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exiledowl
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We start a world cruise in December and were wondering if anyone on CC can give advice on any scams that they have experienced after going ashore , or more importantly how they've prevented them from happening. 

Thanks for any advice. 

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2 hours ago, exiledowl said:

We start a world cruise in December and were wondering if anyone on CC can give advice on any scams that they have experienced after going ashore , or more importantly how they've prevented them from happening. 

Thanks for any advice. 

 

I'll suggest researching the information from the FCO on safety & security for each country you visit.

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I see you are in Germany, but you can also check the US State Departments information for each country you'll be visiting for safety and security information.

 

Personally, if the country where the ship stops is a little sketchy, I stick to ship sponsored excursions only or I enjoy a day on the less crowded ship. I have felt perfectly safe wandering around a port city on my own in Japan, for example, but wouldn't dream of doing so in Mexico most South American countries, and some big US cities.

 

Also, be ever vigilant and don't act like one of the sheep.  Exude confidence, be aware of your surroundings, look people in the eye when you meet them on the street, don't flash your cash, put away your cellphone, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Don't be afraid to cross the street or turn back if you notice someone or something that looks a little sketchy up ahead.  And yes, PROFILE.  The crooks are profiling you, so don't present yourself as a target.

 

 

 

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We did the 2023 World Cruise on the Queen Victoria and the only stop where we felt we needed (instead of wanted) to be on a ship's tour was Jakarta - not because we felt it was dangerous, but because the city was far from the port and traffic was a hard-to-calculate issue. Everyone's risk calculation varies and there are many places I would not wander alone at night. But my fear is that if you go into a world cruise with the belief that every person in every port poses some sort of crime threat you're not going to get much pleasure out of the trip. Read up on the stops. Take sensible precautions. But please, don't approach this trip like you're part of an invading army facing a hostile native population - because in my experience, that just isn't true.

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Thanks Patria21, no I wasn't anticipating our cruise with fear and trepidation, quite the opposite, we're really looking forward to it and thinking positive things about it all the time.

Just that it's a once in a lifetime experience for us and we want to return with good memories. 

We're reading up on all the stops and thought any experiences from other cruisers would help us take sensible precautions like you say.

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On our world cruise (and I would imagine on others) the ship's program gave safety hints for every port - most of them along the lines of "keep track of your possessions; watch out for pickpockets; don't wear flashy jewelry." Those should help you, but honestly, I found that what was true for tourists where I live was true for us wherever we went: The areas that tourists want to see are by and large safe. Pickpockets are a risk, but violent crime seldom is. In over 40 years of travel, the only time anyone I was with was robbed was in Rome, where a friend disregarded the advice of our guide, fell behind the group, and was surrounded by a group of children who stole his wallet. So there's two sensible precautions: Listen to your guide's advice, and be wary of anyone or any group of people who get too close!

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19 hours ago, Patria21 said:

On our world cruise (and I would imagine on others) the ship's program gave safety hints for every port - most of them along the lines of "keep track of your possessions; watch out for pickpockets; don't wear flashy jewelry." Those should help you, but honestly, I found that what was true for tourists where I live was true for us wherever we went: The areas that tourists want to see are by and large safe. Pickpockets are a risk, but violent crime seldom is. In over 40 years of travel, the only time anyone I was with was robbed was in Rome, where a friend disregarded the advice of our guide, fell behind the group, and was surrounded by a group of children who stole his wallet. So there's two sensible precautions: Listen to your guide's advice, and be wary of anyone or any group of people who get too close!

 

Having spent 40 yrs at sea and completed 2 World Cruises that has not been our experience, as violent crime is present in many of the World's ports.

 

The safety suggestions provided by cruise lines tend to be generic and often don't provide individual warnings for specific areas. However, this type of information is provided by the FCO and other country equivalents.

 

Another factor is many of us don't book cruise line shore-ex, or private tours, preferring independent exploration, so don't have a guide.

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Here's another suggestion, then, for the OP. Research is seldom a bad thing, and a great research tool (if it's available to you) is the TripIt App. It's not just a great travel organizer; it will also give you safety advice. And it breaks that advice down by neighborhood, which is much more useful than looking up citywide statistics because those may be skewed by crime in areas you won't visit. For example, we're staying at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York prior to our next world cruise - TripIt scores that neighborhood as "lowest risk" under five categories: Physical harm, Women's safety, Gay Safety, Theft, Basic Freedoms and Health and Medical.

Two caveats. You can't just list a city; you have to give it a neighborhood. When I want to check an area in a city, I enter some restaurant or hotel in that area into TripIt so I can see the neighborhood's score. The other caveat is that Location Safety Ratings may only be available to Pro level subscribers; I'm not sure of that. 

Anyway, it's a good system, and it gets you past individual differences in experience and risk aversion.

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The only ports I have actually seen crime is Brazil.  In San Salvador we were waiting to reboard the tour bus after a stop and a very large American man had his gold necklace ripped off his neck by a robber who just ran off with it down the alleys and streets opposite.  Very daring robbery.  I always put my jewelry in the safe when in ports.

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I think you have to watch out everywhere you go. I have been quite to a few places including 3rd World ports and the only place I got pick-pocketed at was Malaga. I always keep my jewelry, money and cards (besides one) in the safe and carry my valet and ID in a funny-pack covered by an open shirt, so not so easy accessible also from behind to rip off. The funny-pack also has removable straps so I can use it like a small cross-body purse.

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You might want to look into Travelon or any other antitheft bag manufacturer. They make various waist packs, crossbody bags, etc. They have a built-in anti theft security system - slash resistant mesh barrier on all sides and bottom of bag, slash resistant straps, locking compartments/straps and RFID blocking organizer. I use them for international travel and also everyday here in the States. Of course you always have to be very aware of your surroundings, but it's given me a little comfort especially in crowded situations. 

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On 7/23/2023 at 8:42 PM, Janet&Carl said:

The only ports I have actually seen crime is Brazil.  In San Salvador we were waiting to reboard the tour bus after a stop and a very large American man had his gold necklace ripped off his neck by a robber who just ran off with it down the alleys and streets opposite.  Very daring robbery.  I always put my jewelry in the safe when in ports.

 I always put my jewelry in the safe when in ports BEST TIP ..

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