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Old June 22nd, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Default keeping cash/credit cards safe while onboard and off

I'm wondering how to best protect my cash, credit cards, other id's, etc. both while on the cruise and in port. I thought I'd wear the cash, etc. in a thin nylon waste belt that I can wear under my shirt, and then use a small shoulderbag with a long, thin strap and wear that across my body - this would contain sunblock, digital camera, chapstick, photocopy of passport and other docs, etc.

My only concern with this is that I'd have to lift up my shirt and dig into this thing to pull out my credit card, and potential pick pockets would then see that I'm wearing it. I assume someone could easily lift up the back of my shirt with one hand and cut the strap of this thing and run away with it.

Since it's just me and my 1 year old son, I don't have another adult who can carry half the cash, a second credit card, etc. Should I carry half and leave the other half in the room safe? Has anyone ever had their safe broken into? Should I just keep all the valuables in the purse since I'll be wearing that 100% of the time? While I may wear my swimsuit to hang out on deck while my son's in the pool, I can't go in myself.

I also have a small flat leather neck bag that has a long black string so it would hang down into my shirt, but I have seen an earlier posting that someone can just as easily grab it from behind and either choke me or run with it.

I'd appreciate seasoned cruisers thoughts on the best way to keep cash/credit safe ont he boat and off.

Thanks!
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:14 AM
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I have not heard of a safe being broken into. I would suggestion you use the safe and only take out the amount of money needed at each port. In order for someone to take your money out of the safe they need to first break into your room then into the safe. Another suggestion would be to get some American Express Travelers Cheques in addition to the cash. These are refundable of lost or stolen. Here is the website for more info http://www10.americanexpress.com/sif...23075%2C00.asp
I'm about to make a weird suggestion, but hey it works for me. Leave most of your money in the money belt and put a small amount in your Bra. It's easy to for you to reach and hard for pick pockets to get to. I have never used a money belt, but I was thinking of getting one for my next cruise. If you remove money from the belt I would do it in a bathroom out of view of prying eyes. I hope that helps I have been in a business that was robbed at gun point so I understand your concern. But remember to have fun and not worry to much.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:17 AM
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How old is your son. At times you have said he is 14 and other times you say he is 1 year old (a.k.a. 12 months).

Only take as much cash to port as you are going to spend. Put the rest of your cash in your safe. Your safe is secure. The room stewards are not going to steal your cash or your jewelry even if ou leave it out. It is not worth it to them.

Keep your port cash in something that is in front of you (not a back pocket) and zipped up. Unless you get into a situation where people are so tightly packed that they are chest to chest touching, a pick pocket won't have the time or opportunity to get close enough to you to unzip your little fanny belt, shoulder purse.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Michelle,

I would go today, to Wal Mart to the fishing section. tell them you want a holder for a fishing licence. It is a plastic box on a thing to wear around your neck. There is enough room to carry ID's for the both of you. A credit card, a little cash (which I would put in a little baggie) and your sail and sign card. DO NOT Take copy of you passport. It is proof of nothing, and if stolen, could be used by someone, to make a real looking one, with all your info.

Take a tote bag with your lotion, towel, and camera.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:18 PM
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katlady - thanks for the tip about the bra - that's a great idea, I wear padded ones so they will work to keep anyone from seeing there's cash stored there... and I agree, I will refill the bra when I'm in a restroom. GREAT TIP!

ibcruising - my son is 14, I guess I keep leaving the 4 off. The only thing I want my son to have is his sail & sign card and id. He'd LOVE to hold cash and a credit card but it's NOT going to happen. I will also take your advice and only bring cash that I expect to spend that day in port. I have a small shoulder bag with a long strap that I will wear over my neck and it will hang again my stomach in front. It zippers only.

Luanne, thanks, I'm not sure I want to lug anything around my neck as it will be so hot and humid, and if I do decide to, I have the little black neck pouch on a string already. i will bring a tote bag for sunblock and beach towels, but the camera stays in my shoulderbag where I can keep a tight hold on it!

everyone - I was robbed twice in a 2 week period - on the trains in Chicago when I used to commute downtown for work many years ago. Once I was one of five victims of a pickpocket team on a crowded train. The other time, a moron grabbed a chain off my neck and ran off the train at a stop. Fortunately I wasn't hurt either time. But I only use shoulder bags that zipper close and have been wary ever since. I also don't wear any jewelry that is or looks expensive.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Sorry to hear you've been robbed a couple times Michelle. I can't imagine how that must feel.

