I live in Pittsburgh, and I just heard on the radio that there have been alerts posted about possible terrorism on cruise ships. They stated that some ships have naval vessels following them to ensure their safety. Has anyone else heard this news? I am sailing on November 22 and hopefully they are incorrect!
After 9/11 there was a visible increase in security at US and foreign ports. In the last six months, however, we've noticed even greater efforts to keep cruise ships and their passengers safe.
In some ports, US Coast Guard and/or harbor police boats can been seen patrolling the waters around the cruise ships berthed there. We have seen similar authorities do the same in many European ports. Access to the piers is also better controlled now. For instance, when we were in Nassau in February, taxis were permitted to drive right up to the ships, as drivers vied for passenger fares. Not so when we docked in Nassau last week. Taxis are no longer permitted to drive onto the pier. Drivers offering tours are kept beyond the pier. Also, there is now a gate through which only passengers are permitted to pass only after they've shown proper ID.
Rest assured that cruise lines and the various port authorities with whom they intereact take passenger security very seriously. Cruise ships are probably the safest means of travel these days. Relax and enjoy your cruise!
I sailed on Brilliance of the Seas last week on her first cruise out of miami. It was very different. Before 9/11 there would have been fireboats with their spray filling the air and small pleasure boats filling Government Cut. It would have been very festive. There were 3 0r 4 ships sailing that day. Each ship was accompanied by a police boat and a coast guard vessel, lights flashing like on top of a police car, but no sense of festivity whatsoever. They took us away out to sea. Divers regularly inspect the hulls of ships as well. Both the fecderal government and the City of Miami work in tandem to keep us safe. I'm sure Port Everglades, Port Canaveral and Tampa do the same.
Thanks for all your input. I figured that things have changed and I did hear that after 9/11 security was tightened as to be expected. But when they announced specifically on the news yesterday that cruise ships may be targets now I was curious if anyone else heard that news. Well, we all figure that if something happens we will all have smiles on our faces from being so relaxed!! Thanks!
Indeed, when we sailed Century out of Ft. Lauderdale on 9/28/02, I was really startled to see the level of security. A small Coast Guard boat patrolled almost continuously around us while the boat loaded -- we got on at 11:45 for a 4:30 pm sailing -- and one of the ship's lifeboats patrolled as well. We saw a few Coast Guard flyovers. At sailaway, the orange military boat accompanied us out of the harbor, continuing to speed around the boat, until we were well out of the harbor. We had a busy cruise season here in Seattle and I often would go down to the waterfront to ogle the boats, but I never saw anything like the patrols in Ft. Lauderdale. My husband thought maybe because of the relative proximity to Cuba?
Century 3/03 and 9/02, plus 3 cool childhood cruises