While I have never personally had anything stolen while cruising and while it might be a rare event when it does happen to cruisers, the latest events of the Carnival Splendor passengers being robbed at gunpoint in Mexico made me think that a post like this might be a good idea.
There is some common sense involved in some of these tips, but when traveling it’s all too easy to just throw caution to the wind and let your guard down.
The situation that happened in Mexico last week was quite unavoidable from a cruisers standpoint, since the masked gunman entered the bus while the cruisers were coming back to the ship after a ship-sponsored excursion. But Mexico has seen an increase in violence near the border and you should exercise a great deal of caution when going in these areas or just avoid them altogether.
Don’t take your eyes off the prize
You know how the security at the airport always asks if your suitcases have been out of your site since you have been in the airport? Well it’s a good idea to not let your stuff out of your site for even a second. This is especially true on embarkation day when you have all kinds of luggage with you, but even on excursions you should make sure you only take with you what you absolutely need and leave the rest back at the cabin.
Make sure your luggage is marked with your room number properly
I didn’t think this could happen, but on my last cruise I told the luggage guy at the port my room number so he could mark the bags. Little did I know that he wrote the WRONG number on the sticker. After not seeing my suitcases for 5 hours I finally asked the front desk and they took me to a back room where there were about 10 other suitcases. The lady just told me to grab the bags that were mine (with no proof or anything). Now, how hard would it have been for me to just grab someone else’s bags? Next time, I will either make sure the number is correct or just carry my bags myself to avoid the hassle and the security risk.
Use the safe in your room
I would like to think that all room attendants are honest and respectable. But I have heard stories of people missing items from their rooms before. Just lock up those valuables like jewelry, money, and identification cards that you don’t need. At least this way you don’t have to suffer with paranoia every time you leave your room.
Be careful when you go in the water
My favorite part about cruising is going snorkeling. But while my wife and I are in the water who is watching my stuff on the shore? It would be very easy for someone to come by and grab our stuff, so it’s important to make sure you either have someone watching your bags for you (someone you can trust), or you can put your stuff in a water tight bag and take it with you. Might look funny, but at least your only worry will be your stuff getting wet.
Lurk quietly in the shadows
Ok, you don’t have to lurk. What I mean is that you shouldn’t wave around your valuables and draw attention to yourself. In the VERY rare event you actually win money from the casino, don’t make a big scene about it and “make it rain”. Any time you travel might not be a good time to wear that $10,000 Rolex and 5 carat diamond ring. You might be a millionaire but you want to look like the average Joe … or Joanne. The more attention you draw to your money the more likely you are of drawing the attention of the less than honest among us as well.
Always be aware of your surroundings
Yes, you are on a cruise ship enjoying your vacation, and no, not everyone is out to get you. But being aware of what is going on around you can help let you make wise decisions and keep from getting mugged. There can be over 5,000 people on some cruise ships and they are all in a relatively confined space, so make sure you put some space between you and those around you that you don’t know.
Hey, you’re on a cruise! Enjoy it! These little cruise tips are meant to help you enjoy your vacation and not to make you paranoid over every little thing. Just exercise caution and you will have the time of your life.
If I missed any tips feel free to leave some pointers below in the comment section.