State Dept. Urges Caution

June 25, 2001
The U.S. Department of State has reissued a public announcement urging Americans traveling overseas to use caution. The public announcement, one step down in severity from a travel warning (which recommends Americans avoid a particular region or country entirely), was issued, according to the State Department, because it had “learned that American citizens and interests abroad may be at increased risk of a terrorist action from extremist groups.”
What does this mean for cruise passengers headed abroad this summer? First, cruisers -- at least on board -- enjoy extremely high levels of security, practiced by all the lines. In port, the “public announcement” -- a step down in seriousness from an actual travel warning which is typically taken so seriously by cruise lines that they’ll reroute itineraries, is a mild “wake-up” call to simply be alert of your surroundings and try to blend in, whether by dress or by manner.
Curious about the state department’s “don’t go” list? Alas, few cruise ports, aside from exotic itineraries offered more often by European-based lines, fit the bill. Currently, among the recent updated warnings and/or first-timers include countries like Macedonia, Yemen, Libya, Liberia, Algeria, Central African Republic and Tajikstan.
In the meantime, U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf are reportedly undergoing some unusual mobilizations that could indicate potential for attack and/or unrest; if you are planning an exotic cruise, it may help to keep up to date via the state department’s travel site: