Monday, March 14, 2016

Victim Of A Crime? Stolen Items?

What Do You Do When Your Personal Belongings & Valuables Are Stolen On A Cruise Ship?


Millions of people step onto a cruise ship each year and leave the real world behind. But onboard crime? What happens if you are robbed or if you lost jewelry, purses, wallets, electronics, and more? Where would someone run to after they've stolen your luggage, or worse, your wallet and passport? Just like back home, it’s important to implement the right safety precautions to help you avoid being robbed so you can get to the fun part – your cruise vacation. 

Remember the fine print on your cruise edocuments your obtained from your account or the documents your travel agent sent you regarding your cruise? Many of your answers can be found there.  Read it before you go.  For those of you who use travel agents to book your cruises, know this: They can be powerful advocates on your behalf.  If you didn’t, well, you are on your own!

So what happens when your belongings and valuables are stolen on a cruise ship? Let's find out what you can do to get reimbursed and prevent this from happening to you.


You stumble into your cabin, wiped out after a day of partying on the ship’s pool deck or after the long excursion at one of the ship’s many ports of call, toss your bag onto the bed and open it:  Your camera, which you thought you brought with you, isn't there.  Didn't you bring it with you?  Didn’t you use it to take pictures?  You did.  Probably.  And after a moment or two of doubting yourself it hits you: Someone stole it.  But who is responsible? 

While it does happen, especially with the many distractions we encounter while having fun, you can lose or have items stolen.  In this scenario, you must:

  • IMMEDIATELY report the incident to the Guest Services desk on board the ship. Once that has been done, the cruise ship will document your file and fill out a lost and found report.
  • File a report with the police in that port of call. You might need a copy of the police report to get reimbursed for your loss from your insurance company. You also want to give a copy to Guest Services on board to add to your report. However, if you don’t get a chance to report it because the ship is leaving, you can contact the cruise line’s Guest Services Department.
  • Keep checking back at the Guest Services desk to see if anyone found your lost item or if there are any updates on your report. 

If your passport is stolen, you should also contact the local embassy or consulate to get a replacement. (It's also useful to inform them of other stolen property.) However, if your ship is leaving soon, you can wait until the next port of call to apply for a new passport; there's no need to miss the ship and get stranded. You can find contact information for U.S. embassies and consulates around the world with the State Department's Smart Traveler App, or call the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-501-4444 for assistance in an emergency. 

If you think that you left it in the cabin, you need to report it to the purser’s desk onboard the ship and file a police report when you return to port. 

  • Report the incident to your trip insurance carrier and/or travel agent. Travel insurance plans usually provide a number to call in an emergency, and representatives can assist you. The ship's port agent -- contact information is typically in your daily ship's newsletter or port materials -- can help out, too. 
  • Call your bank or credit card company immediately to cancel any stolen cards and get new ones issued.
  • Before you get off the ship, make sure that you get all the documentation from the purser’s desk about the incident, obtain all reports, and pictures/descriptions, of the item stolen. 

REMEMBER: Your travel agent is also a vast resource and can help expedite the process more quickly, creating less stress for you so that you can continue to enjoy the rest of your cruise.  However, understand that this will not be handled within the time you are on your trip.  A reasonable amount of time has to be implemented so that an investigation, reports, and documentation can be obtained to file your claim.  If you did not take trip insurance, you just might be out of luck.

Once you are home, call the insurance company and Maraloha TravelMake sure you document everything in writing!  This is very important to keep an active timeline and track record of the entire incident to get a reimbursement for your loss/stolen items. 

PREVENTION IS KEY!  How can you prevent this from happening?

Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.

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