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“Many, including U.S. Admiral James Stavridis (ret), have expressed grave concern for the obvious vulnerability of cruise-ship crew and passengers, herded together in a small space, isolated far from any kind of help in some remote corner of a vast ocean,” John Farnam writes at

A dozen heavily-armed ISIS terrorists can easily board and take-over most cruise ships, with scant interference from the crew and none from passengers. Escape will be all but impossible, and rescue will be grievously arduous and dangerous.

Not like it hasn’t happened before. In 1985, four terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Organization boarded the Achille Lauro cruise ship, shot wheelchair-bound Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer point blank and tossed him into the sea.

So no cruise ships for me and mine, thanks. A simple case of avoiding stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things? More like “avoid places where stupid people have disarmed everyone, except those that won’t be disarmed, who may want to kill you.”

Big cities, stadium events, darkened parking garages, strip cubs, Mexico, MMA fights — what do you consider a stupid place that needs avoiding?

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  1. Not to mention being kidnapped off of one of these cruise ships buy a employ of the cruise line that is operating out of these remote destinations. They basically gaffel you up usually females young and put you in a duffel bag and take you off the boat when it hits in one of these remote island destinations. Then they sell you into sex trafficking trade. Stay away from cruise ships they are a nightmare no security whatsoever on board. And this from someone that has taken multiple cruises all over. If anything bad occurs on board a cruise ship involving armed Pirates or terrorist you are sitting ducks in the water. There is no security response team on board any of those ships there are no firearms no one is armed it is a nightmare waiting to happen. Not to mention the one young lady that got kidnapped off a cruise ship in the Caribbean and was never seen again except for illicit ads with her being sold for prostitution. I wish I could remember the girl’s name but if you Google it it will come up her parents have a huge website still set up to this day to locate their daughter that’s been missing for over 10 years now I believe. There is no cruise ship Security on board they can detain you until they make it to a port and hand you over to the authorities there but if something goes off during the actual ship going from port to port you’re on your own.

    • I can’t say cruise ships are high on my list to avoid. But one thing is for sure, I have not, nor will I ever set foot in a Buffalo Wild Wings until they ditch their sitting duck rich gun free zone policy

      • Every BWW’s I’ve ever been to that “policy” is pretty soft. As in I didn’t know it existed and have been there while carrying on more than one occasion.

      • Utah baby. “Gun Free Zones” aren’t legally enforced. Only trespassing if they asked you to leave. BWW can eat as many bags of dicks they’d like, I’ll still carry there

    • What would be the minimal security force to prevent a hijacking? Some good radar, 24 hour monitoring of the radar, and maybe 20 always-on-call crew who are cross-trained to handle fully automatic rifles with night vision?

      That doesn’t sound prohibitively expensive.

      • The huge difficulty is gun-control in most countries that are ports-of-call. US law is only slightly problematic; but, almost all other countries make life nearly impossible for ships entering their waters. They could change their policies; but, they won’t.

        It occurs to me that this is one place to start; not that it would be easy. Gun people could boycott the cruse lines until they get “on-board” with arming themselves; and, otherwise beefing up security. To do that, they would have to get together and undertake a boycott of countries that make it difficult for them to bear arms in their national waters.

        Acquiesce by the several countries is not far-fetched. They are really only concerned about guns on-shore; guns on-ship are merely incidental. Most of these countries already has some provision for ships entering their national waters to bear arms; they merely have to make the protocols less onerous. Generally, such provisions involve declaring the arms carried and keeping them locked on-board in a suitable “arms chest”. Presently, the protocol is so onerous that no ship will follow it; so, no commercial ship will carry arms. With enough pressure – loss of cruse-ship patronage – these countries could quietly relax their protocols to the level of an incidental formality (declaration, applying a seal on the arms chest).

        I suspect that a second impediment is insurance company policy. E.g., perhaps Lloyds of London uniformly resists underwriting ships that bear arms. Even so, Lloyds isn’t the only game in town. Insurance companies in friendlier precincts (e.g., America) ought to be willing to underwrite arms-bearing cruse ships.

