Mexican Drug Violence Now Affecting Cruise Travel

If your upcoming cruise itinerary includes stops in Mexico, be prepared for some last-minute changes.

Carnival Cruise Lines has joined Disney Wonder and Holland America in cancelling its Mazatlán port stop due to the increasing drug war violence in the area. If you insist on going to Mexico, have travel insurance on hand to protect against disruptions.

Anybody reading this article should be aware of the carnage that large parts of Mexico are undergoing due to the drug cartel wars. And despite US, Canadian, and UK government warnings that the dangerous outflow of these wars is limited to the northern states bordering the US, Mexican media reports show that the killings are far more widespread than that and have become particularly intense along the 600-mile-long Pacific coast resort area from Mazatlán to Acapulco.

The situation around Acapulco is especially serious as many thousands of American and Canadian students have scheduled party trips to this resort mecca, many of them unaware of the drug wars that have enveloped the area. This is not the place for carefree partying. If you insist on going, stay in your hotel and keep your wits about you.

Just last month, the Association of Tennis Professionals warned the world’s top-ranked tennis stars not to stay in Acapulco once they have completed playing in the Mexican Open because of security concerns after weekend riots left 12 people dead. Those tennis players who remained in Acapulco were told not to leave their hotels.

Canadian and UK governments have issued official avoid all non-essential travel warnings to all northern Mexican states bordering the US. But they are also warning against land travel between major cities anywhere in the country, and local and international media—especially from the UK and the US—now have almost daily reports of drug-related killings that are catching innocent people in the crossfire further south, in areas around Cancun, the Pacific Coast, and the major cities of the interior.

These are no longer isolated incidents.

If you insist on going to Mexico, make sure you purchase travel insurance in case you need emergency medical care or need to be evacuated. Your best bet is to avoid the country altogether until the government can regain control of the warring cartels. In the last five years, more than 35,000 people—many of them innocent bystanders, schoolchildren, tourists, and families—have been killed in Mexico’s drug wars.

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