Got a notice today from my CA that Celebrity Infinity Westbound Panama Canal sailing from FLL on April 25, 2012 has altered the itinerary. Acapulco has been dropped and Puerto Vallarta added. There must be some serious concerns about the murders in Alcapulco to reschedule this far out.
The drug violence has been increasing over the past several months actually in as well as around Acapulco and that is obviously the reason for the cancellation.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised were cruise lines to cut additional stops as the violence spreads throughout the country, now into areas heretofore uneffected by this horrific violence which now even targets innocents.
It's such a shame but the cruise lines will do what they must to keep their passengers out of harm's way.
It's a shame simply because Mexico has traditionally had wonderful reasons to visit that country. I have a friend whose brother, despite stern warnings from his family not to do so, nevertheless crossed the border into Tijuana. He is now lanquishing in a Tijuana jail simply because he was arrested on a beach literally just chewing on a straw. Turned out, that's the method drug dealers there use to advertise. He swears that was the only thing he did and didn't know what the gesture means.
He has no history of drug abuse but again, it still remains a possibility that he was trying to make some "easy money." Even if not true, if someone goes down to bail him out for a large bail, Mexican "authorities" have often caught the individual before he leaves the country and not only do they re-arrest the bailee, they also arrest the accompanying family member for "aiding and abetting." The whole purpose is to extort even more money, especially if the family is well heeled. In this case, the father made it very clear to his son that he is on his own because he disregarded the father's own edict not to even THINK about crossing the border.
Now I don't believe for a second such behavior is pervasive in Mexico but it is growing like wildfire along the US border in areas that for all intents and purposes drug cartels are controlling major points of entry by means of corruption of law enforcement and elected officials.
Anytime what is happening now in Mexico or anywhere else for that matter, is very very sad indeed because the average Mexican gets it in the neck themselves even though they are law abiding citizens and wonderful people.
Why is it a shame? If Mexico can't get their **** together, why should we waste our time with them? There's plenty of beautiful places to visit... Mexico's not all that and a bag of potato chips.
One has to be pretty cold-hearted not to have concern for the plight of so many innocent people who live and work in Mexico, and especially for those who work in the magnificent resorts there to support their families. If this gang violence continues to spread, tourists will stop going to the resorts and these innocent people will be out of work.
One also cannot ignore the reality that this violence frequently manages to spill across the border into our border states, where our own citizens become its victims. If the legitimate government of Mexico falls due to the violence, our armed forces may well have to deal with the problem.
But also, ships on Celebrity's "Panama Canal" itineraries that operate between either Los Angeles or San Diego and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) must transit a rather long stretch of Mexican coastline. Cessation of all ports of call on the Mexican Riviera would require ships on this itinerary to spend three or four consecutive days at sea, which would not please many of the current passengers.
But personally, I'm disappointed that the replacement port of call is Puerto Vallarta rather than Zihuatanejo....