When a cruise ship comes into a port, it broadcasts the presence of a large number of tourists who arrive at set times and usually travel to the same few locations. While most residents of the ports you visit will either ignore you or welcome you into their shops and eateries, criminals see opportunity in a cruise ship’s visit. When you make a shore excursion, remember the following tips to stay safe.
– Book activities through the cruise line. Excursions offered through the cruise line have passed an intense vetting process involving background checks and safety evaluations. You probably won’t be able to perform the same level of research into a tour operator before you join their tour, so for maximum safety, stick with the activities the cruise line has approved.
– Respect your limitations. Many cruise lines offer exciting shore activities ranging from hiking and kayaking to parasailing. It’s fine to push your boundaries and be adventurous, but don’t be unrealistic about your abilities. Look at reviews from other travelers and research activities beforehand so you know how strenuous they are before you sign up.
– Know the scams. Before you leave, do some research to see what other travelers on your route have fallen victim to in the past. The chances that you’ll be a victim of a crime are very low, but you can reduce your risk even further by learning what to look out for while you’re on shore.
– Opt for small-group excursions. Traveling in groups makes you less vulnerable to criminals, but a large group is more difficult for the tour operator to manage. You should also use common sense when evaluating the activity. A group of 10 might be just right for a fishing expedition but too large for tubing on a river.