This was in response to a question under the thread: Concerns over possible war, re womens's safety on cruises. However, after typing it, I thought that I should probably include it in a new thread.
I have always felt that cruising is one of the safest types of vacations for women traveling alone. Because of all the vacation I have, I often travel alone and while I am always cautions about my surroundings, I have come to appreciate the safety of cruises. The safety pluses include cameras EVERYWHERE which are monitored at ALL TIMES; a security safe that routinely patrol all decks of the ships; people (passengers and crew) walking around at all hours of the day; secured room doors; a very small community where everyone seems to notice everyone else (kinda like living in a real small town). I generally have no qualms about walking up on deck, to my cabin, to the atm machine or the internet cafe at 3 am on my own, though I often make friends with whom I do these things.
While I have not personally had problems, bad things (such as rapes) have sometimes happenned on cruises and I read a thread on another board just last week that reminded me of the need to be proactive (though NOT scared). I would say:
be careful about the people you befriend;
be careful about people YOU allow to enter your cabin and the people whose cabins you enter;
let your actions correspond to your words ie: be consistent;
make a friend or two;
try not to become too drunk or to come under the influence of other drugs;
do not go into non-passenger areas (ie: crew or officer areas);
In port, be as street smart as you would be at home;
I would also say be cautious about giving your cabin number out, although that means being unable to give your phone number out. (the phone number is generally the same as your cabin number. I personally look forward to the day when my cabin number and room number are not the same).
On my last cruise, a female passenger alledgedly had an issue with her steward who she claimed felt her up and came into her room at odd hours. I am not sure if I believe the story because she neither attempted to get a change or rooms, make a report about it, or request a steward change, a few of the changes that I (and others) suggested.
On a previous cruise, one night, I saw a female acquaintant leaving the night club at 3 am with a guy, and she did not seem to me to be acting totally on her own. I excused myself from my table and followed them out of the club and to the elevator. I greeted her and asked how she was doing. She immediately gave me a big hug and while doing so asked me if I could get her to her room as she was not thinking right, and was probably in too deep. She was clearly inebriated. I very politely told the guy that we would see him later and I made sure that she got into her cabin ok. I then returned to the club to party till morning
Also on my last cruise, one guy was insisting on repeated dancing closely with a young woman who was clearly uncomfortable with all the attention, while her husband who had accompanied her to the club was getting increasingly agitated. My friend 'cut in' on the dance floor, and after getting rid of the her admirer walked her back to her table to be seated with her husband. A few cruises ago, the husband of a lady I met on the cruise similarly protected me from an overzealous admirer who had had too much to drink. (note...I did no think that I was in any danger.. nonetheless.. it was nice to be rescued on the dance floor). he point is though, based on my behavior earlier in the cruise, they knew that his dancing was not of the type that I was comfortable with.
So.... now that I have babled on, I would just say, be careful and sensible, and have a great time......