The US Department of State recently issued a travel advisory (pdf) for Jamaica urging travelers to exercise increased caution following a declaration from the Jamaican government of a State of Emergency for St. James Parish, Jamaica to counter criminal activity.
According to the US Embassy in Kingston, the State of Emergency, declared under the 1966 Emergency Powers Act, allows Jamaican security forces within the borders of St. James Parish to arbitrarily detain and deport suspicious persons, enter premises, and seize property without warrant. Expect to encounter increased police and military presence, checkpoints, and searches of persons and vehicles within the borders of St. James Parish.
Officials from the State Department and US Embassy in Kingston suggest visitors take the following actions while in Jamaica:
- Monitor local media for updates.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid public buses.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Cooperate with any police or military personnel you may encounter.
- Do not resist a police or military inspection of your vehicle and personal belongings.
- Allow additional time for transit on the roads in St. James Parish.
The security alert includes the city of Montego Bay where there is a cruise port, but it is important to understand this is NOT Falmouth, where Disney Cruise Line visits. Falmouth is in the neighboring parish of Trelawny. Regardless of which cruise port is being visited, it is important information to consider as some port adventures could potentially travel to some of these areas.
If you are not planning to spend the day onboard the ship, it may be a good idea to stick with Disney Cruise Line’s vetted Port Adventures in Falmouth versus exploring on your own or with third party tour operators.
We have not heard of any extra warnings or precautions being shared with passengers aboard the Disney Fantasy which is scheduled to visit Falmouth tomorrow, but we will update this post if we learn hear anything.
UPDATE: January 24, 2017 – Disney Fantasy’s Stop in Falmouth
The Disney Fantasy is in Falmouth today as scheduled. According to a passenger who I spoke with Disney Cruise Line did NOT receive written information about the issues in their stateroom. However, the cruise director lightly mention the issue by telling guests that staying in the gated area is secured, and suggested they only take the taxis inside the security area & only take Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures.