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When a port's dangerous, who's responsible for letting you know?


Who's responsible for warning passengers of crime risks? (Choose all that apply.)  

457 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's responsible for warning passengers of crime risks? (Choose all that apply.)

    • The cruise lines
      135
    • Planning resources, like Cruise Critic, or travel agents
      71
    • Travelers should do their own research
      183
    • Nobody; risk exists both away and at home
      63
    • Something else (which I'll post)
      5


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Several years ago some of the cruise lines cancelled stops at Morocco because they felt it was not safe. You should have seen the screaming on these boards.

 

Same thing happened with H1N1. We were on a cruise that cancelled a stop in Mexico. Most of the passengers were happy to be healthy. But a few demand compensation and not a small amount of compensation.

 

Sometimes the cruise lines cannot win.

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I picked two options: the cruiseline and the pax.

 

However, I suggest that the cruiseline's duty is to pick a port that does not carry any unreasonable risk. Meaning, to the best of their knowledge, and research, the port is as safe as the next one.

 

Once the cruiseline has decided the port is safe enough to be on its itineray, the responsiblity lays with the traveller.

 

But let's be realistic: what happened here is a freak one-off. It could have happened at any port. Both the cruiseline and pax research would probably have determined the risk was low, but it still happened.

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I picked two options: the cruiseline and the pax.

 

However, I suggest that the cruiseline's duty is to pick a port that does not carry any unreasonable risk. Meaning, to the best of their knowledge, and research, the port is as safe as the next one.

 

Once the cruiseline has decided the port is safe enough to be on its itineray, the responsiblity lays with the traveller.

 

But let's be realistic: what happened here is a freak one-off. It could have happened at any port. Both the cruiseline and pax research would probably have determined the risk was low, but it still happened.

 

What makes risk "unreasonable"? Any port carries some risk -- it seems to become unreasonable only when something bad happens.

 

However, if you decide to buy passage on a ship to take you some place, and you decide to get off the ship at that place and something happens, isn't it your responsibility? Sadly, once we leave the protection of our mommies and daddies we are responsible for the logical consequences of what we do ---- even sadder, however, is our lingering tendency to try to find someone else to blame for whatever happens to us as a result of the decisions we make.

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I'm thinking that the way for a TA to get in trouble would be to babble something like "oh sure, it's 100% perfectly safe . . . "

 

I'm not a lawyer but I'd bet that 10's of thousands of American tourists every year are victims of crime both domestically and abroad. If the TAs were being hauled into court and held liable on a regular basis there would be a huge paper trail going back years. I don't think there is so I don't think the liability is there -- rightly or wrongly.

 

 

that's what I said. and remember even though you are the TA's client, its the cruise that you are buying. The law is pretty clear on this.

 

Did you know you can get sea sick on a ship and that Novo virus is endemic on cruise ships? would you like to sue for that too? If so be prepared to pay more. If these created liability the cost of the risk will be passed to YOU.(its how insurance works).

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http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1218251&highlight=hell

In case some of you missed this thread, here's one started by a cruiser who claims NCL should have told them about pickpockets in Barcelona in the daily newsletter onboard etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that a cruise line put notices in these newsletters in case passengers missed details about cruise ports in their own planning, but assuming this was embarkation day (NCL doesn't stop in Barcelona unless the ship is turning around) there wouldn't have been time for him to read the newsletter anyways.

 

At any rate, while it's nice for a cruise line to warn people about commonly know petty crimes, I don't think it should be expected.

 

I think it is to a cruise line's benefit to choose itineraries that are considered "safe". If an itinerary is viewed as "unsafe" by the traveling public, it won't sell and cruise lines will loose money so I think their way of protecting their passengers is in itinerary choice.

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The problem with a line warning passengers of possible unsafe conditions lies in their possible exposure to liability claims. If it were expected that the line would warn passengers of possible risk, then anyone who was victimized in an area where the line had not published warning could claim that the absence of warning led to the incident.

 

The result is that the lines simply give vague blanket suggestions -- such as "exercise care when in any foreign situation".

