July 11, 2001
Out-of-control gang fighting, leading to riots, gun battles and protests, has paralyzed Kingston, in Jamaica. While the island’s prime minister earlier this week ordered the military in to West Kingston, where much of the conflict is centered, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert urging Americans to avoid that area entirely -- and to be extra careful when traveling around the rest of the island.
Jamaica’s prime resort areas -- Montego Bay and Ocho Rios -- are said to be largely unaffected. Are cruises destined for either port impacted? Not according to Carnival, whose Imagination calls in Montego Bay.
Says Carnival’s Tim Gallagher, “We are monitoring the situation in Jamaica very closely. All of our sources in Jamaica, including government and tourism officials, assure us that the gang violence is isolated to Kingston. They assure us that none of the tourist areas on the island's north coast are affected by the unrest. In fact, the Inspiration is in Mo Bay today and our shipboard employees report that all is normal there, just as our intelligence had told us. We don't have another Jamaica call until next Tuesday when the Imagination is in Ocho Rios. We'll continue to watch the situation closely but at this point we do not anticipate that there will be any disruption to our Jamaica calls.”