In Cabo San Lucas we did a couple of activities on our own. Parasailing and Whale Watching with Cabo Expeditions for what I thought was a reasonable price. The parasailing ended up being just my son and I and the whale watching was the two of us and a couple. For those activities we bought prepaid vouchers from loscabosguide.com. The vouchers gave us a 35% discount and when one of our activities was cancelled due the dredging that they were doing in the area we received a refund from Los Cabos Guide. The port itself is very easy to get around. There were a whole bunch of people offering a variety of activites. One thing that I really appreciated is that they they didn't badger us about their activities and when one heard no, the others didn't ask. It was a nice change from the vendors in Cozumel and what I was used to years ago in Juarez. As you continue to walk around the U shaped dock area there are several restaurants and small shopping areas. We also felt very safe in Cabo.

    When we got back, we spent a day in Los Angeles going back and forth from Universal Studios. It's not that I didn't feel safe in LA, but I did feel more aprehensive than I did in either Puerto Vallarata or Cabo San Lucas. I hope that this information helps. Good luck in making your decisions.

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