Cruise Diva's FOCUS
Cruise Travel Safety & Security
Security in Ports of Call
Getting away from
it all isn't supposed to mean getting into trouble. One advantage of
cruise travel is the safety aspect—there is very little crime on
board most ships.
of local customs and dangers, tourists are attractive
targets for scam artists and petty thieves.
However, all too
often passengers are lulled into a false sense of security by the
cocoon-like atmosphere of their vessel. The port cities they
anticipate with such enthusiasm can sometimes be intimidating, if
not downright unfriendly, places.
hair-braiders in Jamaica or gypsies in Barcelona, your first line of
defense is preparedness. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with
it, not to mention using common sense, should save you a lot of
grief. Unaware of local customs and dangers, tourists are attractive
targets for scam artists and petty thieves. With their friendly and
trusting natures, Americans are particularly vulnerable. This is
especially true overseas where tourists' attention is riveted on the
sights they've come so far to see. Often they do not even notice the
stranger who brushed by them and, incidentally, just emptied their
Fear of the unknown
shouldn't discourage anyone from traveling. It's that very unknown
that is most appealing. So, how can you accomplish both objectives
-- travel abroad and remain safe? Planning and awareness are
Some things to
- Make two copies
of your passport, driver's license, and credit cards before
leaving home. Leave one set of copies in a safe place on your
ship. If the ship's purser holds your passport (which is often
the case, to expedite clearing the ship in foreign ports), carry
the passport copy ashore with you. Leave the other copies with a
friend or family member at home.
- Use an
under-the-clothing style money pouch. Waist packs and handbags
are prime targets for cut and run thieves (who cut the strap and
disappear into the crowd).
- Don't carry
valuables in your waist pack, but do thread the strap through
your belt loops.
- Carry a handbag
with a shoulder strap across your body and keep it in front of
- The handsome
local offering to exchange your dollars at a better than market
rate is probably a hustler.
- Never leave your
camera or tote bag on a chair in a restaurant. Keep valuables on
expensive jewelry and flashing a wad of money is an invitation
- Men should carry
wallets in their front pockets and divide their money, keeping a
little in each pocket. In fact, why carry a wallet in your
pocket at all if you don't have to? Far preferable is a wallet
that attaches to your belt and tucks inside your slacks.
- Don't use an ATM
in a dark or deserted area, particularly if there are obvious
Dress to blend in,
not stand out. While my favorite pastel polo-style knit dresses were
comfortable for sight-seeing in the Mediterranean, they stood out
and identified me as an American woman in Europe. Subdued colors and
styles are preferable. Experienced travelers recommend clothing and
accessories by TravelSmith
a catalog merchant specializing in garments with hidden pockets and
such items as waist packs with metal cable in the strap to
Safety is often
found in numbers, and it's never a good idea to venture into some
unfamiliar areas on your own. Evaluate your own comfort level
regarding shore excursions versus independent touring. If you do
your homework and educate yourself about your destination, it's
possible to explore your ports of call safely and with confidence.
to Cruise Diva's FOCUS
on Safety & Security
Happens -- Bad weather, mechanical problems, and
political unrest can set your itinerary and plans adrift.
the Friendlier Skies -- New
security measures are in place to ease your mind about flights
What to expect at your embarkation port and ports of call.
Onboard -- The
muster drill and beyond; crews take safety and security
Yourself -- If
you haven't done it already, isn't it about time to get a
Care -- The ship's Sick Bay.
You hope you won't need it but it's
comforting to know you can depend on it... if only for a
"Bare" -- This has nothing to do with
sunbathing in the buff. Here's
the scoop on protecting your cruise investment and yourself.
& Sea: Solutions for the Landlocked -- The facts
about cruise line Air & Sea Programs and missing the boat.
-- Cover your bases and insure
yourself & your cruise investment.
into Hurricane Season -- "Official"
hurricane season consumes a full six months of the year. It
doesn't have to spoil your cruise.
News -- The latest information regarding cruise lines and