We will be on the Volendam in March doing a 32 day cruise from AUK to SING. In my research I am surprised at the number of extremely negative reports about the Semarang, Padang Bai, and Tanjung/Jakarta stops.
Can anyone shed any positive light on these ports?
Specifically I am hearing a lot of stories of major hassles with local vendors, lots of petty crime, etc.
Based on what I have read, I'm getting a little concerned. We have cruised a lot over the years and I have no patience for people grabbing me, or hassling me to do whatever it is they are trying sell, legal or otherwise. For example, we don't even get off at Ocho Rios anymore because it simply isn't worth the aggravation. I am starting the conjur up visions of Ocho Rios....
We will be on that cruise, at least the Sydney to Singapore portion.
It seems to me that reports of pushy vendors and petty crime are endemic on these boards and in reviews of everyplace from Barcelona to Cartagena. I have not really seen all that many about Indonesia, but then fewer people visit those ports.
We plan to travel either with the ship's excursions or with reputable guides, to stay in the normal tourist areas, and take the usual precautions like wearing a money belt and leaving jewellery on the ship. The only time we would deal with a vendor would be for a small trinket for a small amount of cash, and simply say a firm NO other times.
This worked in Africa, this worked in the Baltic, this worked in South America, this worked in Egypt and Morocco, this worked in London and Paris, I don't see that it will be any problem in Indonesia either! Actually after traveling all over the world the place my wife got her purse stolen was in New York City!