As long as a large group of people congregate in a locked-in environment, like a cruise ship, there will always be some element of crime involved. But with that being said, the level of crime has diminished dramatically over the past decade, and the more recent cruise liners to hit the salty waters are as close to crime-free as a human society can provide. Using common sense, and not allowing yourself to be cornered in a private place by a stranger are the two most common tips given for cruise ship safety.
Common sense should tell you that you may be on a “boat in the water”, and therefore people would be much less likely to commit crimes, since it should be so much easier to catch the perpetrator. However, statistics show that cruise ship crime has reduced drastically on the newer super-cruise liners, but the older cruise ships still have their problems. Buying reduced tickets may find you on an older cruise ship, and subject to the lack of security that they provide.
Some tips for staying safe while on a cruise;
* Keep your valuables in your room safe, and in the master safe. Only keep in your room’s safe what you will be needing for the next day or two, and store the rest in the ship’s master vaults.
* Never leave your wallet, purse or passport out in the open, like on a table or counter-top. Your passport can easily be swiped and replaced with a blank counterfeit.
* Don’t over-do it with the jewellery. Hugely expensive diamond necklaces may be stunningly beautiful, but the diamonds can be pulled out of their settings,re-cut and sold for a great profit. Thieves bundle their ill-gotten gains in waterproof bags and drop them overboard near predetermined locations, for their partners in crime to pick up.
* If you are single, and on a singles cruise, do not be lulled into a sense of safety just because you are on a cruise ship. The same crimes that happen in inner-city locales occur on cruise ships, and being aware of your surroundings is paramount to your safety. Never let your drink out of your sight, and don’t allow yourself to over-indulge, at least not until you are safely back in your room (cabin).
* If you are with other people, always travel in pairs when moving around on the ship. If anything untoward happens, make sure that you take notice of the person’s face, height and weight, scars and tattoos. Remembering what they were wearing is of small help, as they can change anywhere, anytime.
* Have fun. Relax, you paid for it, now enjoy it. But keep your wits about you, and when you do leave the ship, make sure you stay with the larger group, or with one of the attendants.
* Take advantage of as many public events as possible, including off-ship activities. Go zip-lining through rain-forests, scuba dive with dolphins and walk up the steps of a Mayan Temple. Gamble, see a play, play in the sea, just do things that you would not normally do, and enjoy yourself doing it.
* When inside your room or cabin, make sure that the door is locked, with all locks, chains etc., engaged and locked. They may not keep someone who really wants in out, but they will hold them off long enough for security to be summoned.
* Do not be shy or feel paranoid. If you feel something is wrong, bring it up with one of the cruise ship’s safety or liaison employees. That is what they are paid for, anyways.
So, have a fun trip, but just remember that yourself, your family and your belongings are only as safe as you make them.
Travel safe. Travel informed.