USA Today reported that Princess Cruise Lines, which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, cancelled any visits by their ships to the port in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the remainder of the year. The reason being given is safety concerns. This move to cancel Puerto Vallarta as a port of call happens approximately three (3) months after Princess and other cruise lines stopped visiting nearby Mazatlan, Mexico due to safety concerns.
I have previously blogged about the cruise line’s obligation to determine the safety of the various ports of calls it takes the passengers to, and to warn and guard against known risks in these various ports of call. The cruise line is in a much better position to determine the risks of certain ports of call, and this decision by Princess shows that this particular cruise line is taking some accountability for the safety of the passengers who may be taken to ports of call that have high crime rates.
I previously blogged about an incident where a passenger was shot and killed during gang violence in an area where it was very well known that there was a lot of gang violence. It was a known dangerous area the cruise line took the passenger into. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of the deceased passenger alleging a failure on the part of the cruise line to warn of the dangers, and alleging negligence on the part of the cruise line for taking the passenger into a known dangerous area.
There are numerous reports and statistics of the high crime that is taking place in the ports in Mexico, which is a popular stopping point for the cruise lines. Princess is the first of the major cruise lines to cancel visits to Puerto Vallarta, and it remains to be seen whether the other cruise line companies will follow in the wake of Princess’ move.
I give credit to Princess for taking into consideration the safety concerns of visiting Puerto Vallarta, and recognizing that those concerns outweighed the attraction of this particular port of call.
Our firm continues to be cruise ship and boating safety advocates representing those harmed at sea.