For the majority of us the idea of going on a cruise evokes thoughts of tranquillity and relaxation. Most of the time this shared idea of cruising actually becomes a reality and we are sure that the majority of the projected 19 million passengers who embarked on a cruise this year will agree.
Cruise ships are in essence giant mobile hotels, albeit hotels with ever changing beautiful views. As with any hotel or guesthouse, personal security as well as the security for your valuables should always be considered. No matter which company you decide to use or how safe you feel your room is; security should always be high on the agenda.
It’s hard to imagine that cruise passengers would pay to go on vacation only to commit a crime – but it does happen. Going on a cruise should be a relaxing and non-stressful experience, which is why we have put together this guide so you don’t have to spend your vacation stressing about security.
1. Secure your room
Just because you are on a tropical cruise and are in total relax mode doesn’t mean thieves will be too. Cruises for the vast majority of the time are extremely safe with low crime rates; however being on a large boat in the middle of the ocean provides criminals with a captive audience. Don’t become the victim.
2. Don’t take valuables
If you don’t really need to take your super expensive watch or diamond jewellery then our advice is simply; do not take them. We appreciate that you want to look nice in the evening, but not at the risk of having your prize possessions stolen.
3. Think about your bags
A prime risk time for your valuables is at the point of baggage loading; you are separated from your belongings at which point there is an opportunity for tampering. Our advice therefore is twofold:
a) make sure you take secure durable (can withstand hundreds of other bags being on top of it) bags
b) Don’t take super expensive designer bags which will stand out from the crowd; as they stand a higher chance of being singled out by criminals
4. Don’t leave keys or other items lying around
Even if you are just getting up from your sun lounger to nip to the bar, make sure you take your valuables and room card with you. You are often away from your room for long periods of time and therefore wouldn’t notice a missing card – you would notice your missing valuables when you return though.
5. Watch your drinks
A rare but documented crime on board cruise ships is sexual assault, typically against women. Everyone likes to wind down and relax in the evening, but this is not an excuse to let your guard down. Be cautious of accepting drinks from strangers and if you are there with a friend always arrange to keep an eye on each other. Common sense, but sense as they say isn’t always common.
6. Create a family safety plan
If your family includes children and you are all embarking on the adventure of a cruise; be sure to set some safety rules up in advance. Outline a place to meet in the event of an emergency and set strict curfews. Even if you are all out for the evening make sure to meet up or check on the children periodically.
7. Be careful in port
If you like to get far away from the crowd when you dock in a port remember to plan your trip in advance. Although the majority of port towns are safe for tourists, like most towns and cities they typically have their ‘bad’ areas. Go by your own watch and always make a mental note of how long it will take to get back to ship. You don’t want to return and find your ship has sailed.
Want to cruise like a pro? Check out some insider secrets to saving money on cruises and avoid the 20 mistakes that most cruisers make with the Intelligent Cruiser here.