Safety on a Cruise Ship

A cruise is one of the most enjoyable ways to see the world, whether you are cruising in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean! After all, how else can you see multiple cities and countries and unpack and repack only once instead of moving to a different hotel each night? You want to take a cruise, but with all of the news reports about things happening on cruise ships, how safe can it be? In reality, cruise ships have had an overall excellent safety record, and considering the number of people they move each year, cruise ships have a very low rate of crime. By using common sense and logic, your trip can be quite enjoyable.

Make sure that you do not pack valuables in your luggage, as you will check your bags at the pier when you arrive, and they will not be delivered to your room for at least a few hours. Most, if not all, luggage goes thrrough x-ray machines, so if you have left a laptop or jewelry in your suitcase, it will show up on the x-ray if someone is looking for a “golden opportunity,” Most importantly, do not pack medications in your checked bags. This will also apply when your cruise ends, as you leave your luggage outside your cabin the night before you dock. Use the safe provided in your cabin to keep your valuables and tickets secure. If you aren’t comfortable with the safe in your cabin, use the ship’s safe located at the pursers office.

Security on all ships is very strict – each passenger is issued an ID with his or her name and cabin number printed on the card and photo imbedded into the data strip. Every time you embark or disembark, you go through security where staff checks to make sure the photo belongs to the person boarding or leaving.

One benefit of being on a cruise is that you do not have to get behind the wheel of a car after an evening out, but one’s judgment, perception and behavior are still compromised by excessive alcohol consumption. Staying aware of your surroundings and making sure that you do not wander around the ship in the middle of the night by yourself will generally help keep you out of trouble.

When in port, pay attention to your surroundings. Be aware that walking through an unfamilliar city looking confused or lost can be like a beacon to pickpockets and thieves. If you do not want to explore on your own, taking a tour offered through the cruise line will give you the chance to see the sights AND meet your fellow passengers.

The key to a successful cruise is to relax and enjoy the sights. By taking a few precautions, you will be all set to stand at the railing and wave to spectators on the pier as you sail off into the sunset.


Sheri Machat
Senior Vice President of MH Ross Travel Insurance Services. She joined the company in 1980 and has made a career of combining the two things she is most passionate about: people and travel.