Reports of New Violence in Mazatlan Spur Cancellations of Cruise Port Calls

March 7, 2011
Update: March 7, 11 a.m. EST -- Carnival spokesman, Vance Gulliksen, has confirmed that the line is canceling calls to Mazatlan until it can review the Mexican government's security plans. In a statement released late on Friday, the cruise line said, "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." 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.

(2:45 p.m. EST) -- Another spate of violence in Mazatlan has prompted several cruise lines to curtail service to the Mexican Riviera port. The moves come after two local men were shot in a hotel parking lot on Tuesday. Norwegian Cruise Line has gone so far as to cancel calls to the beleaguered port through April 30, the end of Norwegian Star's sailing season in the region. The line said in a statement that it took the action because the "safety and security of our guests and crew is our number one priority." The call will be replaced with an additional day in Cabo San Lucas. Disney Cruise Line recently made a similar decision, after reports of increased violence in the area surfaced late in January. In addition, Oceania Cruises spokesman Gary Gerbino has confirmed that Marina's single Mazatlan call of the season, which was scheduled for March 3, is being replaced with a call in Puerto Vallarta. Carnival Splendor, which just completed its first cruise since returning to service after being disabled by an engine fire last fall, was scheduled to visit the port on Thursday, but instead spent an extra day in Cabo San Lucas. Both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor have also canceled Mazatlan calls for the upcoming week. Carnival Splendor will again replace Mazatlan with an extra day in Cabo. Carnival Spirit has also replaced its scheduled March 2 call to Mazatlan with a vist to Cabo San Lucas. Due to weather, instead of visiting Cabo on February 27 and 28, it will call on the Mexican port on February 28 and March 2 with a visit to La Paz in between. "Until we are able to obtain all of the facts and fully assess the situation, no decision has been made regarding future calls," Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman Joyce Oliva told us in a statement earlier today.

A number of cruise lines, including Holland America and Princess, also canceled calls to Mazatlan in late January and early February. However, after meeting with port and government officials and local law enforcement, most lines -- with the exception of Disney -- resumed scheduled calls shortly thereafter. Holland America's Oosterdam is scheduled to call in Mazatlan on March 2, and the line is not currently planning any itinerary changes, said spokesman Erik Elvejord. We'll keep you posted with any additional updates. --by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer