Cruise lines play it safe, skip Mexico port

In another blow to Mexico tourism and the already-weak West coast cruise business, three major cruise lines canceled calls in Mazatlan this week as concerns over crime continue.

Newly relocated Disney Wonder, bumped to the West coast when new Disney Dream took over in Florida was scheduled to visit Mazatlan on a series of seven-night sailings through April. Instead, that time will be spent in safer Cabo San Lucas.

Disney Cruise Line joins Holland America and Princess as cruise lines continue to skip the Mexican port after incidents of assault and robbery in the last few weeks. It seems passengers and crew of Holland America’s Oosterdam and Azamara Journey were involved.

Crime involving tourists is an ongoing problem in Mexico. Tourism officials have been accused of attempting to minimize the issue. The US Department of State has urged caution visiting Mexico issuing a Travel Warning in September of last year saying “It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico.”

Ongoing crime has affected the cruise business. Earlier this month Mexican authorities discovered the bodies of at least 30 new crime victims in the popular port of Acapulco. Fifteen of which were beheaded reported the Los Angeles Times.

“We are struggling with our many ships to Mexico,” said Chris Chase, marketing director for the Port of Los Angeles. “It’s the economy and the news of drug wars down there.”

Flickr photo by chrisphoto