Are we safe in the Bahamas?

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Sep 6, 2015
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#1
A friend and I booked a four day cruise on NCL that sails Jan 3. We are stopping in Nassau, the Grand Bahamas and Key West.

When we booked the trip, she was all in. Now, she keeps sending articles she claims are from her mother, saying how dangerous Jamaica (we aren’t going to Jamaica) and Nassau are, reporting rapes that the local police don’t seem to take very seriously.

I looked on the state department website to see if there was anything in particular to be worried about, and I can’t find anything that makes it any riskier than NYC, Detroit, Chicago or Memphis (I had the displeasure of living there for six years).

In order to allay her fears, or decide to cancel, I could use some help from some of you who are a lot more familiar with these areas. My feeling is that as long as we are smart (not walking around with money hanging out of our pockets, no fancy cameras and not drinking alcohol off the ship), we probably don’t have too much to worry about, given the hours the ship
Is on port are only during the day.

I would appreciate any insights you could give me.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
You aren’t going to Jamaica - it makes no sense if her being afraid to go on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Book your excursions through the cruise line, you’ll be with a group and won’t have an issue. You are exactly right in how you are assessing this. You aren’t going off on your own in the dark. You’ll be fine.
 

Neil Maley

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#4
Have you made final payment? If you have, you will lose your money if you cancel now. But she is also free to stay on the ship if she is worried. I think the Bahamas if one of the most boring ports in the Caribbean and I don't even bother getting off anymore. Tell her to stay on the ship and you do off and do what you want. And Grand Bahamas is nothing to worry about.

The Bahamas is a Level 2 travel advisory - the same as virtually every country in the Caribbean. The warnings are more for people who are staying at hotels than people on cruise ships who are usually with crowds of people. Being pick pocketed is the worst you would see if you are careless when walking around.
This is the current warning on our governments website:
  • Avoid the area known as "Over the hill" (south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau at night.
  • Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#5
You aren’t going to Jamaica - it makes no sense if her being afraid to go on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Book your excursions through the cruise line, you’ll be with a group and won’t have an issue. You are exactly right in how you are assessing this. You aren’t going off on your own in the dark. You’ll be fine.
That was my response to her as well. We have booked two excursions through the cruise line, once to the Atlantis hotel for some private beach time, and the other involves sailing in the Grand-Bahamas. I'm not worried about our day in Key West, which we have decided to simply explore on our own.

She and I have been through some brutal surgical experiences that have fostered fear and distrust. This fear often carries over into other areas of our lives, even though it's hard for others to understand, as it appears to come out of the blue. In some ways, usually unspoken, we fear having a good time because we are certain we will pay for it. I have arranged two excursion. In Nassau, access tot he Atlantis resort directly from the ship to the resort, with access to a private section of the beach. The other , is a sailing trip in the Grand Bahamas.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#7
@Tricia K. since you are going to Atlantis the only real thing you would need to worry about is a place/way to secure valuables if you go in the water. There are locking bags that you can secure to a beach chair that you can purchase that might be a good option. Definitely check out their website to figure out options for food, etc. If you decide to walk around the port area when you return from Atlantis be forewarned that the face/eye cream people have tons of free samples and I wouldn't do any major shopping unless you've researched prior to shopping.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
That was my response to her as well. We have booked two excursions through the cruise line, once to the Atlantis hotel for some private beach time, and the other involves sailing in the Grand-Bahamas. I'm not worried about our day in Key West, which we have decided to simply explore on our own.

She and I have been through some brutal surgical experiences that have fostered fear and distrust. This fear often carries over into other areas of our lives, even though it's hard for others to understand, as it appears to come out of the blue. In some ways, usually unspoken, we fear having a good time because we are certain we will pay for it. I have arranged two excursion. In Nassau, access tot he Atlantis resort directly from the ship to the resort, with access to a private section of the beach. The other , is a sailing trip in the Grand Bahamas.
My husband's approach to travel is very similar, Tricia. He sees boogeymen behind every bush. His mother used to be the same way, bombarding him with negative (and useless) information. I've been successful by giving him all the facts and telling him that he can back out of a trip prior to the final payment ... he never has, and I think he's comfortable knowing that he's in charge of his own destiny.

