Carnival Cruise Line has responded to guest concerns over the updated travel advisory citing increased crime in Nassau, clarifying their security policies and recommendations for guests debarking in ports of call where any official warnings may be present. At this time, there are no cruise lines canceling visits to Nassau due to the increased warning, but travelers should still take appropriate precautions.
Carnival Cruise Line Continues Visits to Nassau Despite Advisory
With the update to the Level 2 Travel Advisory to Nassau, The Bahamas – an “Exercise Increased Caution” alert – Carnival Cruise Line has responded to guest concerns about the safety of the destination.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has fielded questions on the safety of visiting Nassau on his popular Facebook page, where he answers hundreds of questions each day and shares tips, announcements, and updates with more than 565,000 followers.
“How bad of a violence warning results in Carnival changing ports?” a guest recently asked. “Usually, when we receive a warning bad weather is coming to our area, bad weather comes. Are cruise ships waiting for a tourist to be injured, assaulted, or worse at a destination with a warning before they change ports?”
Heald responded the the inquiry within minutes, first noting that all cruise lines are continuing to visit Nassau at this time, with no lines adjusting itineraries based on the travel advisory. He then shared the cruise line’s official response to the elevated travel advisory.
“We are aware of the advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Nassau. As part of our regular safety and security procedures, we are routinely monitoring the local destinations our ships visit, relying on government and law enforcement expertise,” the statement read.
“We continue to consult with embassy officials and our security team has determined we can continue with our planned visits to Nassau, which has enhanced policing of tourist areas. The safety of our guests and crew is our priority, and when any adjustments to itineraries are deemed necessary, we will react quickly.”
The travel advisory for Nassau, which was updated on Friday, January 26, 2024, lists crime as a key concern for travelers, with incidents such as burglaries and sexual assaults occurring in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Also noted of concern were water-based recreational activities and tours, which aren’t always regulated as strictly as US precautions might require.
These warnings follow a ferry boat accident in November 2023 that resulted in an elderly cruise passenger’s death, as well as a shark bite incident during a tour in mid-January. While the shark incident was not related to cruise tours, it nevertheless raises concerns for all visitors.
Heald notes that the latest safety information and port visitation guidance is always made available to guests onboard via announcements and the FunTimes newsletter (also available through the Carnival Hub app).
“As you would do when visiting any destination, please be aware of your surroundings and follow the instructions of local officials when you go ashore,” Carnival Cruise Line urged. “Regarding Nassau, please stay within the main areas. While guests may go ashore to independently sightsee, we encourage them to consider one of our shore excursions.”
All travelers – whether from cruise ships, resorts, or independent arrangements – should always be aware of travel advisories and take steps to protect themselves, such as not traveling with valuables, staying in safer areas, and remaining with a companion at all times.
Other Cruise Destinations and Travel Advisories
It should be noted that the US Department of State regularly issues travel advisories for many different countries based on reported crime statistics and other safety information, such as the availability of medical care and police response to incidents.
At this time, travel alerts at the same Level 2 advisory are also in effect for other cruise destinations, including the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the UK, Belize, and Costa Rica. When an alert is issued, however, it is a general warning and may not impact travel to the entire country, but only to certain high-risk regions that may be far from cruise ports or popular tourist areas.