 

Our litigious approach to life has directly resulted in reduced safety.

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I remember that story...

 

I think what amazes me is cultural ignorance on the part of a lot of tourists. People think because Miami is in the USA it's safe. Or NY, or other places. I could tell you stories of people killed and mugged within a stones throw of the port but of course there is a tourist reputation to protect so you dont hear about that much.

 

My cultural ignorance point: a lot of people who travel to carribean ports assume because people are out walking about, or percieve what they think are "loitering" that it's not safe, and also becaue the people all are dark skinned and have accents. Or, a lot of locals walking around. Gee, did you stop and think some of them don't have cars and they are just giong to work or to do errands? People forget that these locals are just giong about their business. People think that the beggars or hagglers tryign to sell trinkets or more to you are "not safe". It's their cultural way of trying to earn a living. Maybe not the same way you earn a living, nonetheless they have to feed their families and support them too. Violence is not a good thing no matter what culture..but for some of the poor countries they resort to it out of desperatin for survival if they are trying to "sell" drugs or worse.

 

What is the point of taking a cruise if you are going to stay on a ship in every port out of fear? I feel sorry for those people. Open your cultural eyes and use caution in ANY port whether here or in the USA. If you put some kind of notice in the cruise bulletin, that's an insult to the country and it's people because many will automatically "judge" that country and it's people and stay on the ship out of fear. MY opinion.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1218251&highlight=hell

In case some of you missed this thread, here's one started by a cruiser who claims NCL should have told them about pickpockets in Barcelona in the daily newsletter onboard etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that a cruise line put notices in these newsletters in case passengers missed details about cruise ports in their own planning, but assuming this was embarkation day (NCL doesn't stop in Barcelona unless the ship is turning around) there wouldn't have been time for him to read the newsletter anyways.

 

At any rate, while it's nice for a cruise line to warn people about commonly know petty crimes, I don't think it should be expected.

 

I think it is to a cruise line's benefit to choose itineraries that are considered "safe". If an itinerary is viewed as "unsafe" by the traveling public, it won't sell and cruise lines will loose money so I think their way of protecting their passengers is in itinerary choice.

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Its everyone's judgement call as to "whats safe". I feel safer at my home in Jamaica than my home in Miami and I know lot of people who are terrified of Jamaica...and I consider myself part of the travling public.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1218251&highlight=hell

In case some of you missed this thread, here's one started by a cruiser who claims NCL should have told them about pickpockets in Barcelona in the daily newsletter onboard etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that a cruise line put notices in these newsletters in case passengers missed details about cruise ports in their own planning, but assuming this was embarkation day (NCL doesn't stop in Barcelona unless the ship is turning around) there wouldn't have been time for him to read the newsletter anyways.

 

At any rate, while it's nice for a cruise line to warn people about commonly know petty crimes, I don't think it should be expected.

 

I think it is to a cruise line's benefit to choose itineraries that are considered "safe". If an itinerary is viewed as "unsafe" by the traveling public, it won't sell and cruise lines will loose money so I think their way of protecting their passengers is in itinerary choice.

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My cultural ignorance point: a lot of people who travel to carribean ports assume because people are out walking about, or percieve what they think are "loitering" that it's not safe, and also becaue the people all are dark skinned and have accents.

 

I respectfully disagree with you. I really believe more people who are uninformed view the islands as a laid back friendly atmosphere than they do a hotbed for crime. The argument of color and accent is irrelevent.

 

Places like Jamaica and St. Thomas do not get their reputations by the color of the people who live there. They get their reputations by factual crime statistics. There is not a major metropolitan city in the world that does not have crime. Everyone knows that. But what many people do not know is that some of these islands have a crime rate (per 10,000 people) that is equal to or higher than most major cities. Jamaica and St. Thomas are 2 of them. Again, that is fact, not perception.

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We don't live in a cocoon. Where in this entire world is there a port that is entirely free of crime? It is up to the traveler to research the destination. I have traveled with groups of students in Europe and no matter how often you would warn them to be careful about money,etc. some of them still had encounters with pickpockets. We can't crawl into some cave and never come out. Common sense and awareness of surroundings is the best defense.

