Dangerous Ports for Cruise Ship Crew

Apr 08, 2016

Almost all ports in the world hide some kind of danger. No matter if it is in Europe, Australia, Caribbean, or America, everywhere in the world crime is present since no country is crime free. These are some of the ports with most dengeour from the crew survey which we conducted. These advices should be taken serious because the situations we will present in this article can happen to any crew member.

Most of the ports on the Mexican Riviera seem peaceful and friendly, but in reality they hide great amount of danger for crew members. The body of the crew member Monika Markiewicz, was recovered from the ocean near the port of Cozumel. The police is still investigating this case in order to determine if it was a homicide.
    Murder rates in Acapulco also increased dramatically since 2009 when the Mexican government started the war on organized crime in the hope to return the security to the popular tourist areas. Twenty two guests who were traveling via the Carnival Splendor cruise ship were robbed at gunpoint in Mexico. According to cruise ship officials and local media reports, the incident occurred while the guests were returning from a nature hike with a bus to the Mexican port city of Puerto Vallarta.

Stay away from putana House.
There have been a lot of cases when crew members (usually 2 or 3 people) visit putana house and decide to buy the working girls few drinks, only to find out at the end of their visit that their bill is $3000-$4000. Normally nobody carries that much monies, so what extortioners do is send one crew member to pick up the owed monies from the ship, while holding the other crew member as insurance.
We recommend to stay away from the places or streets which are not so frequent with tourists or crew members.


Manus, Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian ports can be also dangerous with petty crime such as pocket picking which is a frequent concern. Recently, the robbers have become more sophisticated, thus now they are using ATM machines to take out crew members monies. Also, there are a lot of cases when crew members visit putana house and return back to the ships with only underwear on themselves. One such case was the one where a Slovakian crew member who worked on board Celebrity got mobbed for not being cautious while getting back to the ship. He went to putana House and came back only in his underwear. Maybe the most devastating case concerning this port is the case which occurred last year while the Azamara Journey was in Rio. Crew members were surprised to see a dead body floating in the water from the crew mess windows.

We recommend the same warning about the putana house “Scandinavia” and the night club “Help.” We recommend exploring the city only in groups in the presence of a crew member who speak Portuguese or Spanish. Wearing jewelry, laptops, or any objects that can turn attention for criminals are not a good idea to wear or carry. This warning especially should be applied in Manaus. Let's just say that it is not a good idea to carry a laptop outside cruise terminal. This is the main reason why we presented the WiFi spot only in Manaus Cruise terminal in our Crew Maps. There have been cases when people who leave the terminal with their laptop who have been physically assaulted.


Nassau, Bahamas is also a port that everyone should be aware of violent crimes. In 2009, 29 cruise passengers and crew members were robbed at gunpoint while on cruise line sponsored shore excursions. We urge anyone to use common sense and stay with a larger group, leave valuables on the ship and be aware of the surroundings.

Barcelona, Spain
Petty thieves and pick poketers are common thing in most of the ports. Barcelona is among the highest ratted, especially Las Rambals. We highly recommend to be aware while walking in this area and not carrying lots of monies, or any other valuables. 

Naples, Italy
Naples is one more port where pick poketers look to make a quick buck from tourists and crew members. Other situation which occur frequently in Naples involve crew members who bought electronics or computers, only to find out that there is a stone in the box instead of the actual purchased item.

Here are some advices from your fellow crew members.

Franz Louise F Santos Casablanca, Morocco and Port Said & Alexandria, Egypt- don't go out looking like a tourist and don't bring with you a lot of money. Local kids will follow you around if you're not loud enough to say "NO!!!"

Barcelona, Spain - keep your valuables ALWAYS SAFE; locals are mostly targeting crew members in the shuttle bus area (in La Rambla) and if you are inside the train, beware of local people (more than 2) trying to be close to you--they will really try hard to get your valuables.

A-do VC Id say if u are Spanish - not only from Spain- but from other countries that speak Spanish u are safe in las ramblas and places like those bcuz u know the culture ......I d say more like Naples - Italy ...dont carry lots of cash with u or a backpack and stuff like that ...and never , ever buy anything from the guys that will approache to u -usually on a scoter - outside the port with iphones or ipads ...... oh one more thing .Im Peruvian and I love my country and all but one thing I dont like is my home port wich is not a cruise terminal but a cargo ships yard- called Callao or ENAPU (as WE know it ) . I got there back in 2008 -I dont know if they have change it or not - but I know the area and its just not good ...dont carry lots of money with u and NEVER EVER EVER do wat we do best : just walk around like it was Downtown Miami ...ITS NOT SAFE PEOPLE , please DO take a taxi to wherever u want to go ....no matter if ur Peruvian friend told u its just a few blocks away .....Ive met a couple of guys that got robbed from just walkin around and we can tell U ARE NOT FROM THAT AREA !!! so please please please TAKE A TAXI WHEREVER U GO and its shouldnt be more than $12 - and thats a long trip / like 30 minute ride- so u do the math ....we charge per distance here so if u get a map u can calculate how much that taxi ride would be.Thanks

Lazo Simic Peru, all ports, during one of our stop fellow crew member was robbed at 4 PM 50 metars from port entrance. Gangs took camera, money and watch.

Lazo Simic Shnaghai, China, during night gangs forced one crew member to draw money from ATM, close to port.

Lazo Simic Naples, do not buy nothing on the street, they will sale stone packed as original Aple computer.

Donatas Gurauskas I know that once Hotel Director was robbed in Baltimore . But oh well, most dangerous could be everywhere if you walk off beaten path

Keith Reece I never been to a country that did not have some part that's dangerous. 
I know people who have been robbed in Cozumel,St. Thomas, Nassau, Jamaica just to name a few.

Bridget M White That's easy - Fortaleza Brasil in 2004. 1 A man with a donkey tried to grab me. 2. Environmental officer was drugged and mugged 3. A couple of Asian bar staff got wrongly thrown into jail.

Bryan Otter I agree with Keith ... but the worst in my experience were La Guaira, Venezuela, Belize, St. Croix, Nassau and San Pedro, CA.

Ann Kiss Jamaica.. people keep bothering you everywhere and offering you to buy all kinds of drugs

Bryan Otter All the ports I have mentioned above are reputed for gun crime / robbery and theft. Stray off the beaten path and expect trouble. Jamaican ports such as Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are safe unless you are involved in the drug trafficking trade. The capital, Kingston can be dangerous in certain neighbourhoods. Before venturing into any port, it is advisable to ask where it is recommended to be and if possible, don't venture out alone. Like any city or town worldwide, there are always 'no go' areas that should be avoided.

Diana Vieru Kenderesi I have been in most of the ports mentioned here during the years,but besides finding out from others that smth wrong happened....I never experienced anything bad,honestly.Of course I have been offered(pushingly)many things to buy,but it was my decision in the end.And usually,they go after guests,not crew.Probably Brasil would be the most scary(in a way),after Jamaica was at my first encounter.Then I got used to it,and did not bother anymore.Like someone said above,all ports or cities have their part of dangerousness,but stay straight,and don't go back alleys,or dark and lonely places....and may God be with you all!!!

Keith Reece Bryan - I remember La Guaira that was one of the most dangerous ports I ever been to. Even the police would steal from u.