      • Major headaches for such a idea. Same reason merchant ships in general are unarmed. International rules on arms, liability, flags of convenience, mostly international crews, Etc. The bigger worry is internal security. Theft, drunken fights, sex assualt, and the odd man overboard are more a worry than ISIS. A news report this week said that kids being assaulted is a major industry cover up.

      • I’m no expert but I believe the majority of pirates are not formidable. Give the crew some pump action marine grade shotguns and some rudimentary training and I have to believe a lot of pirates would shift markets.

        I once read an account in readers digest of two private sailboats manned by two retired couples repelling a pirate attack with one shotgun between them. You just have to be tougher than the next guy, not tougher than the pirates.

    • Also, they will drug you, steal your kidneys, and leave you naked in a tub filled with ice-water. Then there’s the anal probing thing, and the mind-rays that they use to make you buy worthless souvenirs and trinkets.

  2. Terrorism is last on my list of reasons for avoiding cruises. Break downs, illness outbreaks and crews that abandon ship and leave their passengers to their fates in an emergency are much more likely.

    The ship that wound up on the rocks on its side cause the captain was trying to impress a ho? How many died in that mess. And isis was no where around.

    • Not to mention YOUR lack of money for a ticket.

      For me – I can’t get enough of big-time cruising. Don’t much care where the big boats are going – I’m heading for the buffet!
      And the casino
      And the shows
      And the view
      And the sea
      And the music
      And the movies
      And the bingo
      And the games
      And the trinket shops
      And the tours
      And the restaurants

      • I really really enjoy maybe 10% of the things on your list, and can tolerate another 20% for a good reason.

        Given that, I’d rather travel as a solo tourist and be on my own schedule, than an ocean going cruise.

        To each his own.

      • It seems in really bad taste to immediately assume someone’s lack of desire to do something is because of lack of money.

      • The most boring vacations on the planet. They never stop anywhere long enough to do anything except spend money on their “excursions”, which to me were universally wastes of money.

        If you want to not think, they’re great. But I could stay home on the couch watching TV for that. For me– a tour book, a rental car, and a ticket home in a week. When you do that off-season in Italy, and get away from the top-twenty tourist spots, you REALLY _are_ family. With apologies (sort-of) to “Olive Garden”. Experiences are what make up life, and the ones on a cruise are just deadly boring. I could tell you about the uncle with the cows making the cheese, the tour of their vineyard, the kids running around at dinner where we ate with the family… or I could tell you about the cruise ship buffet. With limited time and money to travel, you take your pick of what you want to remember, and Carnival ain’t it for me.

  3. Have a cruise planned for my family. Screw terrorists. The day I change my life for the threat of terrorists is the day they win.

    • ^^this^^
      I take in at least one Mariners game every summer. Fantastic park and great food. (The garlic fries are to die for).
      I go there knowing my gat stays in the hotel room.

    • Crammed into an overpriced floating Super8 with a 1000 other suckers. and with other drawbacks mentioned. Neat

      You want to go afloat, take the Alaska State Ferry system – tent on the rear/stern deck

    • The threat of terrorists is just one example of the larger problems with cruise ships: they won’t let you defend yourself but they won’t lift a finger to defend you, either.

      • …and the only one germane to the topic at hand.

        There may be a plethora of other, valid reasons to avoid cruises*, but the threat of terrorists isn’t one for me.

        * Some people hate them, and others swear by them. We’re going to evaluate for ourselves, after a first-hand experience with a cruise hosted by the Mouse.

    • I’ve only been on one cruise. Took Windstar to the Greek Islands last year. Had a great time.
      I put a diving knife and a dozen mini bottles of rum in my luggage, both prohibited, but they didn’t confiscate either. I carried the knife around Athens and other places.
      I didn’t buy the alcohol package so when my personal stash ran out, I spent $400 drinking. I won $600 at the Blackjack table so I came out ahead.
      Also won a bottle of wine at trivia and another bottle for winning a Cornhole tournament. The couple we beat in the final live 5 miles from me but we didn’t know them before the cruise. Small world.

