Jump to content


Photo

Cruise Ship Safety & Risk Management

cruise gun free safety security edc bahamas pirates ship honeymoon

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Koopa

Koopa

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 118 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 21 July 2016 - 11:45 AM

Well guys, I'm taking the plunge here in a few months and getting married! For our honeymoon we are taking a cruise to the Bahamas. Neither of us have been on a cruise before, or to the Bahamas before, so I figured this would be a fun trip.

 

With that being said, my inner emergency alarms are sounding a red alert. Cruise ships can be a dangerous place! Just off the top of my head, here are a few risks we could face:

  • Close quarters with 2,000 +/- people.
  • Poor hygiene; Potential for rapid spread of disease.
  • Dependent upon systems of ship (propulsion, electricity, water, sewer, fire protection, food, security, climate control, health services, etc.).
  • Limited escape options from a ship in the middle of the ocean.
  • Vulnerable due to state of relaxation, complacency, and/or alcohol.
  • Limited EDC options (ship prohibits guns, knives, tasers, pepper spray, batons, handcuffs, etc.).
  • Long distance to definitive medical care (i.e. trauma surgeon).
  • Stories of passengers being robbed, kidnapped, raped, or scammed by ship crew or other passengers. 
  • Unfamiliarity with Bahamas culture, people, legal system, and geography.
  • No cell phone service - if we are separated we are without communication, no communication with mainland America*
  • Hurricanes / tropical storms
  • Icebergs
  • Pirates
  • Russian torpedoes
  • I'm sure there are many more risks I haven't thought of yet.

Have any of you been on a cruise before? Please share your experiences!How would you protect yourself or minimize these risks? What would you pack in your suitcase? I want to ensure a safe, romantic, enjoyable honeymoon, and I would appreciate any advice y'all could throw me. Thanks!

 

* I am planning to keep phones turned off anyway - We're going on a cruise to get away from it all. But should an emergency arise it would be nice to have some form of communication. Cell service on these ships or international areas is prohibitively expensive. 



#2 emBARK

emBARK

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 256 posts
  • LocationSWNY

Posted 21 July 2016 - 01:07 PM

Congratulations on the marriage and honeymoon! Hope that you enjoy your cruise.

That being said, to answer the questions, I can't provide any help because for all the reasons you listed my wife and I would never take a cruise...That and the fact that we have two small children so we have no adult life, or money lol.

#3 MightyP

MightyP

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 699 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio

Posted 21 July 2016 - 03:30 PM

Dude... You clearly aren't taking this preparedness thing seriously. You didn't mention dinosaurs OR the Kraken. 

 

Seriously, though, congrats. Wish you both health and a happy house.


ITSSignature2.png

What I lack in knowledge & skill, I make up for with sarcasm & bad jokes.


#4 emBARK

emBARK

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 256 posts
  • LocationSWNY

Posted 21 July 2016 - 03:34 PM

Kraken! Sh!t I didn't even consider them.

#5 DeathwatchDoc

DeathwatchDoc

    Salty Dog

  • Moderator
  • 1,936 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 21 July 2016 - 03:49 PM

This is why you stay on ITS... so much to learn. Also, congrats Koopa!


89BccLb.png


#6 pira114

pira114

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 1,195 posts
  • LocationSierra Nevadas

Posted 21 July 2016 - 04:33 PM

.

Attached Files


  • Koopa, MightyP and EMSWxSAR like this

#7 decepticon

decepticon

    Landlubber

  • Crew Member
  • 7 posts

Posted 21 July 2016 - 11:19 PM

I worked on a few cruises when I used to live in Florida. Yes, you are right that a cruise has its challenges, but if you are going to spend the money to go, don't let those challenges ruin the trip for you and your new wife. You can study the floor plans prior to boarding and get a feel for which areas are the most defensible. If you are concerned about having to abandon ship, check out some of the more moderately priced signal beacons that are available and consider taking one of those along. If you are concerned about pirates or other shipboard violence, scope the place out for "found weapons" or stock up on some covert things, like tactical pens or hairbrushes (my daughter has one and it is an impressively nasty little item). Depending on the ship, they may even have the equipment for some skeet shooting off the stern - get friendly with the shooting staff so they will consider you trustworthy should the need arise.

