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Travel Safety Tips in Port

One thing many people worry about both before and during their trips is safety. Depending on which ports of call and which countries you are visiting, different safety tips will apply.

Dress suitably for your surroundings

There are certain places where you need to be respectful and cover up. In some countries it is necessary to cover up for cultural and political reasons and if you’re visiting these countries then you should absolutely respect this and follow guidelines. Countries such as Morocco prefer women to cover up by wearing head scarves and cover knees and shoulders. Other times, religious places such as St Paul’s Cathedral in the Vatican City, require that both women and men cover their knees and shoulders.

In Fiji for instance, if you visit a local village, women will need to wear a long skirt or sarong plus a short sleeve shirt. Definitely don’t walk around town or the streets wearing a bikini, leave this for the ship pool. Men should be in long pants.

Ensure you do some research before you embark on your trip so that you have the appropriate clothes for the appropriate times.

Putting on a sarong in a Fijian village
Putting on a sarong in a Fijian village.

Don’t carry large amounts of money or valuables

This is really just common sense. Leave all of your valuables, and any large amounts of cash safely locked away in the safety deposit box that you’ll find in your stateroom. You don’t want to have your wallet or purse stolen on a day trip in port and to find out you’ve lost everything. Always be aware of your surroundings and if you feel uncomfortable in any situation, remove yourself from it as quickly as possible.

Make sure you leave plenty of time to return to your ship!

This is one of the most important tips I can give you. Check and double check the time you have to return to your ship in order for it to sail. Then, if you are travelling somewhere using public transport, make sure you check the return times, and definitely don’t leave it until the very last minute. Cruise ships aren’t required to wait for passengers who are late returning to the ship (unless they are on an organised excursion) and you don’t want to get to the dock only to see your cruise liner pulling away.

When we docked in Tasmania in Australia, we decided to hire a car for the day. We had a fantastic time. BUT when we went to drop it off at 5pm the traffic was really bad in town. We didn’t leave any time for this sort of thing. In the end we had to dump the car as close as we could to the port, throw the keys at some lovely person dockside and ask very kindly if they could drop it back. Thank goodness it all worked out great. But we had visions of missing the ship, not a very nice place to be.

Know the correct way to behave in the places you are visiting

It is very important to know the correct way to behave in the places that you are visiting, especially in places where religion and politics are contentious issues. Always know the proper ways to behave in the countries you will be visiting and make sure you adhere to them. This should ensure you don’t get into any trouble and are prevented from returning to your cruise ship.

Other than these basic tips, the best piece of advice I can offer is just to make sure you are always aware of the people around you. Don’t take any unnecessary risks and always look after yourself and those you are travelling with. And don’t forget to have fun!

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