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Getting away from it all
isn't supposed to mean getting into trouble. One
advantage of cruise travel is the safety aspect
-- there is very little crime on board most
ships. But all too often we can be lulled into a
false sense of security in the cocoon of our
vessel. The port cities we anticipate with such
enthusiasm can be intimidating, if not downright
Whether it's hair-braiders
in Jamaica or gypsies in Barcelona, your first
line of defense is preparedness. Knowing what to
expect and how to deal with it, not to mention
using common sense, should save you a lot of
Unaware of local customs and
dangers, tourists are attractive targets for
scam artists and petty thieves. , Americans with friendly demeanors and trusting personalities are particularly
vulnerable. This is especially true overseas
where their attention is riveted on the sights
they've come so far to see and not on the
stranger who brushed by them and, incidentally,
just emptied their pockets.
Fear of the unknown
shouldn't discourage any of us from traveling.
It's that very unknown that is most appealing.
So, how can you accomplish both objectives --
travel abroad and remain safe? Planning and
awareness are primary strategies.
Some things to consider:
Make copies of your
passport, driver's license, and credit cards
before leaving home. Leave the copies in a safe
place on your ship. If the ship's purser holds
your passport (which is often the case, to
expedite clearing the ship in foreign ports),
carry the passport copy ashore with you.
Use an under-the-clothing
style money pouch. Non security style waist packs and handbags are
prime targets for cut and run thieves (who cut
the strap and disappear into the crowd).
Don't carry valuables in
your waist pack, but do thread the strap through
your belt loops. Carry a handbag with a shoulder
strap across your body and keep it in front of
The handsome local offering
to exchange your dollars at a better than market
rate is probably a hustler.
Never leave your camera or
tote bag on a chair in a restaurant. Keep it on
Wearing expensive jewelry
and flashing a wad of money is an invitation to
Men should carry wallets in
their front pockets and divide their money,
keeping a little in each pocket. In fact, why
carry a wallet in your pocket at all if you
don't have to? Preferable is a wallet that
attaches to your belt and tucks inside your