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Worried About Port Safety? Read This…

Because so many cruises go to tropical ports, that often includes going to places where poverty is more plentiful than prosperity, especially in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Safety is always a concern. Cruise passengers can be targets for theft…whether you're in a poor country or not. 

Time for 10 tips:

1. Don't wear jewelry when leaving the ship. This comes from people who did, and who had a necklace snatched from the neck in broad daylight.

2. Take only ID that's necessary. Cruise lines often announce that you must take your ship card and "photo ID" when going ashore. Rarely, if ever, have we been asked for photo ID when getting back on a ship. Having said that, if you're told you need photo ID, take it.

3. Take one credit card. Why would you need two?

4.  Write down all the information on the back of your credit card and leave it on the ship.

5. Survey your surroundings, and don't travel alone.

6. Substitute a cheap ring for your wedding ring. This assumes that your wedding ring is not cheap, and that you want to deliver the visual message that you're married.

7. Carry only a small amount of cash. You have a credit card  remember?

8. If you're carrying anything valuable, take a photo of it and leave it behind. Again, the voices of experience.

9. Don't carry a purse or wallet unless it's absolutely necessary.

10. Be cautious about anyone who wants to "help" you. Usually, there is an ulterior motive, sometimes as innocent as making a few bucks by showing you around, but sometimes worse.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: New competitor for international flights

Norwegian Breakaway
7 nights
September 8, 2014
New York (return): King’s Wharf
Inside: $659
Cost per day: $94
www.ncl.com

Crime On the Rise? Find Out Yourself!

They say crime is on the rise in Nassau, the popular Bahamian cruise port — "they" being (among others) a website authored by maritime lawyer Jim Walker, an industrious watchdog of sorts for all things cruising.

According to Walker's writings, armed robbery is up in Nassau and recently even a daycare was a victim of the thieves. His business is all about cruise passengers' rights so it's safe to say he's not on the Christmas card list of any of the cruise lines.

His warning in the Bahamas, and perhaps other places, is that travel agents and cruise lines neglect to caution tourists of imminent danger…or increased imminent danger. To that end, Walker recommends that cruise passengers become their own advocates and do lots of homework before disembarking in ports.

He suggests that "homework" means reading the local papers and other media sources in the city and/or country you're visiting. We've never been influenced much by such research, our theory being that there are good people and bad people everywhere, and being a victim is most times being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But if you have safety concerns about visiting somewhere, Walker's advice is good…whether travel agents and cruise lines like it or not.

Celebrity Century
3 nights
February 12, 2014
Fort Lauderdale (return): NassauCoco Cay
Inside: $159
Cost per day: $53
www.celebritycruises.com

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