A cruise vacation is usually such a fun and relaxing experience, but for some passengers, a shore excursion in Nassau turned their dream vacation into a nightmare.
On November 20, passengers from two different cruise lines - Disney and Royal Caribbean - were robbed at gunpoint while on a Segway tour of a nature park outside Nassau. Money and jewelry were taken from passengers, along with passports.
Fortunately, arrests have been made in the robbery and all major cruise lines currently calling on Nassau have dropped that particular excursion from their shore activity line up until further notice, but it must have been a very scary experience for everyone involved.
Crime against tourists in the Bahamas isn't particularly common, especially when you consider the millions of travelers that visit Bahamian ports in any given year (3 million in 2008), but this event serves as a cautionary tale - everyone needs to take precautions, regardless of their port or destination.
So what steps can you take to make your next trip as trouble-free as possible?
MAKE A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT
These days, you have to carry your passport when you go on shore for most ports of call. Heck, I even needed it when I boarded the ship after our call in Portland, Maine! Make several copies of your passport. Leave one with a trusted neighbor or friend back home and carry another in your suitcase. I also carry a third copy in my carry on bag. In case your passport is lost or stolen, you'll have all the information you need to get help on the road.
DOWNSIZE YOUR WALLET
In fact - don't bring one at all, if you can help it. You won't be needing your Kohl's card in the Caribbean, so leave it at home! Discover Card is rarely accepted outside the United States, so leave that one at home, too. If you can manage it, bring only your drivers license, your ATM card and one or two credit cards. That's it.
CONSIDER A MONEY BELT
Or find another secure way to carry your cash. I have a fanny pack with lots of safety features built in, and there are handbags and daypacks with similar features. Many money belts are made of soft material and will fit inside the waistband of your pants comfortably.
REMEMBER - THE RULES ARE DIFFERENT
Hotel safety laws vary widely from destination to destination, so while smoke detectors and peepholes are required in all rooms in our country, it may not be the case where you'll be vacationing. And while cruise lines have been working to standardize ship safety regulations - thanks to the hard work of an Arizona father - not all ships have been retrofitted with the updated safety equipment.
Let your common sense be your guide while in your hotel, on land or at sea.
We've got some fun specials this week!
ALASKA ON SAIL!
Cruisetours out of Seattle
See Alaska by land and sea - sail for seven days and then explore Alaska by train, motorcoach and steamboat! The packages below include the cruise fare, two nights in Denali, 1 night in Fairbanks, 1 night in Seattle and much more.
If you've wanted to do a cruisetour, but were concerned about the high airfare, this is a great way to go!
Inside Staterooms from $1899.00 per person
Ocean View/Balcony Staterooms from $2299.00 per person
Rates are based on availability and are valid for travel in May. June, July and August rates available, too.
IRISH PUBS & FOLKLORE
March 12 - March 21
$2299.00 per person, double occupancy
See Ireland at St. Patrick's Day with this fun fully escorted tour! Includes round trip air from Phoenix, all hotels, breakfast each day, terrific sightseeing - including the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Ring of Kerry and more. Check out the itinerary below:
Arrive in Dublin, Ireland
Welcome to Dublin! This afternoon, visit the Guinness Storehouse and discover what goes into making a pint of Guinness. The journey ends on the roof in the Gravity Bar with a pint. Tonight, have a Welcome Drink at a traditional Irish pub.
On a city tour, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Then on to Trinity College to see one of Ireland’s greatest treasures – the famed 8th century Book of Kells. The afternoon is free. This evening, join the “Dublin Literary Pub Crawl,” to learn more about Ireland’s famous writers. (B)
Dublin / Galway
Travel to Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan. Established in 1757, Locke’s is the oldest licensed pot-still distillery in the world. Now open as a museum, guided tours follow the whiskey-making process from start to finish. At the end of the tour, you are treated to a sample of six-year-old Lockes Irish Whiskey. Next, on to tour Galway, including Galway Cathedral. (B,D)
In the west of Ireland, visit Kylemore Abbey, a castellated neo-Gothic mansion, occupied by the Irish Benedictine community of nuns. The rest of the evening is free to explore Galway’s pubs. (B)
Galway / Cliffs of Moher / Killarney
Stop for morning coffee at Rathbaun Farm. Continue across the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher. Moving on, cross the wide Shannon Estuary by ferry and visit the Flying Boat Museum at Foynes, the birthplace of Irish Coffee. There is time to sample the famous beverage before continuing to Killarney. (B,MC,D)
The Ring of Kerry
Travel the road that winds around “The Ring of Kerry.” Stop off at the Scarriff Inn, half way round the Ring, for a light lunch. Later, take a jaunting car ride along the lake to the 19th century Muckross House and Folk Museum. (B,L)
Killarney / Blarney / Kilkenny
Travel to Blarney Castle, with its magical stone that gives the gift of eloquence for a kiss, and Blarney Woollen Mills to shop for knitwear and handicrafts. Then, on to Kilkenny. A local guide introduces you to the medieval city. Stop in at Langton’s Bar, known throughout Ireland, having won the award of “National Pub of the Year” a record four times along with “Super Pub of the Year.” (B)
Kilkenny / Dublin
Travel through Ireland’s horse country to the National Stud Farm. A guided tour shows you the stallion boxes, foaling unit and museum. Return to Dublin. Tonight enjoy a traditional Irish evening with dinner, song and dance. (B,D)
Depart Dublin (B)
We'll be in Killarney for St. Patrick's Day. One of the most enjoyable Irish towns any time of year, it's particularly fun around St. Patrick's Day!
This rate is only available for a very limited number of travelers! Come with us to one of my favorite destinations!
SAVE THE DATE
$2289.00 per person, double occupancy!
March 28 - April 4
I found a great rate on a wonderful fully-escorted tour for Italy in March and April! With multi-night stays in Rome, Florence and gorgeous Venice, keep checking here for more information and a detailed itinerary!
By land or sea, we're helping you plan your next great vacation at TravelationOnline! Give us a call at 602-252-1140, or call toll-free at 888-751-2032 if you're outside the Metro Phoenix area codes of 602, 480 and 623. You can also reach me directly via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!