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I respectfully disaggree with you. I thnk the majority of people who travel overseas are very culturally ignorant and think everything has to be the American way or it's not safe. I think so many people here lack awareness and common sense and prefer the saferty of the cocoon of the ship

 

I respectfully disagree with you. I really believe more people who are uninformed view the islands as a laid back friendly atmosphere than they do a hotbed for crime. The argument of color and accent is irrelevent.

 

Places like Jamaica and St. Thomas do not get their reputations by the color of the people who live there. They get their reputations by factual crime statistics. There is not a major metropolitan city in the world that does not have crime. Everyone knows that. But what many people do not know is that some of these islands have a crime rate (per 10,000 people) that is equal to or higher than most major cities. Jamaica and St. Thomas are 2 of them. Again, that is fact, not perception.

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There doesn't seem to be any personal accountablilty anymore. Everything is always someone else's fault. "The cruise line should have told us!" "Our travel agent should have warned us!"

 

We believe we are responsible for our own safety, both here at home and to anywhere we may travel.

 

There is plenty of information available on the internet, on these boards and of course from travel agencies as well, on where the "hot spots" are in the world. But - you need to ASK!! The changing or even eliminating some ports in Mexico have been well-publicized, for example. We have also been informed on board ship by the CD whenever certain ports-of-call may present a danger by wandering off alone to certain areas. We have even over-heard some passengers "poo-poo-ing" the CD's warnings by saying that they are just trying to get you to book the ship's shore excursions.

 

Some folks ASSUME that since they are on vacation, particularly in the tropics, that everything is "laid-back" and "worry'free" - NOT SO! A bit of research and a WHOLE lot of common sense can go a long way in preserving one's safety when traveling anywhere, be it here in the US or anywhere else in this wonderful world.

 

Smooth & Safe Sailing to all! :)

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I respectfully disagree with you. I really believe more people who are uninformed view the islands as a laid back friendly atmosphere than they do a hotbed for crime. The argument of color and accent is irrelevent.

 

Places like Jamaica and St. Thomas do not get their reputations by the color of the people who live there. They get their reputations by factual crime statistics. There is not a major metropolitan city in the world that does not have crime. Everyone knows that. But what many people do not know is that some of these islands have a crime rate (per 10,000 people) that is equal to or higher than most major cities. Jamaica and St. Thomas are 2 of them. Again, that is fact, not perception.

 

Agreed. Paul, you are right on the money. People do not prefer the "cocoon of the ship" because they fear a different culture. That doesn't even make sense. Why would they even be there? :rolleyes::rolleyes: They prefer it because of actual events that have taken place on a particular island.

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Thanks for posting that -- it is a step in the right direction. While it does not directly address port warnings, perhaps the ports where there has been more crime (whether they are U.S. or foreign ports) will be on the Dept. of Labor listing.

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Thanks for posting that -- it is a step in the right direction. While it does not directly address port warnings, perhaps the ports where there has been more crime (whether they are U.S. or foreign ports) will be on the Dept. of Labor listing.

Department of State issues travel warnings and has a consular report on every country. Crime is listed as are the road conditions(more tourist get hurt on the road than any way else including crime)...

 

http://travel.state.gov/

 

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1024.html#crime

 

Spain and Andorra

 

ie Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, only one credit card, and a copy of their passport;

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I agree there are problems everywhere and we know of areas around our cities that we avoid. Would you take visitors to your city through an area of the city that is known for violence. No, you would avoid it and take them somewhere you felt was not as great a threat. Thus if the cruiseline knows of a problem in a port, they should alert their passengers definitely not provide an excursion that people are paying for. I know that this tragedy happened on a private excursion, but that doesn't matter. Carnival would have taken them to the exact same place.

