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Mexico Travel Warning Could Affect Cruise Itineraries

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As of Thursday, January 11, 2018, the US State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for five states within Mexico due to crime. Level 4 is the most severe advisory and is labeled as “Do Not Travel.”

Mexico in general remains under a Level 2 “Exercise Increased Caution” travel advisory because of cartel activities, including robbery, carjacking, kidnappings, and even homicide. However, the advisory level was recently elevated to Level 4 in five states due to increased cartel activity, turf wars, homicides, and related crimes. Eleven other Mexican states are under a Level 3 advisory.

Featured photo: Sonríe a Mazatlán on Facebook

Four of the five states under the Level 4 advisory are located on Mexico’s west coast. One state – Sinaloa – is home to Mazatlan, a port frequented by cruise ships. The fifth state, Tamaulipas, borders Texas at its most southern tip.

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In fact, several cruise lines currently have ships operating itineraries that visit Mazatlan, including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line. None of cruise lines have yet announced whether or not they plan to continue calling on the port of Mazatlan now that the travel advisory has been heightened.

Despite the rampant and widespread increase in crime elsewhere in the country, the Mexican Tourism Board insists the country’s most popular tourist spots are safe. The states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Quintana Roo remain under the Level 2 advisory. Baja California is home to the port of Ensenada, Baja California Sur to Los Cabos, and Quintana Roo to both Cozumel and Costa Maya. The port of Puerto Vallarta, because it is in the state of Jalisco, is under a Level 3 advisory (“Reconsider Travel”).

If cruising to one of these ports soon, be sure to exercise extreme caution. Leave your valuables on the ship. Do not carry large amounts of cash on your person. Do not agree to share a taxi with a stranger. Do not travel alone. Stay close to the port, and do not travel far from the highly populated areas of town.

Featured photo: Sonríe a Mazatlán 

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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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