  4. Any underground sporting event. Non sanctioned MMA type events in industrial parks with last minute directions, dog fighting, illegal gambling houses, prostitution houses, rowdy strip clubs. Rave parties or rap events regular auditoriums or especially industrial sites.

    If you are not comfortable, don’t go in or leave if already inside. When you see groups bunching together (usually gangs getting ready just in case). It may not kick off, but it is a great time to leave when you see that.

    Things can be all peace, love, groovey and then explode in seconds – not to mention LE getting into the mix, like at Twin Peaks.

    • Oddly, biker bars are not on my no-go. I just figure everybody is armed and that therefore everybody will be polite. I know which colors to look for, though, and will find another place quickly if it’s a “problem” club, like Iron Order.

    • The Twin Peaks thing was pretty much caused by the LE. The civil suits around it are massive. They’re just being delayed because the DA won’t go forward with the criminal charges because not going forward with the criminal charges delays the civil claims.

        • With bail at one million a head.

          Just bailing yourself out will cost you $100,000.

          That’s the real crime in my book. I hope they sue them flat-footed…

        • That’s one of the issues that is being sued on. It’s a constitutional issue. There were some serious shenanigans with the way bail was set.

  5. Any “gun free” zone with metal detectors to enforce the disarmament is a no go for me. I otherwise ignore all signs. A location/organization is not serious about “gun free” zones unless they subject evryone to strip searches and passing them through a metal detector or wand.

    • Exactly! If I have to pass through a metal detector I don’t need to be there. My gun stays on me 24/7 no mater what. Even when swimming. My families safety is far more important than some pansies fear of guns.

      • Jake, I’m curious how you manage to sleep wearing a gun, much less swim. Just can’t imagine how it would work. But good on you if you can manage it. 🙂

        • Lol , I have slept several times with a pocket pistol In my pajamas but to clarify I do always have one of my carry guns within a foot or so on the nightstand. When at the pool I wear trunks that have a zipperd pocket and carry a small .380 with good ammo. When I get home I just take it completely apart and dry it out. If I’m fishing I usually carry one of my Glocks and just use the ammo from that day on my next range trip if it gets wet. For normal everyday carry I always have either a G26 or G19.

      • That’s how I feel about it too. If they need a metal detector and they’re not the airport or the courthouse, then they must attract a crowd with which to I do not want to be associated.

  6. I take a gun everywhere I go. Depending on how I dress and the location. Full size gun 15 rounds down to a pocket 22.

  7. I’m lucky in that none of these things have ever appealed to me. Concerts, movie theaters, sporting arenas, cruise ships, shopping malls…. basically anywhere where I’m shoulder to shoulder with people and confined by walls or, in the case of cruise ships, the ocean. Rather than feeling I may be missing out I feel pissed and irritated should someone try to surprise me with tickets to a thing or drag me along on their trip to some game.

    Solo or with a handful of friends on the water is awesome but the thought of being with a bunch of jackass randos trapped on a floating barge of disease makes me sick enough to shit my pants.

    The one exception I may one day make is a working trans-Atlantic cruise on a tall ship.

  8. Wal-Mart. Check out the crime stats on that place. Our location had 1,297 police calls last year. #1 place for assaults, parking lot robberies.

  9. I won’t go to Golden Corral anymore. But not because of guns…

    That was the worst case of the runs I think I’ve ever had.

    • LOL. And the same for me and mickeyd’s and subway. Mcdonalds made me so sick I would have had to improve before I could die.

  10. I’ve never enjoyed being in any crowd, even the Boy Scout event I attended 40 years ago. Around 400 scouts and another 100 assorted adults, and I was itching to go home the minute we got there.

