Busted Onboard: Tales of Plunder at Sea

October 2, 2012 | By | 14 Comments

When it comes to the list of what not to do on a cruise ship, you’ve got to think that stealing would be near the top.
So why the heck are stories of onboard thievery so prevalent? We’re not talking the stray towel here or bathrobe there (and no, we’re not advocating lifting linens).

Did you hear the one about the guy who tried to take a Rembrandt — roughly the size of a door! — from a Norwegian ship? When authorities asked him about the painting, which he was trying to casually walk off the ship, he reportedly said he was going to mail it home. He also offered multiple explanations for how the painting, valued at more than $13,000, had come into his possession: he won it from a raffle, got it from an auction, painted it himself. His wife told his lawyer her husband was being medicated for opiate withdrawal and was acting strangely.
Then, there’s the story of the passenger who simply couldn’t help himself — well, maybe he was helping himself to too much — aboard a Royal Caribbean ship. His lawyer said the man “yielded to temptations” when he stole more than $3,000 worth of spa items, then pilfered another passenger’s Sea Pass card, charging $130 worth of cologne to the account.
And finally, how about the elderly woman who ordered a cheese tray every day of her two-week Oceania cruise? Apparently, the woman liked the trays as much as the cheese, because she kept every tray delivered to her room. She might have gotten away with it, too, had she not died in the cruise terminal upon her return to Miami. Not knowing what to do with her luggage, officials kept her bags in their offices. After a few days, the odor emanating from the suitcases alerted them to the larceny.
Have you witnessed theft onboard a cruise ship? What would you do if you saw someone stealing? Where’s the line between a souvenir and stealing? Leave your comments below.
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    14 Responses to “Busted Onboard: Tales of Plunder at Sea”

    1. Tracy
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

      Cheapskate or stealing? Folks who take pictures of the pictures in the Photo Kiosk? Really? Maybe be petty but I think it’s really low to take a picture of a picture that is for sale. Don’t pose for the camera if you aren’t planning on buying the picture.

    2. Betty
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

      Stealing is very low. Especially when all on board are there for a fun vacation & should trust one another but now my eyes are open.If i saw someone staling I would definitely turn them in.They should be prosecuted. In my 16 cruises we’ve never had anything stolen & pray we never do.Some idiots amaze me.
      Looking forward to back to back in Jan. for # 17 & 18.Can’t wait.

    3. monica
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

      Pictures. So many people steal the pictures. The cost of the pic are so high and there are so many to chose from. I’ve seem people of all ages, nationalality’s stealing pictures. Lower the prices for those of us who are not stealing them please.
      Yes, would say something…but it doesn’t do any good. They just go back when your not there.

    4. william
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      It has always been so wonderful to feel free from the worry of anything stolen while on board. I still feel this way and have stories to prove it. But passengers stealing items to take with them has no explanation. I hope the day comes soon when every item on the ship will have some coding to prevent it being stolen! I won’t say the names that I have for those who steal… I am too polite.

    5. Myrna Barron
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Never seen anyone stealing. Definitely would report it. I once had a camera stolen from my bag by the pool. It wasn’t an expensive one, just a little point and shoot (before digital). The camera wasn’t a big loss, but the pictures inside it were important to me.

    6. Carolyn
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

      Don’t understand how anyone can steal photos. On Princess ships the photo paper has an alarm in the paper. When it’s paid for they deactivate it by sliding it across a scanner. If you walk out of that area without paying it goes off.

    7. Donna Cline
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

      I saw security standing at the door waiting for a passenger to come back on ship. They had her on camera stealing an expensive item from the jewellery shop and looked at every person coming back on board. Hope they found her…there was nowhere to hide!

    8. Brian
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

      I try to steal as many memories as I can. They are the most precious things to take back home from a vacation.

    9. Glynice Kilkelly
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

      Perhaps the cruise lines should come up with a different way to display photos. If they don’t have them out for viewing, no one could steal them. This is something corporate needs to trouble shoot. The prices would come down making it more affordable for cruisers to purchase multiple photos. Until then, here’s what we do. We wait until several photos are available, then we select the best one(s).

    10. Elizabeth Schaffer
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

      Glynice, all they would have to do is have some computer kiosks with just the photos loaded. You could then be given a number to look for your name and photos. The number could be assigned to you as you have your photo taken. It is very easy for them to snap one quick photo with that number written on a small dry-erase board, or some such. Printing out all those photos is an incredible waste of money. You could even be offered the opportunity to pay for photoshopping of your pics.

    11. Kate
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

      I laughed reading about the lady with the cheese trays- when my mom died my aunt and uncle found her stash of airline silver ware. Remember when you not only got food but they served it with real utensils? She had a quite a stash from over the years. I tried to get her to stop but to no avail- those little knives forks and spoons always walked off the plane with her…..

      Re the photos. They have a massive mark up – offering photo packages you can buy at the beginning of the trip would reduce people walking off with them.

    12. vincenzo
      October 3rd, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

      NCL stole $ 20 from me, they charged my credit card one week after Hawai cruise. I wrote my complain and they never answered. Too much problem with card company for $ 20 but they will ever have more bussiness with me.
      Also Costa canceled calls on Egypt and Israel, no compensation was ofered, not cancelations, no cruise change.

    13. Priscilla
      October 5th, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

      I also laughed about the lady with the cheese trays. A lot of good it did her! Years ago my husband and I dined at a round table with fellow cruisers we met. I sat directly beside an elderly man and watched him slide silverware under the table to take with him. His lady friend, directing her comment to him, whispered that they really did not need more silverware at home. To which I added “You know they have cameras everywhere in here.” The elderly man looked at me rather shocked and then quietly put the silverware back!

    14. milly
      October 8th, 2012 @ 11:56 am

      we just came back from a cruise on the carnival magic and the whole trip was absolutely amazing……until we got home and found out the Cote d’ Azur watches we bought …were not what we expected…… half of the knobs on the mens watches were “fake” and has no use what so ever,but the time does work on it (as of right now).I feel like this AMAZING Carnival Magic ship let us down by letting them sell these watches on board knowing people will know where they were bought from the CARNIVAL MAGIC.Despite this……we WILL be sailing on this particular ship again in the very near future.

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