Cruises are all about sun, fun and indulging in some much-needed relaxation. The fact is, however, that they also involve spending many hours with your personal belongings and valuables in a single space that’s co-habited by a large number of strangers. This means you also have to look after your property.
No doubt, the vast majority of the cruises you go on will be theft-free. But it’s that outlier – the one time in a thousand that you didn’t take the proper precautions – that is liable to get you, leading to headaches and ruining your perfect vacation. In the interest of cruise ship safety, here are some tips for making sure you’re not targeted by any sticky-fingered ship-goers.
Don’t bring everything
Prevention is the best form of protection – and the easiest. There are no tricks or devices you need for this; all you have to do is have a careful think about which items you actually have to bring along on your trip. Do you really need that expensive necklace? Is that Rolex truly necessary? Surely you can swap those diamond earrings for some less showy costume jewelry.
If you don’t absolutely need an item, then it may not be worth the risk of taking it on board.
Avoid the safe and use your own
Cabins are typically kitted out with safes so you have somewhere … well, safe to put your valuables. However, if you packed something really precious, perhaps it pays off to keep it out. After all, any of the cruise staff could potentially get into the safe in your cabin.
Instead, bring your own. There are plenty of high-quality portable safes that are easy to carry around and pack, which will give you much needed peace of mind.
Keep your valuables separate
Everyone knows the saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. Yet a shocking number of people will do just that when it comes to packing valuables like credit cards, cash, travelers’ checks, jewelry and so on.
If you keep all of these valuables in your luggage, and that suitcase is stolen, you’ve lost everything in one fell swoop. Better to potentially minimize your losses by spreading them around in different bags.
Keep an eye on your luggage
Your luggage won’t just have your valuables inside of it – it will likely also have all your day-to-day essentials, such as clothes and toiletries. Losing it can therefore doubly disrupt your trip. Try to keep your eye on your luggage as much as you can, and you’ll not only lessen the risk of theft, you’ll also avoid the possibility of having to claim lost baggage insurance.
If possible, carry your bags to your room yourself, to make absolutely sure they go where they need to go. If you are handing your luggage over to a porter to take for you, make sure she or he attaches the right room number on it. Same goes when you disembark: Rather than leaving your baggage in the hallway to be taken to the airport, where anyone can get to it, make sure it’s picked up and taken.
Use your common sense
Finally, keeping your belongings safe requires some good old-fashioned common sense and care. A cruise can feel like your safe space – a familiar sanctuary from the strange and unfamiliar places you travel to – but it can also be a location for opportunistic crime.
That simply translates into taking basic precautionary steps: Don’t leave your wallet or other valuables by the pool or on the dining table while you’re engaging in other activities; make sure you’ve got your key card with you at all times; avoid walking around and flashing large wads of cash. You’ll thank yourself when you don’t have to claim your travel insurance at the end of it all.