I think my colleagues have given you a ton of solid information. I would tell her that she does not have to leave the ship and can still have a marvelous time. That gives her the freedom to make up her mind at her own pace. You gracefully maintain your independence during the cruise and let her make her own decisions. Best of luck, and please let us know how things went after you return.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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#10
Read those articles, which all discuss ongoing issues with sexual assault at all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and other destinations. I've read them, and they are disturbing, and I'd like to see the resorts take this issue more seriously. There have also been some isolated reports about crime on cruise ships. But here's where you have to read carefully. Most of these incidents involve extensive alcohol use or people doing things they wouldn't ordinarily do. Would you go off with a group of young men you don't know in a destination you aren't familiar with? Then why would you do that on vacation?

I've been to Nassau multiple times on cruises and on short and long stays, and given where you're going, you will be in the safest place on the island. Atlantis does have lockers for your personal belongings, but they are a bit expensive, so I'd suggest you share. On Grand Bahama, other than your sailing excursion, where you'll have little or nothing to fear regarding crime, you can shop in the immediate port area and feel completely safe. I think people are alarming you for no particularly good reason.
 
Feb 11, 2018
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#11
A friend and I booked a four day cruise on NCL that sails Jan 3. We are stopping in Nassau, the Grand Bahamas and Key West.

When we booked the trip, she was all in. Now, she keeps sending articles she claims are from her mother, saying how dangerous Jamaica (we aren’t going to Jamaica) and Nassau are, reporting rapes that the local police don’t seem to take very seriously.

I looked on the state department website to see if there was anything in particular to be worried about, and I can’t find anything that makes it any riskier than NYC, Detroit, Chicago or Memphis (I had the displeasure of living there for six years).

In order to allay her fears, or decide to cancel, I could use some help from some of you who are a lot more familiar with these areas. My feeling is that as long as we are smart (not walking around with money hanging out of our pockets, no fancy cameras and not drinking alcohol off the ship), we probably don’t have too much to worry about, given the hours the ship
Is on port are only during the day.

I would appreciate any insights you could give me.
Good grief! If you believe all the scare stories you read you'd never go anywhere! And what does Jamaica have to do with anything? Anyplace you go can be safe or unsafe, depending on how you conduct yourself, and the areas you visit (no dark alleys, please). Ditch the paranoia and enjoy!
 
Sep 18, 2014
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#13
We are going on this same NCL cruise (albeit a couple weeks later). The advice you all have given is solid -- just good common sense.

The only thing I've heard about the Bahamas was from my hairdresser … her comment was that the beaches were beautiful, but that the cities had many poverty-stricken areas. Definitely won't be going out at night in the ports, and yes, I'm going to invest in a theft-resistant purse before we leave.
 
Feb 11, 2018
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#14
We are going on this same NCL cruise (albeit a couple weeks later). The advice you all have given is solid -- just good common sense.

The only thing I've heard about the Bahamas was from my hairdresser … her comment was that the beaches were beautiful, but that the cities had many poverty-stricken areas. Definitely won't be going out at night in the ports, and yes, I'm going to invest in a theft-resistant purse before we leave.
Theft-resistant isn't necessary--just use a cross-body. The idea is to raise the level of difficulty for a would-be thief, and cross-body is much more difficult to grab than a purse hanging on your arm. And lead them not into temptation--leave the Hope Diamond at home. The whole idea of cancelling a cruise because of scary stories is so sad. Also, poverty-stricken does not equate with criminal. But stick to the main streets just to be on the safe side. Apparently people forget that crime happens everywhere--you can be attacked in your own home. So let's put this in perspective, please. As I said before, ditch the paranoia and enjoy!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
We are going on this same NCL cruise (albeit a couple weeks later). The advice you all have given is solid -- just good common sense.