We are too trusting at times. We didn't use the safe one time during our cruise last week. And when we went ashore, my wife simply took a small purse and I had my wallet as usual. My wallet was loaded with all our bank cards, cash, and even my company credit card. Not too smart looking back I guess... I should have emptied it and left just the bare necessities for our excursions.

Anyhow, when I was in the Navy and we hit ports of call, I had a habit of sticking my wallet in my front pocket. You'll definitely feel someone trying to get into your deeper front pockets than a back pocket.

And yes, that advise is probably better suited for men since womeng enerally don't carry wallets like us guys. However, perhaps a small zipper type pouch that could fit in your front pocket would do the trick. I know it sounds corny, but you know those little zipper pouches kids used back in the 70's to hold their change? That might be an idea for you.

If you're planning water activities on shore, get a locker while you're doing the wet stuff if you can.

Whatever you do, don't take all your cash and cards with you. I did and fortunately nothing happened. If I did lose my wallet while onshore last week, well... that would have been one big pain in the arse for us...

Have fun! I've been reading the excitement in your posts and I'm excited for you and your son. I'm sure you two will have a great time and I look forward to reading about your trip when you get back.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:06 PM
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yeah, I think I will just bring $50 in cash and one credit card on each of the two excursions, leave the rest of cash and other credit card in the room safe.

I think between the money belt I'll wear and a few $$ in my bra (tickles just thinking about it!) I should be okay. Again, I'm extremely cautious when in crowds and no one will be able to get my long-strapped small purse over my head. I'll elbow them if they try!

Again, we'll only be with a carnival excursion so as long as we don't get held up as a group like what recently happened in Jamaica, we will be okay
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Again, I'm extremely cautious when in crowds and no one will be able to get my long-strapped small purse over my head. I'll elbow them if they try!
They don't need to or even try to. Just cut the strap and rip it off you and they are gone in a flash.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:31 PM
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It's a pretty thick strap, - but perhaps just having cash/credit in my waist-money belt under my shirt should be best way to carry stuff on shore?
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:36 PM
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I would ditch the purse. If you want to carry some water and stuff like that, use a tote bag. If they rip it off, they did not get much.

The money belt or the front pocket carry is better IMO.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:48 PM
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well, I always carry my digital camera in my purse (it's a very tiny slim one) I guess I can put that in my front shorts pocket. we will be on the glass bottom boat excursion in freeport and the atlantis tour in Nassau - also going to pirate museum and straw museum in nassau. otherwise will be on board.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:51 PM
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how safe are tiny backpacks to bring on excursions?
you nknow, like medium sized purses you wear like a backpack?
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Try it first before you leave and see how it feels and if it will work OK.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:53 PM
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I was reading the other replies some good advice in there. By the way I heard about a purse with wire in the strap to stop someone from being able to cut your purse off. I also heard a good piece of advice to make copies of all the cards in your wallet and credit card phone numbers that way if it does take your wallet you can cancel everything right away. I like the bra for cash if someone takes it at least I got a little action. Michelle I sent you a PM with some websites for the security purse and the Bra stash money belt. I knew that wasn't just me.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 07:31 AM
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Katlady, thanks, I think I will do this for the 2 excursion days:
then I don't have to wear a purse. Since we'll likely get a few cheap souvenirs anyway, the tote bag will have a dual purpose!

=============
front pocket of shorts
=============
digital camera

=============
tote bag
=============
bottled water
chapstick
binoculars
sunblock

=============
money belt
=============
some cash
a credit card
sign & sail card
drivers license
copy of passport
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 12:01 PM
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I think I have a final solution - I tried on the moneybelt and it really bulges out under my shirt.
I also think it can then he easily cut off me from behind and pulled off.

I dug into my big box of purses, fanny packs, etc. and found a small black leather "neck/belt" pouch. It's 6" tall, 4" wide and 1" deep. I can put my cash in one pocket, credit card/sign & sail/drivers license, medical insurance card in one small pocket, and my pda in another pocket (it contains all my confirmation numbers, contact numbers and other pertinent cruise/travel information). It has a thick belt loop in the back and I'll wear it attached to a thick belt. It will still show under my shirt if anyone looks there, but at least it can't be easily pulled off of me.

