Barcelona on the Mediterranean. The city is visited by dozens of large cruise ships annually.*
While it’s a much-welcome economic injection for the city and port authorities, it’s also a nice earner for the city’s thieves.
When the cruise ship “Sea Princess” – run by Princess Cruise Lines – berths in Barcelona, the passengers are given an introduction to the city… it’s not about Gaudi, nor the Sagrada Familia… it’s about robbery. Welcome to Barcelona!
It’s very responsible of the cruise company, and we applaud them for taking the time to do this.
You can hear their advice here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW4GwZD5L1s#t=1m14s
We’ve reproduced the text below. The warning goes like this:
“Now, a little bit of advice about Barcelona and the Rambla in particular, which is the main street in Barcelona, pretty much the one street that everybody that goes ashore will at some stage of the day head towards. Now, the one thing that the Rambla has lots of is tourists, and what is it that tourists attract – pickpockets – I just want you to use a little common sense. If you have 10s of thousands of dollars, solid gold Cartier watches, black American Express cards, you have two options, leave them in the cabin safe, or give them to me for safe keeping, and I’ll get them back to you, but the last thing we want anybody to do is to make a donation to the pickpocket society of Barcelona. There are a very small number of them, but unfortunately they do operate when the cruise ships are in. So, a little tip for you, gentlemen don’t wear your wallets in your back pocket, put it in the front pocket, it’s much safer in your front pocket, ladies make sure on your handbags you have your zip tied up at all times. And if anybody does come over and they’re trying to be very very nice and they’re local on the Ramblas, most likely they’re up to something. Oh, and you can’t win the game where they hide the little pea. They try that too. No one ever wins, so don’t take part.”
While the speaker is being jovial about the “tens of thousands of dollars” comment, he’s also being deadly serious… cruise passengers have a nasty habit of carrying a lot of cash around with them (see our story here). They have it with them to spend in the casino on the ship, but they unfortunately often take it into the city and this makes them a target.
*Other ships visiting Barcelona include:
Costa Magica (Costa), Grand Voyager (Iberocruceros), Grand Holiday (Iberocruceros), MSC Fantasia (Mediterranean Shipping Cruise), MSC Splendida (Mediterranean Shipping Cruise), MSC Poesia (Mediterranean Shipping Cruise), Costa Concordia (Costa), Norwegian Jade (Norwegian Cruise Line), Ocean Pearl (Quail Travel), Thomson Celebration (Thomson), Sovereign (Royal Caribbean International), Monarch Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean International), Majesty Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean International) and Ventura (P&O Cruises).