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Cruise Hot Spot Issues A State Of Emergency

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Tourists heading to Jamaica are being warned that certain parts of the country are seeing an uptick in violent crimes. In fact, local media outlets are reporting that Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared a state of public emergency for some parts of the island, including St. James parish, home to Montego Bay.

What Led To The State Of Emergency

Montego Bay

Montego Bay. Photo via Flickr/robert2135

In confirming the State of Emergency, Holness cited a rise in violent crime and murders as the reason. Rather than tip off criminals to their strategies for handling the problem, officials deflected questions and would not say how long the State of emergency would be in effect. Last year, 335 murders were reported in the parish of St. James, and local media reports that at least four murders have taken place since January 1st of 2018.

Holness said that security forces have been given greater powers and, according to the Jamaica Observer, “certain rights have been suspended.” This includes the fact that security forces are being given permission to search homes without warrants. He did, however, say that the government had taken tourism factors into account and was aware of the impact the state of the emergency might have on the industry, which pours a substantial amount of money into the island’s economy each year.

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This comes on the heels of the U.S. State Department issuing a Level 2 alert regarding travel to Jamaica. “Exercise increasing caution in Jamaica due to crime,” they warned on January 10. Among the areas the State Department specifically cited were parts of Kingston, Montego Bay and Spanish Town. “Violent crime, such as home invasions, armed robberies and homicide is common,” read the warning. “Sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resrouces to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from driving outside of Kingston at night.”

Safety Tips For Travel In Jamaica

The State Department advises that visitors to these dangerous areas avoid walking or driving at night, public buses and secluded places or situations, even at resorts. They also advice that one not physically resist any robbery attempt and do everything possible to keep a low profile.

The current Level 2 travel advisory means visitors should be aware, but not necessarily change their plans. A Level 3 travel advisory is when the State Department advises reconsidering travel plans, while a Level 4 warning — the highest advisory level — means that one should not travel to the area “due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.” The Canadian government has also issued a travel warning regarding the area.

Photo via Flickr/robert2135

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June Special: Kids Sail Free to the Bahamas

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With summer around the corner, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has a special deal for families traveling with kids. Valid for all June cruises, those 16 and under will sail free if they’re staying in the same stateroom with two paying parents.

With the school year wrapping up and Father’s Day on June 17, it’s the perfect time for a quick escape to the Bahamas. Both of the line’s ships, Grand Classica and Grand Celebration offer a number of activities for guests on their way to the island. There are youth clubs divided by age, swimming pools, multiple dining options, a mini movie theater, mini rock climbing wall, a ball pit, and more.

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There’s also a number of shore excursions that families can take part in once they arrive, including snorkeling, a beach day, cruising the beach in an open-top Jeep, swimming with dolphins, parasailing, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, and more.

For more information, visit bahamasparadisecruiseline.com.

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Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Take Annual Photos on Cruise Ship

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The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have officially wrapped up their 2018 annual photo shoot, and this year a Miami-based cruise ship was the backdrop.

Over 20 of the cheerleaders sailed to the sunny Caribbean this month aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, donning a number of clothing styles for the photos while capturing the ship’s iconic design. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Annual is set to be released at the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Fashion Show this fall.

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The cheerleaders also took part in photo shoot in ports along the way, including St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau. During the voyage, the cheerleaders engaged with guests throughout the cruise during a variety of activities, including at the sail away party, hosting youth cheer clinics, posing for photo ops, and doing special performances to entertain guests. To kick off the cruise, they provided a warm Miami Dolphins welcome by taking over the terminal with mascot “TD” to cheer guests into their vacation.

The annual photoshoot onboard MSC Seaside came on the heels of the Dolphins’ first ever Fan Cruise onboard the same ship in March. The voyage included football legend guests of honor including Kim Bokamper, Terry Kirby, Sam Madison, Nat Moore, Joe Rose and Patrick Surtain, for a week of themed activities. The team will be hosting their second cruise in 2019.

The Miami Dolphins and MSC Cruises are in the midst of a three-year partnership, which resulted in the Fan Cruise. It will be hosted annually over the next three years.

Photos: Miami Dolphins

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Carnival Horizon Makes Inaugural Call in Canadian Port

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Carnival Cruise Line’s brand new Vista-class ship Carnival Horizon made her first-ever call in Halifax, Nova Scotia yesterday.

The day was a welcome change for cruise passengers; it was the first port stop after six days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean. Ship officers as well as local officials held a traditional plaque ceremony in the Library onboard, where a plaque was given to the ship by the Port of Halifax and other tokens were exchanged, including a model of the ship given to the port by Carnival Cruise Line.

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Carnival Horizon is the sister-ship to Carnival Vista, which pioneered a number of new concepts for Carnival including the SkyRide bicycling attraction and the Dreamscape LED sculpture in the atrium. Some of Horizon’s unique new features include a sit-down barbecue smokehouse and brewery as well as a Cat in the Hat themed WaterWorks water park.

Click here for a video of the ship headed into the Port of Halifax.

Click here for our article on all of the free food found aboard Carnival Horizon.

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