Cruise passengers on alert after Mexico tour group robbed



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Posted on February 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 27 at 8:51 PM

Armed gunmen ambushed 22 Carnival cruise ship passengers on a tour of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week.

The group had been on a nature walk with a tour guide on Thursday. The masked bandits stole money, passports and valuables from some of the passengers.

Carnival has suspended the tour and reimbursed passengers for what they lost.

Cruising to Mexico is popular for North Texas vacationers, so News 8 looked into safety tips for those planning on a Mexico cruise.

Ten million Americans will take cruises this year. The sixth most popular destination is Mexico's West Coast; it's slightly cheaper than the East Coast, but it's closer to the turf of Mexico's drug cartels.

Some cruise lines are now wary of three ports: Mazatlan (where two non-cruise tourists were shot last year), Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta.

If you're cruising to one of those ports, consider whether to go on an excursion... and how far to travel from the ship. All tours are escorted, but that didn't stop the robbery last week.

No one is saying ships that stop at the ports are in danger, and Mexican officials maintain the tourist destinations are safe. It's worth considering however, whether the $75 you'll spend on some shore excursions is worth it.

One travel expert says to make sure you know if there are any travel warnings in the area before you get off a ship, and if you decide to go into the town, leave all of your valuables behind in the safe in your cabin — including your passport.