22 passengers from the Carnival Splendor cruise ship were robbed at gunpoint this week while on an excursion in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The passengers were returning to the ship after a ship sponsored tour in El Nogalito when their bus was stopped by masked gunman.
El Nogalito is known for its lush environment and the Canopy Mundo Nogalito Tour is popular destination for tourists who want to zip-line through the jungle.
No passengers were hurt or killed in the robbery and all returned safely to the ship. Among the things stolen were money, passports, cameras, jewelry, watches, and anything of value.
A Mexican news site informador.com.mx has reported that there have not yet been any arrests. Police are still on the search for the men responsible for the robbery.
The public relations firm representing the Tourism Board for Puerto Vallarta left the following on their Facebook page: “minutes after we learned of the incident representatives from the local and state government, tourism leaders and tour operators [moved] to provide assistance to those involved and police and the district’s attorney office started their investigation.”
Carnival has apologized to passengers and is working with them to reimburse for lost valuables and passports. Even though the robbery was not Carnival’s fault, they have suspended the tour until further notice.
Since April 2011, the U.S. State Department has been advising Americans to use caution when traveling to Mexico. However, most of the violence in Mexico is near the U.S./Mexico border and is drug related. Millions of Americans safely visit the resort and port towns in Mexico each year although many cruise lines have pulled out of the Mexican Riviera cruise region.
This news comes at a difficult time for the Carnival Corp. In the past 5 weeks the company has had to deal with the Costa Concordia accident, the Crown Princess getting a norovirus outbreak on back to back sailings, and now this robbery.
The Carnival Splendor sails from the port in Long Beach, California and sails week long cruises to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.