In our last blog, our maritime attorney discussed some of the ways Caribbean cruises can pose threats for cruise passengers. Many destinations in the Caribbean, especially the Bahamas, Honduras, and Belize, are wrought with danger and skyrocketing crime rates. But while it’s impossible to completely eliminate these hazards, there are a few things cruisers can do to reduce their chances of becoming the victims of a crime while on a cruise to the Caribbean – or any foreign destination in general.
One way to stay as safe as possible in foreign ports is to avoid areas that are very far from port, where it can be difficult to find fast transportation back to the ship. It is also advisable to visit areas that are out in the open, such as restaurants close to port or beaches close to port. Passengers should avoid alleys and small areas, where it is much easier to fall victim to a criminal attack than in wide open spaces. Additionally, passengers should avoid traveling alone – especially women. Criminals tend to focus on easy targets, and there’s nothing easier than a single traveler. Traveling in large groups means there’s a much greater chance cruise passengers can defend themselves against one or two assailants and the assailants, usually, will prefer to make a quick getaway and avoid large groups that may pose trouble for them.
We cannot stress these tips enough, especially for women. Far too many women become the vicitms of sexual assault while in port, especially in the Caribbean. What’s worse is that not only are cruise lines rarely willing to cooperate and assist victims with filing a police report or obtaining any sort of compensation for their injuries or trauma, but the foreign governments where the incidents occur keep matters very private and do not tend to fill victims in on what’s going on with investigations. Sometimes, these foreign countries don’t even bother to investigate. They know that the victims are passengers on a cruise ship and will not be sticking around to see the investigation through, so once they are gone, the foreing governments put the case on the back burner. If a victim were to call local police from home and inquire about the status of their case, the foreign country’s police force or government will likely avoid any and all questions.
We’ve seen a lot of unsolved cases where women were badly assaulted, where passengers on a shore excursion were robbed at gunpoint, and where a crew member was killed over a cellphone. The Caribbean is a beautiful region, but it is also extremely dangerous. Even when following all necessary steps to stay as safe as possible, things can still go wrong.
Anyone who has been hurt while on a Caribbean cruise has the right to consult with a maritime attorney to discuss their rights and whether or not they have a viable case. There is no case too small for an attorney to review, so if you or a loved one were the victims of a crime or accident in the Caribbean, always remember that a maritime attorney is always on your side.