A number of cruise lines have canceled stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, following new concerns over area safety.
Puerto Vallarta’s home state of Jalisco has recently been updated in the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warnings following increased violence with drug cartels, which have led to attacks on Mexican military and highways. The updated warning resulted in Royal Caribbean Ltd. canceling port of call visits to Puerto Vallarta on its Celebrity Infinity and Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas ships. Disney Cruise Line also canceled its port visit on Disney Wonder, which now spends the day at sea. Carnival Cruise Line’s Miracle will still visit the port, with a heightened level of caution as its keeps an eye on the U.S. warning.
As of May 5, the Travel Warning noted the number of U.S. citizens murdered in Mexico jumped from 81 in 2013 to 100 in 2014. The warning mentions kidnapping, highway robbery, carjacking and gun battles, especially with rival criminal organizations and with Mexican authorities. The warning particularly highlights Jalisco’s rural areas and secondary highways. It does not warn specifically about Puerto Vallarta, which is a bustling tourist town. The Department of State also highlights that more than 150,000 visitors from the U.S. safely visit Mexico every year.
At the recent TMS Family Travel Summit held in Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta, both Visit Mexico and Riviera Nayarit representatives discussed tourism safety in the area. Representatives expressed its cities, resorts and tourist areas are safe for travelers and the danger is in the rural interior areas, away from the destinations travelers visit. Despite these reassurances, cruise lines are choosing to take extra precautions by avoiding Puerto Vallarta until the Department of State lifts the warning.
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