 

Seriously though, IMO the biggest threat on most cruise ships is the smallest - those tiny bacteria or viruses that can cause huge problems. Talk to your family doctor before going and ask for a heavy duty vacation pack of meds, which should include some decent antibiotics, antivirals, and support meds that could sustain you for a while. Hoard plenty of bottled water in your room for the duration and bring along a supply of protein bars. You probably won't even open them, but you will have them if you need them. http://www.cntravele...ick-on-a-cruise

 

Finally, don't check your common sense on the dock. Stay alert. If seas are rough or floors seem slippery, stay away from the railing. If you are drunk or hung over, don't go for a walk on deck. Don't open you cabin door to anyone you don't expect. If you hear someone hacking and coughing, steer clear of them. Stay in pairs (enjoy the company of your wife!) or small groups. Don't flash cash or expensive belongings around. Learn the location of lifeboats and check to be sure they are where you expect them to be. Pay attention for any safety briefings. Use the private bathroom in your cabin rather than the public ones. Wash your hands often and don't touch your face. Be mindful of the company you do keep - ditch those who are "trouble magnets". If you go ashore during stops, remember that you are visiting interesting, unique sovereign countries for the most part, not a souped-up version of Disney World. Don't drink the water and stick to the well-traveled areas. Keep your head on a swivel and watch to see how locals are acting. If they seem nervous, I'd head back to the ship. 


  • Geist, MightyP, EMSWxSAR and 1 other like this

#8 Koopa

Koopa

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 118 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:38 AM

Thank you all for your congrats. 

 

Decepticon, that is fantastic info. Thanks for sharing.



#9 Koopa

Koopa

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 118 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:45 AM

Also I'm thinking about ordering this book:

 

Cruising for Trouble:

Cruise Ships as Soft Targets for Pirates, Terrorists, and Common Criminals

by Cdr. Mark Gaouette 

http://amazon.com/dp/0313382344



#10 pira114

pira114

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 1,195 posts
  • LocationSierra Nevadas

Posted 22 July 2016 - 07:59 PM

Honestly, I'd be most concerned with health ON the ship, and not putting myself in harms way OFF the ship.

I'm sure statistically speaking, you're not that likely to get sick. But the reports are there. I'm not sure how to prevent it, but I'd start researching that.

Off ship, I'd stick to VERY touristy areas and events. Sounds counter intuitive with the risk of terrorism (since they target high volume tourist stuff), but you're most likely to fall victim to local criminals. And places like the Bahamas tend to strictly enforce rules and heavily patrol tourist areas. They need those places nice to keep that money coming in. Outside those areas, you're much more likely to run into criminals and corruption.

Aside from that, it's probably not much different than visiting anywhere else. Keep alert, keep track of where you are so you can get back to ship in a hurry if needed. Scan for alternate routs. Keep a map of the city on you always. Know the local laws so you don't become a headline.

On ship, there's not a whole lot you can do about large scale security. Same stuff. Know where you are, know your routes, know how to find routes (ship map or known locations of where an Evac map is posted), identify possible hiding spots bad guys aren't likely to search for passengers, keep a mini kit on you (check laws before leaving ship with it). In the unlikely event pirates show up, your goal is evasion until rescue. If you get captured, it's all about staying alive until rescue. Escape is damn near non existent on ship.

My mini kit would consist of things I normally carry anyway. Hidden cuff key (pirates are unlikely to use real handcuffs though), hidden cutting tool (for the more likely flex cuffs or cordage restraints). Map of where ever I am if possible. Good matches (you never know). Some type of cordage (I usually double lace my boots and shoes with 550. So I can use it and still lace my boots enough). And some type of illumination.

That's what I always have no matter what. Everything else is subject to what I'm doing, where I'm going, and rules and regulations I might run into. Pretty minimal. I always carry the ITS mini kit in addition. A lot of it won't help on ship, but since I always have it, I'd probably have it on a cruise too. But remember all the crap you can carry is moot if you can't get to it. The small cuff key and cutting tool have to be in an area you can reach if restrained. I have slots cut into my pants waistband front and rear. That's where they go. Not on my belt. Only because a belt is easily taken away and often is by "good" pirates. Pants almost never are.

That's all I got for now. Small steps can be taken that know one will know about except you. Remember that you probably will have to go through TSA so cuff keys and cutting tools may have to be in checked baggage till you arrive. Even if they're plastic, it could cause a LOT of headaches if they see them in a body scanner, or feel them in a pat down. Just a heads up.

Edited by pira114, 22 July 2016 - 08:01 PM.

  • Koopa and EMSWxSAR like this

#11 MightyP

MightyP

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 699 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio

Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:29 PM

My favorite hidden cuff key is the TIHK http://tihk.co). They're small enough you'll want to practice before trying to use it in real life, but the clip is great. I've forgotten I've had it on and found the key on my pants when I got them out of the dryer.
  • pira114 likes this

ITSSignature2.png

What I lack in knowledge & skill, I make up for with sarcasm & bad jokes.


#12 pira114

pira114

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 1,195 posts
  • LocationSierra Nevadas

Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:41 PM

My favorite hidden cuff key is the TIHK http://tihk.co). They're small enough you'll want to practice before trying to use it in real life, but the clip is great. I've forgotten I've had it on and found the key on my pants when I got them out of the dryer.


I like those. Tried to add to cart and it won't let me buy anything on the site at all. Scares me. Did you order from the site with no issues?

