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Afraid to leave the Cruise Ship on poverty stricken Caribbean Islands? | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Afraid to leave the Cruise Ship on poverty stricken Caribbean Islands?

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Conversation asked:

On my last cruise I talked to a number of people who were afraid to leave the ship when we docked at the island. They saw Black and poor faces and expected that it would be crime ridden and very dirty. (the racism!) “I am not getting my self killed on that island, I am staying where it is safe on the ship”

Yes, a large number of people are afraid to leave the boat. What do you think?

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16 Comments so far

  1. Imperial American on December 16th, 2008

    They sound like idiots…why even go on a cruise if you’re afraid of stepping onto the foreign Islands? I would suggest visiting one of the dependencies Puerto Rico (U.S.)…The Netherlands Antilles…Britain still has many territories in the American Mediterranean.

  2. Snoot on December 16th, 2008

    This is pretty sad to just stay aboard. A couple years ago we went to the Caribbeans and it was really nice, but not beautiful due to a hurricane. You probably went when the hurricane hit the islands about two months ago. I’m sure the people were destitute because they depend largely on tourism. That last hurricane caused immense damage. It would have been a good idea to have talked to the captain about the trip. They should make some type of compensation.

  3. Darren J on December 19th, 2008

    The Caribbean islands are beautiful. The people may be poor, but they know that tourism brings in the money, so they are polite and courteous to tourists. They know that if they started mugging tourists, the tourists would stop coming, therefore no money.
    I’ve met people like that before on holidays. What’s the point of going to these places if you’re not going to sample the local culture.

  4. insomnia c on December 21st, 2008

    We spent a fabulous holiday in the Dominican Republic last summer. The people were the friendliest and nicest people I have ever met on holiday. I had the impression a lot of that was genuine and not just for the tourists. I would love to go back.

  5. Padmini on December 24th, 2008

    if u’re afraid, just go with a group thats accompanied with someone familiar with the island. they should have tour guides, arrange it before u depart for the cruise.

  6. BETH G on December 25th, 2008

    Everyone needs to use common sense, the cruise lines are defintely not going to put their passengers in harms way……..Stay with the groups from your cruise………

  7. artsea on December 25th, 2008

    I don’t know if I would call it racism when somebody feels unsafe wandering around any port….not just in the Caribbean. While I don’t know that I felt exactly unsafe in several Caribbean ports I visited, I do know that I didn’t exactly feel safe either. I don’t have any desire ever to cruise through the Caribbean again. It’s difficult to enjoy an island or a city where you can see poverty all around you and the people are struggling just to stay alive. And, that’s how it looked to me at many of these ports. Sad to say.

  8. Lew on December 25th, 2008

    If you are talking about wandering around the port area and local towns by yourselves, I would be wary about doing that myself, however going on one of the ship’s excursions, where you are in a large group of people and with an escort / guide should be perfectly safe and secure.
    You are well looked after on the ship’s excursions and the tour guide will not take you anywhere risky.

  9. TINKERTOY ..... the 1 & only on December 26th, 2008

    I think that its just ignorance on the part of the people who think and say that. They are just afraid of what they do not know and of people who do not look just like them. Consider the fact that there are cruises to the various Caribbean islands all year long and considering the number of cruise lines and ships that travel around the Caribbean the number of incidents of a robbery, mugging, or assault are extremely small. I can recall hearing of only one incident last year in Jamaica where members of a tour were robbed at gun point. Even in that incident the local citizens helped capture the robbers and get their money and other possessions back. Jamaica is the one island where there are warning to be careful even if you fly there for vacation.

    Now I would not suggest that you go far off of the beaten path, i.e. into unknown neighborhoods to see how the locals live, on any island, but going into towns and shopping areas is as safe as any street in the US. Many people are just bothered by the way that business is done on many islands; aggressive sales tactics, bartering on prices, especially at craft markets. They may be frightened because they are not used to that in the mall back home.

    Its true that there are some islands where its not fun to see how the locals live. But then there are several islands where things are better, like Grand Cayman, St Thomas, and even Antigua. And one of the safest places I have been (not really in the Caribbean) is Bermuda. Lovely island, people and its safe to ride public buses all over the island; I have done that.

    Finally, I do not think that there are a large number of people who are afraid. I think the number is small. On our last cruise which had stops in Jamaica and Cozumel we did not get off the ship but it was not because we were afraid. It was because we had been to those islands 3 or 4 times and just preferred to relax and enjoy the ship while it was mostly vacant.

  10. Southern Apostolic on December 26th, 2008

    I have never had a problem. I have been to Nassau, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Progreso. Strangley enough the place that I was most “afraid” if you want to use that term was at Key West.

  11. Noble Angel on December 29th, 2008

    I have no problem leaving the ship, it is no different that going to any place. Just be smartest and don’t go out alone, don’t go to far for the touristy places and you will be fine. Also don’t just get into any car that claims to be a cab, even in Cozumel Mexico there is a cab company that is primarily of tourists and they are good to use, but get in the wrong one…. one one cruise we talked to some one who was trying to get a deal and in the end they ended up in the middle of nowhere and having to pay $150 each to take them back to the ship. But we got a good cab at a fair price and had no problems.

    and I found Key West to be the lest desirable place to go

  12. Pamela G on January 1st, 2009

    Obviously the cruise line is not going to take you anywhere that is dangerous. Just follow the guidelines that they give you. Yes some of the places are poor, but some places in the US are poor also.

    I was never afraid to leave the boat. I had fun in every port that I went to. THe poorest place we went to was Roatan Island Honduras and I never felt sacred about getting killed or anything like that.

    If you are that worried then just go on a shore excursion.
    It really isn’t a big deal. Like I said the cruise line isn’t going to go somewhere that is dangerous.

  13. Ayelle on January 2nd, 2009

    If they are afraid, let them be afraid and miss out. Who cares about them. I’m 15 and I’ve been to Aruba, Curaco, St. Maarten & St. Thomas (multiple times), Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Nassau (multiple times), Barbados & Jamaica. I think that the people are so friendly and when we were in St. Maarten one time, our cab drive told us on the Dutch side of the island the crime rate was 0, and on the French side it was 1. Or maybe vice versa. In Aruba, I was so upset that morning because my older sister was constantly picking on me, etc. A nice lady selling bracelets tied one around my wrist and gave it to me for free to make me feel better. (I was about 9 haha)
    Now, these places are fine… but Haiti is political madness and unrest. That may be dangerous. However that has nothing to do with poverty and racism.
    Which islands are you referring to exactly?

  14. Dart Swinger on January 5th, 2009

    I’ve been all over the Caribbean, and the only place where I had a problem with the locals was St. Maarten.

    Our rental car was broken into and robbed.
    We stayed at the Flamingo once, and our room was burglarized. Also, they used to have a casino at the Flamingo, and they had to close down one night, because they were robbed.

  15. Rottenmutts on January 7th, 2009

    The most dangerous port is Miami, then Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale and either port in Jamaica. After that you are safer than any city in the US.

  16. Julia S on January 7th, 2009

    that is not how i thought of it at all! in fact, the people on the islands are very nice, and friendly if anything! anyone who wouldnt enjoy their vactaion because of there ignorent (and racist!) fear is stupid.

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