    Currently, I don’t willingly go to the city just 80 miles away because of too many people… strangers. Even though I’m fully armed, and know that a great many others are as well, it’s just not something I’m comfortable with.

    I’ve zero desire to go on a ship, for any reason. Armed or not. The “terrorists” are not a factor.

  11. Mexico,Chiraq,New York,Washington DC, anywhere on the left coast. I’ve been to Central America and felt safer than I have in some of the cities in the United States. As for cruises not on your life. Who in their right mind wants to be cooped up with thousands of other people on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Give me the jungle and rain forests any day. I’d rather be in the wild where I can do pretty much as I please. While animals can be dangerous they aren’t devious like people. They aren’t as annoying either,

    • Tijuana is statistically less lethal than some parts of Los Angeles (where is the real Third World?). You are right to stay out of some Left Coast big cities. That said, most places are safe.

  12. I don’t have no-go places, I have no-go people. If stupid people are there, I’d prefer to go elsewhere. Carrying a gun doesn’t make a no-go into a go.

  13. No cruise ships – I saw enough of the oceans courtesy of the United States Navy.

    I never go to convenience stores. Ever.

    I try not to go to gas stations at night in or near major metropolitan cities. I used to stop and fill up the rental cars before returning them to Hertz, Avis, or wherever. Now, I pay for a tank up front, get a good rate, and the difference is refunded when I return the vehicle.

  14. My no-go locations include:
    — cruise ships
    — most foreign countries (especially Mexico)
    — Chicago and Washington D.C. !!!!!
    — California and Hawaii
    — Maryland, New Jersey, New York
    — Large, crowded, and disarmed venues

    That about covers it.

    The sad thing is, I would love to vacation in California, Hawaii, and especially Mexico. The risk isn’t worth it.

    • At some point you have to lie your life. Never felt uncomfortable in Hawaii on 3 of the islands, but like anywhere you just have to avoid the bad parts. Bad things can and do happen everywhere, but statistically happen in fairly predictable locations. Cruise ships are similarly pretty comfortable, however I can’t say the same thing for many of the ports of call. Sticking with groups helps, individuals make easier targets.

      Hell some of the more paranoid people travel to Israel too… Never understood that either. A gun isn’t some magical talisman, being aware of your surroundings and willing to fight is half the battle anyways. Realize in many of these crowded locations there are plenty of sheep that sympathize with the wolves or simply don’t feel they can do anything about it either way.

      That being said, national reciprocity would certainly help travel within the states.

      • Funny you mention Hawaii. Just last week the Justice Channel had show about the drug trade there. While violent crime is low, property crime is very high due to the Meth & other drug users. The drug dealers are not even armed there. And thanks to the location, the prices are double the mainland.

  15. Most of the middle east. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE and as a bonus Turkey. I felt safer in India and Uganda. Saudi Arabia was the CREEPIEST place that I have ever visited.

    • In Saudi I had little fear of “criminals”, very harsh punishment applied promptly kept “crime” low.

      On the other hand I was very careful and avoided any contact with government officials and then there were the religious leaders. They just plain do not like non Saudis and obvious westerners in particular. Nothing good could could come out of contact with a religious leader.

      I lived in the Middle East for six years, 77-83. Would not go to any muslim country now, including most of Europe.

      I went on a several “cruises” with a few thousand of my best Marine Corps friends, usually going someplace I would rather not go, and when we got there they threw me over the side and left me on the beach. Sometimes they came back for us. So, no more cruises for me.

      Any area controlled by the left wing of American politics. More and more they are becoming a free fire zone.

      Ignore “fire arms not allowed” signs unless it is enforced with metal detectors.

      The growing sections of the big cities that are infested by drug gangs where they tend to shoot up everyone in the area during their gang wars.

      The list grows as we speak…..

  16. I love how some “religious” folks think that it’s a sin to have a gun in the House of God. Especially Baptist. I’m a Christian and every time me and my family go to Church myself and the wife both are armed to the teeth as we would be anywhere else. The sheep mindset doesn’t only apply to members of the far left.

