A recent spate of violence, including fatal shootings, prompted several cruise lines to curtail service to the port. While Disney and NCL took precautionary measures by replacing all Mazatlan calls early on, the remaining cruise lines that had scheduled calls to the now-controversial port made efforts to work with port officials. Carnival, Holland America and Princess made decisions on a cruise-by-cruise basis.
However, Holland America, Carnival and Princess have now pulled all upcoming calls to the port.
Holland America. HAL has officially canceled calls to Mazatlan for the remainder of the 2011 Spring cruise season. Oosterdam's seven-day cruises departing March 12, 19, 26, and April 9 and 16 will now feature two days in Puerto Vallarta (with an overnight). The April 2 departure will add an overnight in Cabo San Lucas.
Additionally, Zaandam's April 10 sailing and Oosterdam's April 23 voyage will now call a second time in Cabo San Lucas.
Carnival. Spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed that the line is canceling all calls to Mazatlan until it can review the Mexican government's security plans. "Once we are comfortable with their plans and implementation, we expect to return to Mazatlan. We are hopeful that this process can be completed within a short period of time," the line said in its statement. Carnival Splendor's Mazatlan calls will be replaced with an additional day in Cabo San Lucas. Carnival Spirit will now spend an additional day in Cabo San Lucas and call in Manzanillo rather than calling in Ensenada or Mazatlan.
Princess. The line, which has made most of its scheduled Mazatlan calls, has also announced that it will replace calls to the port through the remainder of the season, "due to continuing security concerns in Mazatlan that include incidents in the city's tourist areas." Itineraries for the six remaining sailings have been modified to include an extra day in Cabo San Lucas. Affected sailings are Sapphire Princess departures on March 12, March 19, April 9, April 16, April 23 and April 30. Passengers on these sailings have been notified of changes to their itineraries," spokeswoman Karen Candy, told Cruise Critic in a recent statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation and our decisions will be guided by information and recommendations from a variety of U.S. government and security agencies," she added.
Crystal. In a statement released on March 15, Crystal Cruises announced that Crystal Symphony's scheduled visit to Mazatlan on April 4, has been canceled. The luxury ship will now overnight in Cabo San Lucas, where it will be the only ship in port during those two days. "After monitoring the situation in Mazatlán for weeks, we simply feel far more comfortable with other ports of call in Mexico," said Crystal's Vice President, Nautical Operations Birger Vorland in the statement. Crystal Symphony will sail set sail on a 10-night Mexican Riviera cruise on March 31.
--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Editorial Assistant