The thing people love most about going on a cruise is that it is pretty much a worry-free vacation. You don’t have to worry about where you are going to sleep, how you will travel to your next destination, how you are going to find a place to eat, or any of that. It’s all taken care of ahead of time, and all you have to do is get on the ship and have a good time.
But this does not mean that you can just turn a blind eye to safety issues. You are on a ship with thousands of other strangers. Yes, some of them are perfectly kind and polite, but with 3,000 plus people, there are bound to be some bad eggs in there somewhere.
Although crimes on a cruise ship are rare, almost every crime committed is a crime of opportunity and is perfectly preventable. So this article will cover some basic tips for staying safe on your next cruise.
1. Don’t advertise your money
Your luggage can say a lot about you, and if you have one of those satin covered carry-ons with gilded edges and diamond studded zippers, you should probably just leave it at home. You might be the richest person on the cruise ship but you don’t want to advertise it. If someone nefarious on the cruise ship knows you have a lot of money it makes you more of a target. This doesn’t mean you WILL get mugged if you wear 3 Rolex watches on each arm, but it certainly doesn’t help.
2. Hang on to the luggage
You really shouldn’t let your luggage out of your sight for any reason. Yes, they remind you of this all the time at the airport, but for some reason people think a cruise ship is full of merry little elves who wouldn’t harm a fly. It would be terrible to lose your luggage so even if you are going to the bathroom, bring it with you or have someone in your group keep an eye on it for you. The only time you really have to worry about this is on the first and last day, because the rest of the time your luggage should be in your cabin.
3. Use the cabin safe
Almost every cruise cabin now has a cabin safe, and if your ship doesn’t have one they will usually have a safety deposit box at the front desk. This safe is here for a reason and you should use it every time you leave your room. Any jewelry, cash, or valuable items should be stored in here, included your passports if you don’t need them. Again, we would like to think we can trust every cabin steward in the world, but you don’t know them and they don’t know you from anyone else. Just because they can make cute little towel monkeys doesn’t mean they don’t like cash just like anyone else.
4. Be extra vigilant on shore
Now, no one is saying you need to be paranoid here, but being extra cautious when you are on shore can make a big difference. Try to stay in public places or in groups and again, don’t advertise that you have money. Keep your wallet in your front pocket and be wary of anyone who seems extra nice in wanting to help you. Most of the time, crimes that occur on shore are crimes of opportunity as well, so as long as you stay in the public places and don’t wave around your passports and $100 dollar bills you should be fine.
5. Make copies of your documentation
You should have an extra copy of your passport and photo ID and exchange it with someone who is traveling in your group, so even if you are mugged and you lose your passport you can still contact that other person to verify your ID with customs. It’s a real headache to try to get back into the country once your passport is stolen, so these extra copies are well worth the effort.
Now it’s not like crimes are going on all over the cruise ship, and most people will never experience any crimes whatsoever aboard their ship or on the shore. But these tips can help keep you safe on any cruise ship as long as you just follow some common sense.