Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2024
Travel | 3,710 views

Cruise expert shares ‘very annoying’ cons to avoid falling for | Travel News | Travel

A well-known cruising personality has made her viewers aware of a number of scams typically found in popular ports and how they can avoid them.

Ilana Weigensburg Schattauer runs the YouTube channel Life Well Cruised and regularly makes videos to help tourists get the most enjoyment from their time on board a ship and avoid any common issues.

In a popular video, Ilana discusses some of the most widespread scams that cruise passengers can experience ashore, stating that photo scams are common.

She advised: “Now, I’m calling this the ‘lady with fruit photo scam’, but truthfully it could be any type of photo-taking tourist trap. This can happen in the Mediterranean and other big cities, but it is something we see in some Caribbean ports of call.

“On our last cruise, we saw these ladies with fruit on their head, dressed up in beautiful, colourful costumes, and they were going up to different tourists and basically trying to take photos with them assertively. After that, of course, people are expected to pay them.”

In these types of scams, local residents who are dressed up in costume will ask tourists if they want to take a selfie with them, only to charge an extortionate amount of money afterwards.

Whilst this scam is best known for taking place in the Caribbean, it can also be seen in many popular European cities such as Rome, where the scammers will dress up as Roman fighters and soldiers outside the Colosseum.

In these situations, tourists should either walk away from the scammers before any photos can be taken in order to avoid potentially losing out on hundreds of pounds.

Later in the video, Ilana also suggested that tourists should be mindful about where they buy their souvenirs, with some markets in Mexican ports selling fake vanilla.

She added: “I’ve seen this mentioned several times on several cruise Facebook groups where people have said they purchased fake vanilla. I guess the idea is that some of the vanilla bottles are filled with something other than real vanilla, and obviously, nobody wants that.

“My guess is, if you are purchasing vanilla in the shops right around the cruise port and within the terminal gates, that is probably a safe place to purchase it. If you’re purchasing it in a market or off on a side road, I think that probably just isn’t the best idea.”

Finally, the YouTuber advised tourists to walk away from scammers who attempt to ‘sell’ them a sunhat by putting it on their heads.

She continued: “I found this one particularly annoying. From the moment that we got off our bus in our cruise port of call, we were inundated with people trying to put these sunhats on our heads and it’s very annoying.

“It’s not dangerous, so what I can say if you do encounter this is just a ‘no, thank you’ that is pretty firm. Just walk quickly, go where you want to go and don’t engage in conversation.”

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