A victim of the recent spate of crimes targeting tourists in Nassau wants cruise lines to take Nassau off their itineraries until the Bahamas does something about it.
Travel writer Carly Milne was one of 18 cruisers robbed at gunpoint in two separate incidents on the same day while on Segway tours in Nassau two weeks ago.
In response to the incidents, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham pledged to increase police patrols on foot and car in the tourist sectors.
Milne said that on the day her group was held up, she met a woman at the Nassau police station whose husband had been robbed in the local shopping district. Later, Milne read an article that said another man was robbed of his wallet that day.
“We were repeatedly assured by police that this never happens, and yet 21 people were victims of aggravated theft in one day, each in busy tourist areas that are supposedly safe,” she said.
Another crime she read about was an October robbery of 11 Carnival Cruise Lines passengers near Nassau's Queen’s Staircase attraction, also at gunpoint, which Milne said sounded “chillingly similar” to what happened to her group.
After learning that these crimes were not isolated incidents, Milne thinks that as long as cruise ships continue to call in Nassau, the local authorities will not do anything to make it safer.
“As I walked with our group from the cruise ship to the taxi through a little of the shopping area, I saw no security presence,” she said. “As we drove through town on the way to the Segway tour, nothing. And at the tour itself, zero police -- at least, not until five minutes after we were violently robbed.”
She thinks the authorities might only take the incidents seriously if “the tourism industry is severely impacted. Right now, the cruise ships and their clientele have the ability to affect change. I sincerely hope they do so.”
While Milne decline to identify which ship she was on, she had nothing but praise for the cruise line.
“Within the hour of hearing what myself and the other passengers had experienced, they removed the Segway excursion from their website and contacted people who had booked that excursion to offer them another option or refund their money,” she said.
“They also took great strides to ensure our comfort upon return to the ship, to the point where we felt like we were home with family. … It made a traumatizing experience a little less traumatizing.”