I am a giant chicken.

Old Dec 28th, 2015, 07:49 PM
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I am a giant chicken.

And I admit it now. It also may not happen, so I may be posting here for no reason.

However we are considering taking a cruise to Key West (no issues), Costa Maya (looks nicely manageable), Trujillo (makes me a little nervous), and San Tomas de Castillo (makes me much more nervous).

How justified is this? My sister was concerned that even shore excursions might be targets in Honduras and Guatemala (and she's much less of a chicken than I am, in many ways).

We would be inclined to take shore excursions, usually exercise common sense (although DH is LOUD), and speak reasonable Spanish (mine is probably the best, although I read it better than I understand it, and I'm a hesitant speaker--DH reads it not all, sometimes understands, and wades in yelling, often fairly profanely, when it comes to speaking--Kid can read and understand a little but can't speak it).

This may not come to pass, because I may not be able to get the cruise at the price I want to pay, but feelings about safety and enjoyment will play into our decision.
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Old Dec 29th, 2015, 02:11 PM
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You know something could happen at home. I am female,older, often travel along through Mexico, have driven as far as Mexico City and yes you do have to pay attention to business on the road, but on ship you should have no issues unless you go disreputable areas or are out late at night in places you should not be in. Speaking and\or understanding is a plus, my spanish is so so and I manage to get by. Life is short eat desert first!
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Old Dec 29th, 2015, 02:17 PM
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You could always stay on the ship in the ports you are most concerned about your safety.

Or choose a different cruise with stops that aren't as scary to you (maybe the Pacific side of Mexico... Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) or something in the Caribbean?
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 06:42 AM
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Pacific Mexico is unlikely to be an option, because we plan to sail from Florida, and the Yucatan ports in Mexico aren't making me all that nervous. It's Honduras and Guatemala that are giving me concerns. The State Department advisories are really pretty hair-curling.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 08:18 AM
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Why not pick a different cruise then?

I have no information or personal experience with Central America, but since you seem so nervous about it, why not pick a different itinerary?
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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We may. We really liked the idea of it, and off a ship seems far and away the safest way to visit, but I'm starting to think even that is out of our comfort zone.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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<off a ship seems far and away the safest way to visit>

I don't think I agree with that.

Nothing specific to the places you asked about but where cruise ships dock is often not the nicest part of town. And enterprising locals know when the ships are in (as far as raising prices, etc. for cruise passengers).

For example, I often go to Puerto Vallarta Mexico, and know tons of people who love vacationing there, but people I talk to who have visited only for the day & off a cruise ship often do not.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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My concerns are running more towards being robbed at gunpoint, kidnapped for ransom, etc. (which I think much less likely off the ship), than being overcharged or even pick-pocketed.

When I got this idea, I knew these were areas that had become less stable and far more prone to violent crime in the last few years, but I was kind of shocked at the advisories from State, to the point that I'm surprised cruise ships are still calling there.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 12:12 PM
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<concerns are running more towards being robbed at gunpoint, kidnapped for ransom>

Have you read any reports of that actually happening to cruise ship passengers in these destinations recently?

Government advisories often make things sound a whole lot worse than reality on the ground for visitors. Or they are painting with a broad brush and where the problems happen are 500 miles away from where you are (I run across this often going to Mexico).

All that said, since you are obviously uncomfortable with these stops, I'm not sure why you don't just find a different cruise to take??
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 03:15 PM
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With you level of free you probably should stay home to ease you anxiety.
Meanwhile I will be enjoying my 30th year of a crime free Winter in Mexico. Never been threaten, robbed, mugged, pick pocketed, or kidnapped.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 03:18 PM
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OOPS That should read Your level of FEAR
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 03:42 PM
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Stewbear, She's fine with Mexico. It is two specific port cities in Guatemala and Honduras that concern her.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 05:42 PM
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Santo Tomas de Castilla itself is a small town where the port happens to be. You'd almost have to do a shore excursion there because there's really nothing to do in the town itself.

Trujillo is an interesting, smallish port city. Parts of it aren't so nice. Why not do an organized shore excursion there too?

Personally, I'd go of it were me, but I know both countries and specifically both places well. Here's the way I look at these things: Travel is too expensive and vacation time is too precious to spend it in a place that will cause you worry. With all the cruises that depart from Florida, there must be others that will call at ports that would be more comfortable to you.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 06:23 PM
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With all due respect, your concerns are certainly understandable. But quite honestly, you could be anywhere, at a mall, a movie, at church, and something terrible could happen. Why not go somewhere new, take reasonable precautions, and enjoy the experience? I grew up in a home full of fears such as yours, and resolved to challenge myself everytime my thoughts went in that direction. I have had many, many wonderful experiences in places that might seem a little dicey (just returned from Cuba), and I have taught my kids to behave in the same cautious, measured way. Please consider approaching travel in that manner, you will really enjoy your days a whole lot more!!
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 07:02 PM
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Fear is often from a lack of knowledge. Do a bit of research and see how the numbers of crime measure up to places in the US or wherever your from. Once you do this ask yourself if you're just as fearful at home.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 04:54 AM
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Okay, there is at least one incidence of a cruise passenger being murdered during a robbery (although I believe that was in Quetzal). How often other serious crimes happen to cruise passengers is something that wasn't that easy to figure out. Clearly sometimes, since there were specific warnings on State's site for Honduras (now there also seemed to be an assumption that cruises only stopped at Roatan, which is usually considered the safest place for tourism in Honduras).

Oddly, the more research I do on this, the less comfortable I am with it, and yes, usually the opposite occurs.

Sadly, because we would like to go, I think we're going to skip it. We may end up with a Mexican port (I've actually become much more comfortable with those as I've looked into this trip).
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 07:32 AM
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I think choosing another cruise is an excellent idea. There's no reason to take a trip/vacation that is causing you so much worry.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 10:49 AM
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Frankly I would be more worried about norovirus or getting sick from food not served at proper temperatures but I agree you should pick another cruise or landtrip since you are not comfortable with this one.
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Old Dec 31st, 2015, 10:56 AM
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Why don't you skip the cruise and just go to the Mayan Riviera instead? You can fly into Cancun then head to an island or down the coast somewhere (Isla Mujeres, Holbox, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, Cozumel, etc.).
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