Royal Caribbean Retracts Bahamas Travel Warning, Though State Advisory Remains
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The Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar, announced this past week that Royal Caribbean has rescinded its most recent travel advisory to passengers visiting Nassau, Bahamas. The travel advisory came in the form of a letter from captain of The Anthem of The Seas Sreck Ban. The letter urges the ship’s passengers to exercise increased caution when visiting the Bahamas, specifically Nassau, due to an increase in crime. After the letter made rounds on various websites and on social media, officials in the Bahamas quickly denounced the warning. Now, D’Aguilar is claiming victory as Royal Caribbean has removed the warning from its entire fleet.
Captain Ban’s warning, while not urging passengers to refrain from visiting Nassau, does urge passengers to be on alert. Royal Caribbean noted that the letter mirrored a similar warning issued by the US Department of State from January 2018. The letter provides passengers with a variety of steps they can take to reduce their chances of becoming the victim of a crime in the Bahamas. These steps include leaving valuables in passenger staterooms and not venturing outside of tourist areas.
D’Aguilar quickly reached out to Royal Caribbean, voicing his concerns about the travel advisory. D’Aguilar called the travel advisory “unwarranted” and said that the advisory could “unduly bring fear to passengers coming to Nassau.” Another Bahamian official responded to the advisory by noting that Nassau is “as safe as Miami or Fort Lauderdale,” according to CuriseRadio.net. According to Nassau Tribune, D’Aguilar managed to get the travel advisory rescinded through “gentle nudging.”
While D’Aguilar may have found the advisory to be “unwarranted”, a January 2018 travel warning issued by the US Department of State supported many of the claims in the letter. However, the Sun Sentinel reported that the police commissioner for the Bahamas has released statistics showing a 14% drop in crime in recent years. The same report also noted that while overall crime rates had fallen, the violent crime rate had increased by 10%.
Though Dionisio D’Aguilar managed to have the Royal Caribbean advisory dropped, the advisories issued by both the US Department of State and the Government of Canada remain in effect. D’Aguilar is expected to meet with officials from Canada in the coming weeks to discuss the recent Canadian travel advisory.
While crime remains prevalent throughout Nassau and other parts of the Bahamas, rates are lower than many US cities. Much of the crime on the island, particularly violent crime, is not directed towards tourists. Still, non-violent crime including theft remains a threat to those visiting the Bahamas. Travelers should continue to exercise increased caution though travel to the popular island should not necessarily be outright avoided.
Featured image by Ander Gillenea/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
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