Cruise ships can be likened densely populated island where passengers can escape to temporarily relax and leave the stress of daily life behind. It is normal for vacationers to let their guard down once they become comfortable with their surroundings. Passengers must be careful not to allow this false sense of security to get the best of them; they should take the following measures before getting so wrapped up in their trip that they forget.
Keep track of your luggage.
Most reports of burglary, damage, or misplacement is in regard to luggage. Responsible travelers will compose a list of all items brought onboard the ship and take a picture of them in case they are lost. Belongings such as medicine, glasses, and valuables such as jewelry should be kept in your carryon luggage. Make photocopies of everything in your wallet as well as your passport. Keep on copy in your hand luggage, and leave another at home in case you cannot find the other. Until check-in, luggage should be in your line of sight. Once the luggage is the responsibility of the baggage handlers, you will not see it for hours until it is filed with thousands of other pieces and delivered to your cabin. It could be a mistake to carry gaudy looking luggage because it may lead potential thieves to believe that its contents is valuable. You should not include your entire home address and phone number on bag tags that are visible to passersby because highly sophisticated robbers may decide to make a visit to your residence knowing that it will be quite some time before your return.
Using sturdy luggage that can be locked and can hold up under the weight of hundreds of other bags without opening up is recommended. It is wise to bolster your luggage with additional banding, airport plastic wrap, or duct tape to ward off anyone who might consider snooping. Self-locking zip-ties are great for fortifying zippers on soft-sided bags. These can be purchased at a hardware store for approximately $1. Drug smugglers are notorious for slipping drugs into this kind of luggage in order to retrieve it later, and this is sometimes done using force. There have actually been instances where unsuspecting passengers have had drugs such as cocaine inserted into their luggage. Once port authorities accuse you if drug trafficking, it is very difficult to explain to security that someone set you up. If your luggage is secured and reinforced, it is fairly easy to detect whether it has been tampered with. Situations like these should be reported to security prior to opening the suitcase. Upon departing from the cruise ship, you should pack everything back up with as much painstaking care as possible.
Safeguard your cabin.
When you arrive inside your cabin, you should give it a once-over to determine whether there has been an intruder. It is a possibility that your cabin may have been left wide open while maids and other personnel are in and out preparing it for your stay. The locks on cabin doors may be rather archaic, so they could be prime targets for break-ins; do not leave expensive items out in the open. Cruise ship passengers can leave their valuables, credit cards, and money in a safe deposit box during the voyage since the majority of passengers are on a special charge account. Every lock on the cabin door should be utilized whenever the cabin is unoccupied as well as at night when passengers are asleep. Never open your door to an unfamiliar face no matter how trusting they look. If a really important message needs to be delivered, it can be relayed from the other side of the locked door.
Similar to a hotel room, you must guard your cabin key and number. Deceitful crew or passengers will look for every opportunity to steal an abandoned key. When the ship is docked, leave your key at the registration desk while you are ashore.
Stay in open areas.
Once you have boarded the ship, and it has left for sea, do not presume that you are exempt from being victimized by a criminal act. The odds of an outsider robbing or attacking you are slim, but there is always the chance that an act of wrongdoing can be committed by a member of the staff or a fellow passenger. Most staff members are honest people who would not jeopardize their job for the sake of taking advantage of a customer. However, there is could always be that one attendant or waiter who exploits their role and breaks the law.
Passengers are advised to stay in populated areas around the ship. Plain clothes officers patrol all sections of the vessel and also keep tabs on closed circuit cameras, watching all areas of the deck, hallways, etc. The one shortcoming of a cruise ship's security team is that it is not large as it should be.
Protect your family.
If you intend to travel with your family, you need to lay out the laws to your kids prior to departure. Just as you would in your home, rules must be laid out to regulate things like curfews. Teenagers should be warned that following a worker to a non-public area has the potential to be dangerous, and they should never be invited into the cabin. Although the crime rate per thousand is generally low, there is always a chance that a predator is in your presence. Nightclubs, bars, casinos, pools, and jacuzzis are all hot spots for victims to prey on.
You also need to watch out for drunken passengers. Since people tend to consume more alcohol than usual while onboard a cruise ship, it may cause them to act out in ways which they would not normally. There have been cases where passengers have slipped drugs into people's drinks for the purpose of raping them. There are also pickpockets, purse snatchers, and cabin burglars just waiting for a susceptible moment at which they can pounce. Con artists will seize the chance to take advantage of wealthy passengers too.
To keep your children safe, you should incorporate bed checks, curfews, restrictions, and special places to meet into your daily routine. Observe the kind of kids that they are associating with, and show some concern if they are drug users or otherwise very mischievous. Attempt to confine your child to activities run by the staff located in the public areas of the ship. Even if your children are supervised, you should make an effort to check in on them every once in a while. Giving them free reign while you are gambling or attending a show is the quickest way to get them involved in a cruise ship accident. You should designate a crew member as a person of contact in the event your child is lost or separated from you.