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kimmiegirl July 26th, 2005 06:31 AM

How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger bagga
Hi guys,

With all that has been happening over here this month and of course, the bombings in Egypt at the weekend, it has got me seriously thinking about things and potential targets.

Of all the 5 cruises that we have been on recently, all being from either U.S. port sor Puerto Rico, I have never truly sensed that security is that tight.

Obviously when you arrive portside, you are required to leave your bags with the porters who are then responsible, or rather so you beleive having tipped them, to get them on board the ship for the cruiseline porterage staff to then get them to your cabin.

Does anybody know what sort of security measures are taken at this point to ensure that this huge mass of luggage is checked for any possible devices and if so, has anybody ever had their cases, baggage opened/tampered with?

I know that when you yourself come to the port terminal that you go through levels of personal security and your hand luggage goes through the usual scanning process etc and so do you, but I still feel that for any potential terrorists, these large cruiseships could be an easy target and last time ahving flow into the U.S. from Britian having to go through fingerprinting and iris tests, there seemed to be a huge difference in the security of getting into the U.S. as opposed to boarding a U.S. ship even thought an alien subject:)

The other thing that I realised is that the major cruising industry is owned by the U.S./Western society and we are obviously the targets for this new crop of terrorists around the world - anything seen as western culture and let's face it, beach locations such as Bali, Egypt etc are very hot with the westerners, as is cruising, could be seen as a big target, not just hitting at U.S. citizens who predominantly board these ships, but also at the curise economy which is, lets face it, a huge growth area.

I do appreciate that unlikes planes, these ships are massive, but I would still like to think the next time I cruise, that the person sitting next to me in the Restuarant, the bar, casino or even poolside, has been properly checked out as I would be more than happy to be so that you wouldn't be spending your time constantly wondering if some device is going to go off however small.

After this July, we all have to recognise that whatever colour we are, if we live in the western society,U.S. and British citizens especially, that we are all primed targets to these people and anywhere where we concegrate has big terrorist activity potential. It is just something we all need to face up to however difficult and to me, it seems totally plausible that a terrorist could book a cruise, get his stuff on board, make his bomb within the cabin confines and need I say more. Remember, these people are suicide bombers so there own mortality doesn't count - it does change the ballgame somewhat.

I truly hope that cruiseship security is now being hyped up to fbe far more vigilant even if it takes longer to board the ships, for all our sakes. What's ane extra hour or so when it is your safety/life that is at stake?????

For any one in the industry who knows, I would be interested to know as to how far the luggage is checked , once dropped off by the passengers, before boarding the ships.

Sorry for maybe being a bit scaremongering here - I am not. I am just trying to wake up to the fact that it just makes you mindful of everything around you and you must be prepared for any eventuallity in these trying times we now find ourselves living in.

Regards to all,


Tide Pride July 26th, 2005 08:01 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
I can not answer your question. However I have wondered in the past about security. On our last cruise which departed from Ft Lauderdale, FL, I noticed a couple of tenders in the water slowly moving around back and forth around all of the cruise ships. Apparently they were there to keep small boats or even swimmers away from the docked ships.
Yet in various Caribbean ports you can see all kind of boats coming up to and around the cruise ships and I have never seen any type of security to shoo them away. It makes you think that a power boat loaded with explosives could come right up to a cruise ship and ram it.

fasteddie July 26th, 2005 08:28 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
On our cruise to Bermuda last year, I noticed that all of the baggage that was given to the porters was being screened/x-rayed before going on the ship. If this was being done in Boston, I would like to think that it's done at every port.


LisaK July 26th, 2005 09:16 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
this is probably one of the reasons that passports will be required as of 1/1/06. There is "hot" list and if your name pops up on that list you could be denied boarding.
The cruise ships cannot enter or leave port without a Coast Guard runner boat circling the ship

Thomas July 26th, 2005 10:17 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
While it's true the Coast Guard escorts the ships into and out of the ports, and scuba divers are under the ships when they are docked, it is also true that once the ship is out of territorial U.S. waters it is on it's own.

I've brought this subject up a couple of years ago and boy did I get slammed for even mentioning such a possibility. "The bags are all screened, therefore it's safe." "Port security is very good, therefore it's safe." "The security on the boat is very good, therefore it's safe." are some of the comments I got.

But to be sure, it would be simple for a 40 ft. Scarab type boat loaded with explosives to run into it 100 miles off shore.

I am also concerned about the safety of the cruiseships.


Magnolia Blossom July 26th, 2005 10:22 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
Thomas is right, just remeber the USS Cole

kimmiegirl July 26th, 2005 10:55 AM

Re: Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passeng
Hi Thomas,

Yes it has been something in the past that I had noticed having to always fly from the UK to the US first before embarking on the cruiseship and believe me as being British and therefore deemed as an alien when entering the US, there is a huge different in the security and we have commented on this as well.

But now, with all that has been happening and the fact that the whole world is aware, I am beginning to feel alot more concerned and can see these cruiseships loaded with innocent US and European citizens, many of them being British, as being a potential target.

Introducing passports has to be a good thing but they need far more than that. I am sure bags are screened before embarking the ships and I would also hope that sniffer dogs are used as well. At least, in that way, hopefully there are no potential explosives in the main luggage.

However, what concerns me more is the team of people who pack items within their main luggage that can then be used to make a potentially lethal weapon but seems innocent whilst in the baggage. What happened here in London last week was bombs made from bits and pieces, but thank god, not made correctly otherwise it would have been a very different story.

Let's all hope that the cruiselines step security up now. WE all have to be together on this.


Jim Bragg July 26th, 2005 06:53 PM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
Cruiseship security is actually fairly tight. The trick is to do all these checks and balances out of sight and not discuss them to any great lenght so that those that wish us harm understand how to defeat the procedures. All bags are screened as are all passengers, the ship itself is checked for explosives and escorted. Are they totally safe? Heck no, but you are much safer than in a car or plane getting to the ship!

dfrancis July 27th, 2005 02:09 AM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
My husband and I recently cruised on QE2 and were surprised by the different attitudes towards security when the ship was docked. At Southampton, her home port, you cannot get near the ship unless you are approved by security yet when we docked at Le Havre in France there were locals swarming all over the place, coming right up to the ship and the gangway.

When my husbard asked a member of the security staff why there was such a difference in security measures, she just shrugged and said that different countries had different rules!!

Personally, I feel safer on a cruiseship than I ever would on a plane and I don't think I would ever let the threat of terrorism stop me from cruising!!!

Fern July 27th, 2005 07:52 PM

Re: How tight is cruiseship security, especially passenger b
Like Jim, I think that cruiseship security is very tight.

As passengers we don't see everything they do. I do know that both checked and carry-on bags are screened (not just for booze!). Those cute little beagles aren't there to entertain us (even though they are VERY cute!) There are scuba divers around the ship at embarcation and probably at other times. None of this is a secret.

I'm sure there are many more security measures (that are secret) in place that we don't know about for good reason! Just because you don't actually see what's going on with security doesn't mean they aren't doing their job.

Personally, I feel safer on a ship than on an airplane, or even in a car!

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