| Date Published: April 8, 2014 |
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|Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Roatan Stops After Crew Murder|
(4:10 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled port stops in Roatan this week after a crew member from Norwegian Pearl was killed during an attempted robbery, according to the line's Facebook page.
The line reported local officials are investigating the incident, which happened Sunday, April 6, and that a suspect is in custody.
"In an abundance of caution for our guests and crew, we have cancelled calls to Roatan this week for Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Jewel," the line wrote.
On the Cruise Critic forums, passengers currently on Dawn and Jewel reported they would have a sea day instead of stopping in Roatan.
"The overwhelming response that I have witnessed from passengers has been supportive of this decision," PTCruizer posted. "Although Roatan is our favorite port for snorkeling, we don't fault NCL for their decision. This is a sad tragedy and our support for all the NCL crew members is critical at this time."
Norwegian Pearl was the only ship in port Sunday. Other ships scheduled to dock in Roatan this week include Caribbean Princess, Seven Seas Navigator, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas and three Carnival ships: Liberty, Legend and Conquest.
Cruise Critic has reached out to other lines to see if others are canceling stops on the Honduran island. “We are working closely with the Honduran government to improve security,” said Cynthia Martinez, spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We do not have plans to cancel or change or port calls.”
Carnival ships dock in Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, a dedicated facility managed by the line. As a result of reports of armed robberies and crimes against tourists, Carnival now distributes letters to cruisers in Roatan, offering safety tips and advice and encouraging them to stick with shore excursions or Mahogany Bay Cruise Center cabs.
This is not the first violent incident this year reported by cruise ship travelers in Roatan. In January, a family of five from Carnival Conquest was robbed at gunpoint while driving a rental car on the island.
Honduras has been under a U.S. Department of State warning since December 2013, primarily because of drug violence on the mainland. The current warning does note that tourist areas such as Roatan do have lower levels of crime and violence than the rest of the country.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
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