Stay Safe at Cruise Ports of Call

You probably have a list of things to do before you go on your cruise holiday. These might include buying sun screen, picking up your travellers' cheques or asking your neighbour to feed your cat. While all of these things are important, you should really also spend an hour or two doing a little research into the ports you will be visiting and in particular their crime rates.

It is impossible for large cruise ships to sail into port unnoticed and in some places there are unscrupulous criminals who try to take advantage of unwary passengers. They know that relaxed holidaymakers with nothing but sun and fun on their minds can regularly be found strolling through a town. The various countries visited by cruise ships have differing levels of crime and a little research into which crimes are prevalent in your ports of call could well save you from becoming the next victim.

Where to Find Information

You can check online for warnings about crime in different locations. If you perform some basic searches about your destination you should be able to view a whole host of information on crimes committed there.

There are also updates and warnings on official sites. The US State Department (for American travellers) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (for British travellers) will provide information which is country-specific.

You can also look at online versions of local newspapers. These will give you an excellent insight into the types of crimes recently committed in the area you are visiting.

Some Common-Sense Tips

Never go ashore alone because there is safety in numbers. If necessary, ask a group if you can join them. A criminal will easily spot and isolate lone travellers, making them easy targets. Even if you are travelling with a group of friends, make sure that you do not wander off or lose the group while ashore.

Do not draw attention to yourself by wearing expensive jewellery or openly carrying cameras, video cameras or mobile phones.

Do not carry more cash or credit cards than necessary and leave behind what you do not require. In the event that the worst happens you will at least have some money or cards to take you through the rest of your holiday.

If you must carry cash, credit cards or your mobile phone then do not put them all in one bag that can be pulled off your shoulder or out of your hands. If possible, keep them in separate pockets on your person.

If you are a woman do not dress provocatively when going ashore. While women should, of course, be able to dress however they please, in some places it's a good idea to be cautious.

Do not drink alcohol excessively or take drugs. When you are drunk you may not be able to think logically and you are likely to be less aware of safety issues. Never accept drinks from locals, however friendly they might seem, as you will be a much easier target when you are drunk.

Do not take valuables to the beach as thieves are just waiting for you to go for a dip in the sea so they can make off with your bag. Also never go for a walk on the beach alone at night.

Most of the ports visited by cruise ships are safe places and the chances of anything bad happening are slim as long as you use some common sense and don't take any unnecessary risks.


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