The United States government has issued a travel advisory notice for anyone visiting the Bahamas, as increased levels of crime are causing concern.
The advisory is a Level 2 warning, meaning that guests of the islands are advised to “exercise increased caution” when visiting. The advisory notes that most crimes are taking place on Nassau and Freeport, two destinations that are highly popular with cruise ships.
The warning specifically mentions that guests in Nassau should be most vigilant in the “Over the Hill” area which is south of Shirley Street, as this is a hive of gang-on-gang violence with a high homicide rate, although this primarily affects local residents rather than tourists.
However, violent crimes including burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assaults are noted as happening in both tourist and non-tourist areas.
The government notices advises any visitors to make sure they prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations, and that they do not resist any robbery attempt if they should be a victim.
Two women on a Carnival cruise recently made a complaint stating that they were drugged and raped at the Pirate’s Cove beach resort on Grand Bahama.
While Carnival has pushed to make it clear that the guests were not on an official excursion, the cruise line does offer excursions to this resort itself.
The women say they were drugged by staff members before being assaulted. Despite the resort denying that the attack happened, the women say that they verified events with the Bahamian police by watching CCTV before returning to the ship.
It’s clear that guests visiting the Bahamas should be extra careful at the moment. If you’re travelling on a third-party shore excursion or wandering the resorts independently, stick to well-known tourist areas and make sure you are vigilant against potential crime.
It may be safer to stick to official cruise line excursions, since you will be chaperoned to your destination. However, as proven by the Pirate’s Cove incident, cruise lines can still offer excursions to venues that may not be safe, so don’t let your guard down completely.
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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.