By Nadia Jastrjembskaia, CLIA Accredited cruise counselor, Expert Plus
Cruise vacation is safe but …
You probably heard that group of cruise ship passengers were robbed by a single masked man in the jungle of Puerto Vallarta. The cruisers dropped their wallets, passports, jewelry, money and other valuables. Of course, media spread out this and people request cruise without ports of call in Mexico as a result of this. How to be safe?
Believe or not, I was personally was separated from my valet in St. Petersburg, Russia in prestigious shopping center Eliseevsky. Client of friend of mine was mugged in Buenos Aires, Argentina and then was pick pocketed in Rio.
It is obvious that cruise passengers make great targets for robbery, purse snatching, pick-pocketing and other minor crimes. Criminals know that even he is caught and positively identified by the passenger, they will not show up at any criminal hearings because cruisers will be back in the U.S. (or Canada) when the hearing is held. In some countries law officials simply won’t even pursue criminal actions against cruise passengers, as they know what the outcome will be.
So, think about your safety first.
Safety Tip #1: Use a Port Wallet
A port wallet is a simplified version of your real wallet. Buy the cheapest one and put only contains the items necessary to go ashore for the day and nothing else. If it is stolen, it becomes irrelevant because you already plan on losing the stuff in the port wallet anyway.
Enough cash for the your day’s activity
A debit or credit card with access to $1,000.00 immediately at an ATM A copy of your driver’s license
A copy of your passport information page A copy of the ship contact information A copy of your travel insurance policy
A copy of any health issues that you may have and medications you may be taking Complete emergency contact information
Your real wallet must be in the safe on the ship. If your port wallet is gone, you can easily cancel your debit / credit card and replace the documentation with a second port wallet for the next port.
Safety Tip #2: Use a Travel Professional
Just think about it. If something happens during your cruise, who are you going to call for help? When you book your cruise vacation major concern have to be not how to save $25 by buying online but interview your agent if she is available 24/7 during your vacation.
If saving money is a major concern better stay at home. Up to time when safety during your vacation will be the main reason to pick up your travel professional. I am with my clients online or on phone when needed. It doesn’t matter if this client in New Zealand right now and it is 3 AM in Florida. He is my client, so I am able to coordinate actions to help him.
I had a previous experience with being robbed, medical emergencies, delayed or cancelled flights, bumped from hotels, accidents, last minute changes, even twisting the ankle on the gangway.
Safety Tip #3: Leave Your Jewelry at Home (or On the Ship)
Just to let you know that the guy that got mugged and then pick pocketed during the same cruise was wearing a $30,000 Rolex watch. I guess he impressed the locals with how rich he was. Flaunting expensive jewelry and watches is just asking for trouble. If you have a driving need to wear jewelry, buy some costume jewelry to wear on shore. Every time you wear something on vacation, ask yourself, “I will be upset or no if I lose it?” If answer is “yes”, don’t wear it!
Safety Tip #4: Don’t Wear the Ship’s Stickers or Carry a Ship’s Bag
Of course, the cruise line wants you to advertise that you are from the ship. By advertising yourself you become a prime target for crime. Going to the beach with that cruise line beach bag is just asking to be robbed.
Safety Tip #5: Don’t Look Like a Victim and Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Respecting the local culture dress and traditions will help you a lot! Ladies, leave those low-cut blouses and shirts at home and dress more conservatively than you would at home.
Don’t drink too much and walk around back streets anywhere. You are just asking for trouble.
Using my simple tips you can have a wonderful time on any cruise. Just be proactive and protect yourself in advance.