Then my digital camera goes in a front pocket of my shorts, though it will likely be in my hand most of the time), my cell clips onto my belt. All I'll have to carry is a tote bag for sunblock, chapstick, binoculars, sun hat/visor when I'm not wearing it, wet ones, extra t.p., a towel, and any items we purchase. Bingo.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 12:41 PM
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I too like a small pouch type purse with a long strap. We take what money we plan on spending and leave the rest in the safe and 1 credit card for any big purchases or just in case. Plus I also make a list of the credit card numbers and the phone numbers off the back and leave that in the safe. That way we can get in touch with the credit card company if something happens.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 01:41 PM
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We have never had any problems with our money. We keep our cash in the room safe.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:14 PM
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Michele...

Im not a seasoned cruiser but I am a seasoned traveler. SO here is my safety tip of the day....Don't post on a web site with your photo and which cruise you will be on, the various ways you will be carrying your money. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of your posting to begin with?
Just my 2-cents worth.

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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:30 PM
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I just purchased a bag pack and a smaller bag that I can either hang around my chest/shoulder or convert to a fanny pack. I got it from ZAPPOS.com . It is called PACSAFE PRODUCTS. They make the handles and straps out of metal wiring instead of thread and they claim to be uncuttable. I plan to use the smaller on while on the ship and on the excursions, I will carry all the "familys STUFF" in my back pack. I won't be carrying all my money. We always use the safe. We have NEVER heard about any problems with them.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claimguy
Michele...

Im not a seasoned cruiser but I am a seasoned traveler. SO here is my safety tip of the day....Don't post on a web site with your photo and which cruise you will be on, the various ways you will be carrying your money. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of your posting to begin with?
Just my 2-cents worth.

Steve
Thanks Steve, good advice. Anyway, whoever might want to steal what little cash I'll have on me would have to be pretty desperate. I'm a single mom. Besides, that's an older photo and I look quite different now (hair color & style).
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:02 PM
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You know, I have not been to every port in the Caribbean but I have been to a lot of them. I do not remember thinking that I had to worry about someone coming up and cutting the strap to my little pouch. That happens in some places but few if any of the port stops on a Carnival cruise will be that outlaw. Plus, you do not sound like the type that will likely wander off far far away from the beaten path. You and your son will likely stay right in "tourist land" for the most part, surrounded by lawful people.

I don't think you need to worry too much about having a wire shoulder strap or speaking about your cruise, itinerary while having your picture on the web. It is not likely anyone is going to "stalk" you to your port to steal a little bit of cash. That is way too paranoid.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:30 PM
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I would never wear this around my neck; my thick black belt will be looped through the thick back strap of the pouch. it will also be hidden by a tank top that falls down to my underbelly. Not very visible!

And again, I'll only be with excursion groups.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:54 PM
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If you are going ashore keep anything of value on your person. This means, cash credit cards and passport or copy. Everything else is expendable and can be kept in your tote or backpack, just don't be too heartbroken if you lose it.

A money belt, front pocket, or "small" inside the clothing (not a pocket) storage device is great for a credit card and an emergency amount of money. The old clip it to your bra, underwear is still a great place for the emergency stash. It doesn't help if you're robbed but you know if a pickpocket puts their hand in there.

Never keep valuables in a fanny pack or a backpack. If you do carry a backpack, carrying it on your front is better than the back or storing anything "semi-valuable" as far inside, as possible, is better than an outside pocket.

A fanny pack is like candy to a pick pocket. They can unsnap it or cut it in an instant. If you are a fast runner you may catch them. Or the large group of children attempts to sell you something, they keep bumping into you and the next thing you know your fanny pack is gone. This also works for pickpocketing.

Those kids are so cute.

Take care and be careful.
Mike(Who's traveled for 30 years and was robbed once, and learned from it.)
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Mike, thanks for the tip - I only plan to bring my sail & sign card, 1 credit card, $10 in singles (for excursion guide tips) and about $20 pocket change for any snacks/drinks we may purchase where they don't take credit cards. my tote bag would have "expendables" - binoculars, sunblock and chapstick. My thin digital camera will be secured in my front shorts pocket - though it will likely be in my hand all the time with me taking hundreds of photos! I may put it on something hanging from my neck and hang it down the front of my shirt when I'm not using it.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:53 PM
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You will be fine. Stuff happens but the odds are so in your favor, I wouldn't worry about it.
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