If you're just as fascinated by the surrounding land as you are the luxuries of the cruise ship, you're bound to eagerly wander away from the boat as soon as it docks. Off-boat excursions can be the best way to explore ports, but remember that you're still in a foreign place, where it's important to keep your wits about you.
Keep these safety tips in mind as you wander beyond the cruise ship:
Save yourself from getting lost
As soon as you step off the ship, drop a pin on your smartphone maps. That way, no matter where you end up, you'll always have the location of where you need to get back to. If you do get lost, don't panic! Take note of an iconic landmark to use as a point of reference. When in doubt, walk down hill and towards the waterfront. Once you reach the sea, it should be easy to spot the ship. Even if you're phone has enough service to guide you with Google maps, you may want to carry a traditional paper version just in case.
Use the buddy system
When possible, avoid traveling alone. It's always better that someone knows where you are, and it's much easier to deal with potential accidents or find your way back to the ship with someone else's help.
Think of your cabin as your safe
With the abundance of tourists, cruise ports and stopovers tend to be prime locations for muggers and robbers to snatch away priceless belongings. In the excitement of your explorations, you may also find yourself to privy to accidental forgetfulness. As such, it's always a good idea to leave valuables in your cabin to prevent them from being lost or stolen. The same goes for cash and credit cards. Only take what you think you'll need, leaving the rest safely behind. You may also want to carry a copy of your passport rather than the original.
Wander within reason
In some cases, staying on the beaten path is beneficial for your safety. While the less touristy areas are tempting, try to avoid straying too far from the ship. This is especially important if you have limited time before the ship departs, as you'll want to allow yourself ample time to get back.
Avoid attracting unwanted attention
While we like to believe most locals won't pick on tourists, there are some who take advantage of potential ignorance. That's why it's important to avoid the telltale signs, such as fanny packs, large cameras or selfie sticks. Unfortunately, they can make you stand out as an easy target.
Stay alert - but have fun!
While it's important to keep your health and safety in mind while exploring beyond the cruise ship, try not to let worry or fear get in the way of your excursions. Soak up the local sights, flavors and culture while using common sense, staying aware of your surroundings and keeping these safety tips in mind.