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For a Ships Passanger to get truthful and timely information on the internet, the posted information must be accurate. That can be hard to verify. falsehoods and hiding the facts are rampant in on the web. Even past stories from local news sourses can be unhelpful as well as temporary. With a teen daughter I try to do my port homework and find it dificult to pin down the best safety options. Thats to bad, because we end up with "when in doubt, don't". As a result, we limit ourselves. In Nassau this August, were just staying on the ship and in St. Thomas were taking a ship excurstion To B.V.I.

 

So, as a TA you keep up on ALL crime every where in the world?

 

Tell us how many people were pick pockted on July 20, 2011 in Rome and New York. Likewais, how many murders in LA on July 20, 2010 compared to London?

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It's hard to comment on who is responsible for safety in ports, the cruise lines do usually give information in their onboard daily newsletter and passengers trust that the cruise line won't take them to ports with a high crime rate, however people new to cruising won't have much experience in ports and what to expect.

We have been on three cruises so far Egypt, the Caribbean and central Mediterranean and we like to see as much as we can of places we've never visited before, however we try to use common sense and organised excursions where possible and affordable. I know a lot of people make their own way around foreign countries to save money but what price a life?

The only time we have used a "local" guide was in Dominica, he was very good but during the tour he stopped many times to chat to locals trying to get us to buy fruit, drinks, souvenirs etc.

I'm sure he was a genuine young man learning to be a guide but I don't think I would do it again, let's face it you take a risk getting in a strange car in a strange country. :confused:

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The Department of State that issues travel warnings (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html) does not list St. Thomas. Go figure. Basically, when you walk out of your front door, the responsibility for safety lies with you. Fair?. . . . . . No. Reality?. . . . . Yes!

 

State probably does not list St Thomas because it is a US Territory, not a foreign country.

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Everyone has good points. But I do think that Cruise Critic and the Cruise LIne should inform people if something unusual, like the shooting of a cruise passenger, happens and that occurrance still qualifies as a reasonably current event.

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Everyone has good points. But I do think that Cruise Critic and the Cruise LIne should inform people if something unusual, like the shooting of a cruise passenger, happens and that occurrance still qualifies as a reasonably current event.

 

Cruise Critic does run news articles on these type of things all the time. (Thanks CC:-) Communication is a bit more difficult for cruise lines. It would be difficult to communicate to their thousands of customers who may or may not be thinking of of a particular port. Also, in the case of St. Thomas, the port is being dropped (at least temporarily) by many cruise lines. It might make sense for the cruise line to notify TA's who can in turn notify their clients. So much of this stuff happens very quickly and all over the world. One day you can sail into Athens (or St. Thomas or ???) and the next you can't due to civil unrest, crime, etc.

 

Just about anyone who reads the newspaper, watches television news or even scans the headlines online as I do are aware of these events. I really cannot imagine traveling anywhere in the world without knowing something about it (cultural differences so I can respect their culture - whether it be in my form of dress or actions, emergency services in the area, if extra protection against pickpocketing is suggested in certain areas. . . . . .

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It might make sense for the cruise line to notify TA's who can in turn notify their clients

 

That's correct. TA's get the info from the cruise line who then pass it on to the customers. Otherwise if the cruise line is doing nothing about it, then most likely the agency is not either. They are not going to tell someone who wants to book a cruise "yeah be careful there though, there recently was a shooting" because then the person might decide not to go on a cruise, which in turn would cause a loss of a potential booking.

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... which is why we have decided that some ports of call are just not our cup of tea. I have read widely and determined that much as I would like to visit say Jamaica or Haiti or the Dominican Republic, it ain't gonna happen.

 

Equally important is to keep ones wits about one even while on board the ship - crime happens everywhere. It's unfortunate when it happens on vacation, but I see this precipitating incident to be not much different than the sightseeing helicopters and planes that crash or the zip line that breaks, etc. They ruin a vacation and maybe even a favored destination, but the best prevention is awareness and preparation. And don't get drunk, lol.

 

 

 

Song of Norway - June 1996 (Alaska)

Radiance of the Seas - June 2006 (Alaska)

Vision of the Seas - Nov 2007 (Mexico)

Voyager of the Seas - Feb 2010 (Western Caribbean)

Majesty of the Seas - Dec 2010 (Bahamas)

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