When visiting other countries on your cruise vacation, personal safety should be a primary concern. Foreign ports of call present many challenges, including language and cultural barriers. Tourists can unwittingly become easy targets for petty thieves and scammers. If you understand the risks, and take the proper precautions, you can relax and enjoy your cruise adventure.
Cruise Lines remain in constant contact with authorities, monitoring travel advisories that might impact their cruise ship itineraries. If the U.S. State Department issues a travel advisory for a specific location, the cruise line may make adjustments to their published itinerary.
Most recently, the swine flu outbreak in Mexico caused several cruise lines to avoid Mexican ports of call. However, these situations are rare. Understand that such changes are made for the safety and security of passengers.
Keep in mind that travelers must assume the ultimate responsibility for their actions while ashore. When visiting ports-0f-call, travelers should take some common-sense precautions:
- Stay in the normal tourist areas. If you travel far afield, it is best to take a guided tour. Book shore excursions through the cruise line so they can track your whereabouts and know if you’ll be late getting back to the ship.
- Never leave your belongings unattended in public areas.
- Be aware of people around you.
- Never accept packages from anyone you don’t know personally.
- Dress and behave conservatively. As a tourist in a foreign port, keep a low profile. Drawing attention to yourself may put you at risk.
- Be careful when eating and drinking ashore. Alcohol can impair your judgment. If you are planning to dine in port, get recommendations from the cruise line.