The only thing I've heard about the Bahamas was from my hairdresser … her comment was that the beaches were beautiful, but that the cities had many poverty-stricken areas. Definitely won't be going out at night in the ports, and yes, I'm going to invest in a theft-resistant purse before we leave.
You won’t be there overnight so nothing to worry about. Pickpockets are what you need to worry about. Behave the way you would in any country. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, carry your wallet in your front pocket if you are a man, use a cross body handbag if you are a female, don’t go off by yourself, be aware of your surroundings.

The travel warnings for the Bahamas is level 2- the same as the rest of the Caribbean. If a level 2 worries you, then you shouldn’t travel.
 
Likes: brillohead
Sep 18, 2014
42
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#16
You won’t be there overnight so nothing to worry about. Pickpockets are what you need to worry about. Behave the way you would in any country. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, carry your wallet in your front pocket if you are a man, use a cross body handbag if you are a female, don’t go off by yourself, be aware of your surroundings.

The travel warnings for the Bahamas is level 2- the same as the rest of the Caribbean. If a level 2 worries you, then you shouldn’t travel.
OK, but isn't a common method of handbag theft slashing the bag and/or the strap, so it falls away easily or the contents can be easily accessed? That was my reason for buying a theft-resistant bag. (We're also going on a cruise to Mexico the week before the Bahamas cruise; while I don't intend to tempt fate in any way [not wearing expensive jewelry, not wandering too far off the beaten path, dressing down, etc.], I'm probably a little more cautious about MX than the Bahamas). I fully intend to go crossbody, no matter what bag I take. But I'm not skinny or flat-chested, so I need to find a bag with a long enough strap to be comfortable when worn crossbody.
 
Likes: Nancy

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,317
7,139
113
San Francisco
#17
Good grief! If you believe all the scare stories you read you'd never go anywhere! And what does Jamaica have to do with anything? Anyplace you go can be safe or unsafe, depending on how you conduct yourself, and the areas you visit (no dark alleys, please). Ditch the paranoia and enjoy!
Maybe you could read her original post so that your remarks make sense. We prefer to help and advise our OPs, not throw rocks at their heads.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,317
7,139
113
San Francisco
#18
OK, but isn't a common method of handbag theft slashing the bag and/or the strap, so it falls away easily or the contents can be easily accessed? That was my reason for buying a theft-resistant bag. (We're also going on a cruise to Mexico the week before the Bahamas cruise; while I don't intend to tempt fate in any way [not wearing expensive jewelry, not wandering too far off the beaten path, dressing down, etc.], I'm probably a little more cautious about MX than the Bahamas). I fully intend to go crossbody, no matter what bag I take. But I'm not skinny or flat-chested, so I need to find a bag with a long enough strap to be comfortable when worn crossbody.
I have heard/read several stories about "cross-body" bags, as well as shoulder bags and other kinds when travelling. If you are a small person, a thief can literally knock you down and tumble you about quite violently as he tries to grab the goods.
 
Feb 28, 2018
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#19
On our recent Royal Caribbean cruise stop in Nassau we felt safe in the downtown area during the day, and observed numerous cruising police cars. M<any of the shops had barred windows and locked(opened for possible customers) entry doors, suggesting substantial risks for businesses. The ship excursions ( snorkeling, beach) which some friends took were uneventful.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#20
OK, but isn't a common method of handbag theft slashing the bag and/or the strap, so it falls away easily or the contents can be easily accessed? That was my reason for buying a theft-resistant bag. (We're also going on a cruise to Mexico the week before the Bahamas cruise; while I don't intend to tempt fate in any way [not wearing expensive jewelry, not wandering too far off the beaten path, dressing down, etc.], I'm probably a little more cautious about MX than the Bahamas). I fully intend to go crossbody, no matter what bag I take. But I'm not skinny or flat-chested, so I need to find a bag with a long enough strap to be comfortable when worn crossbody.
What do you use in the US when you go shopping? There is no difference here or there- just be aware of your surroundings just as you would any other city you were in, people don’t walk around with knives looking to slash straps. If you are worried, you can buy handbags that are slash proof.

We just returned from 10 days in Mexico and a week in Costa Rica. Alive and not robbed anywhere. You have more of a chance of someone stealing something left in your cabin or room you carelessly leave out. Make sure you use the room safe.
 
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