#13 MightyP

MightyP

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 699 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio

Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:59 PM

I like those. Tried to add to cart and it won't let me buy anything on the site at all. Scares me. Did you order from the site with no issues?

 

Haven't used their direct site. I ordered from Vigilant Gear, back in 2014. (I know this because I found the emailed receipt!)

 

http://www.vigilantg...cuff-key-tihk/ 


ITSSignature2.png

What I lack in knowledge & skill, I make up for with sarcasm & bad jokes.


#14 pira114

pira114

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 1,195 posts
  • LocationSierra Nevadas

Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:27 PM

Thanks.

#15 Koopa

Koopa

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 118 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:27 AM

Thank you all for your tips! Keep em coming.



#16 Koopa

Koopa

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Member
  • 118 posts
  • LocationUnited States

Posted 30 July 2016 - 07:38 PM

I finally read Cruising for Trouble like I mentioned. Wow!

 

At a whopping 300 pages, this book is very comprehensive. Far more comprehensive, in fact, than the ordinary cruise passenger (me) would prefer. The author has a strong background in navy operations, military intelligence, diplomatic security, and cruise ship security specifically. The book covers everything from terrorists to pirates to ordinary thugs, and basically any other threat a cruise ship may face. A thorough history of cruise ship disasters is given; backgrounds are given for the various agencies that handle cruise mishaps; and the various treaties, laws, and codes that regulate the maritime space. This book was written in 2010, prior to the prominence of ISIS - but if you just replace every instance of the word Al Qaeda with the word ISIS then you have the same concept. This book was more focused on the corporate-level operations, so I was a little disappointed that the author did not include practical tips for a cruise passenger to be prepared. However, I feel like a more educated citizen of the seas for reading this book - even though it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. Well written and highly recommended. 



#17 charliefox

charliefox

    Swabbie

  • Validating
  • 29 posts
  • LocationSummerville SC

Posted 06 August 2016 - 06:33 AM

Take sunscreen, Lysol and a tourist book of the Caribbean and enjoy...

#18 redsol1

redsol1

    Salty Dog

  • Crew Leader
  • 480 posts
  • LocationShenandoa Valley Virginia

Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:37 AM

I've done two cruses with the wife and had a great time. The comments above are relevant and good. here are a couple more.

 

1 - Figure out what cruse line you're looking at and then check the ships health records on the CDC website. you'll be surprised how low some of the scores are. We went Royal Caribbean because they had the highest scores. Princess and Norwegian had the lowest (when we went) When we were on ship we saw the crew constantly cleaning high use areas like handrails, elevator buttons, and tables/chairs. here is a link to the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/

 

2 - As said above, keep your head on a swivel both on and off boat. A lax "vacationer" attitude and lots of booze can lead to some interesting events. one night at dinner two tables of 8+ almost got into a brawl over some stupid dinner contest. Off boat be sure you know where you're going, what your doing, and what the plan is. Also remember that a lot of the off boat "excursions" are handled by independent local contractors and are not directly in contact with the ship. be sure you know or can positively identify the leaders of your tour. we did a trip off boat to Duns River Falls in Jamaica and it as a $hit show. We had guys not from our tour group pimping us for tips, holding our gear hostage for tips, and taking us off course of the tour to try to get us to spend money at a local market run by the tour guide's family. Wife and I had a good handle on things so it didn't get out of hand, but some folks shelled out $$$ where they didn't have to. Be sure if something doesn't seem right to ask the tour what boat your from. that's a good way to see if they are legit. also, if you're not happy with a tour be sure to say something when you get back on boat. we complained and were refunded the cost of the tour.

 

another group almost got mugged as they got off their tour van. one chick actually said "oh, it's a skit!!!' as she handed over her purse. A 70 year old WWII vet knew what was going on and end up knocking one of the muggers out and got the whole groups valuables back. 

 

needless to say, Jamaica was No Bueno. Know where you're going and what the reputation is. In my experience the Islands like St Martine and St Thomas were good. Jamaica and Haiti, not so much.

 

3 -  Because of "Pot Tourism" be prepared to be propositioned for pot or other drugs. Don't make a big deal out of it. just decline and keep going. i got proped for weed 4 times and it was more funny than anything else. Don't bother trying to report it, the local constabulary is used to it. 

 

In general, the likelihood of something happening off ship is much greater than something on ship, not counting a HUGE incident like piracy but that's a pretty low odds event. Just keep your head on straight and don't leave your brain in your stateroom safe.

 

You'll have a great time. 

 

La'


  • Koopa likes this
Step 1: Unfuck your gear Step 2: Unfuck your buddy Step 3: Unfuck yourself In that order.
— 3 Steps to Being a Team Player (Via Redteams.net)
Posted Image





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cruise, gun free, safety, security, edc, bahamas, pirates, ship, honeymoon

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users