British Cruise Ship Dodges Pirates in Indian Ocean
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I sailed aboard Costa Allegra in April 2010 from Singapore to Savona via the Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden......basically all of the apparently dodgy spots in that region.
We were chased by irate fishermen many times, we narrowly missed an earthquake in Sumatra by less than 12 hours, we experienced a tsunami warning....
On board were extra security guards drafted in from other Costa ships who patrolled the outer decks in pairs 24/7 from Medan in Sumatra til we entered Safaga in Egypt. We called in to Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Yemen. We had full lights out at night on the outer deck areas (but we were able to walk there if we wished - and tbh it was amazing to see the stars without glare from the usual high level of lighting, we had instructions as to what to do should anything untoward happen - which it did not.
Did I feel unsafe? Absolutely never.
Would I cruise in the region again? Absolutely without any hesitation.
The cruise lines know what they are doing, they only need to get on the radio if they get suspicious and one or more ship from the international naval force will come to them in a matter of hours. We were in convoy with oil tankers & containerships...though at a very discreet distance, they were in sight on the horizon.
When we were chased by fishermen it was off Sri Lanka & India, and mainly due to them casting their nets in the shipping lane and we running the nets over. The skiffs were pretty quick, but Allegra was quicker.
We had a picture window shatter in the lounge/bar on the stern...rumours quickly spread that it was a fishing boat crew...but they were quickly squished as it was broken from the inside, not outside.
The only cruise line that so far has been attacked due to stupidity is MSC and the Melody. It was a topic of conversation aboard Allegra...how MSC had put on the internet & in the media that the ship would be taking a different course to planned and where it would be on a given day. A written invite, if you like, to come to the party.
Costa & AIDA have ships out there now and they have them out there every winter....and in all probability that is where I will be in spring 2012 on another repositioning cruise from that region to Europe. The countries are wonderful, the people are welcoming, the culture & history is quite incredible to experience.
Would I have a minority stop me travelling there? Not on your life. While the cruise lines still visit these places, I will be going too. The moment I get scared to travel, will be the day I book myself into an old fogies home.