    • Some years ago when I went for my LEOSA requalification the instructor told us to carry to church because several “yutes” had done an armed robbery of an entire church congregation in our jurisdiction just a few weeks before.

    • I went to church in Louisiana on a family vacation. My mom told me to bring my gun. I did. Turns out it was a felony at the time (it’s might be a misdemeanor now, depending on the church’s policy).

  17. Western European countries for me. I’d go to Poland or the Czech Republic if I wanted to go to Europe.

  18. Wall St. You’ll be fleeced, finagled, and frottaged every time.

    Also Atlanta when the Legislature’s sitting. Lock up your daughter, hide your wallet, sleep on your back….

  19. Anywhere I have to be disarmed except Disney World. There are some things sewn into the bottom of my pack (which is hand checked, not passed through the metal detector) which does not mean I’m disarmed.

  20. My main concern is from folks who don’t belong to any political/religious groups. It’s the main stream bad guys you’ll find in any venue.

    I don’t like bars or other places where trouble is likely to develop.

    A cruise ship will be on my agenda, some day. I do worry about Norovirus.

    Concerts, theme parks, etc. are all fair game in my book. If I can’t carry my firearm I’ll have to depend upon my LPCs (leather personnel carriers).

  21. I refuse to live in fear. Use common sense of course, but I’m gonna take cruises and go to movies etc… and enjoy life. It just wouldn’t be worth living any other way for me.YMMV.

  22. Curious if anyone has any first-hand knowledge regarding cruise ship security from an inside perspective. The ships I’ve been on had at least the appearance of some perimeter security – metal detectors and bag X-ray at all ports of call, and I remember reading that the cruise lines liked to recruit from prior service military for their security personnel. One line even had a number of former Ghurkas. No idea what kind of small arms they may have aboard.

    • You mentioned perimeter security, but there have apparently been instances of crew members participating in the abduction/victimization of passengers.

  23. “No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.”

    -Samuel Johnson

  24. Any place where BLM is in abundance, I am not. I also stay away from Klan rallies, state and Federal prisons, Evergreen State College and Village People concerts.

  25. Cruise ships are definitely on there. Not just because of terrorists, though. Cruise ship companies set up their registration and businesses in a particular way to avoid having to take responsibility for almost anything.

  26. There are over 20 million cruse ship passengers per year. That’s 20 million. How many people are killed or kidnapped? Relatively few. How many ships are hijacked by terrorist. None since 1985. Yeah, it could happen but it would certainly not be a reason for me not going on a cruise ship. It reminds me of what Lincoln said when he was warned about walking alone around the capitol.

    “If I am killed I can die but once, but to live in constant dread is to die over and over again.”

    It seems there are lot of people living in dread.

  27. Many of my no go places are other people’s no go places, but my reasons have nothing to do with fear of random violence.

    Not America. They have weird and unfamiliar laws there. To is too easy to be an accidental felon in a country where it is literally my job to know the laws (see post above where I accidentally committed a felony).

    Movie theaters. Too loud; TV’s are huge these days; I don’t have to carefully time when I need to pee or worse; if there are screaming children at my house, I like them and can yell at them and their parents; and concessions are a rip off.

    Sporting events. I just don’t care and concessions are a rip off.

    Places with rap and/or smoking. I don’t like either.

    90% of all retail establishments. Every Amazon purchase I make comes to my house and causes a donation to a 2A advocacy group. (AmazonSmile let’s you pick a charity and donates .5% of the purchase price to your org).

  28. On top public transportation (no difference between bus and trains) but cruise ships is an very good argument too.

    Not so public but an “no gun zone” ………..

    Other places on federal level

    1.) Corpsland
    2.) Post Office
    3.) Greyhound Bus and Aimtrack (it s payed from tax so it “s an public transport too)
    4.) Inside 1000 Feet around an School white out state issued permit (unconstitunal but on paper)
    5.) Red Rock Canyon
    6.) Buildings in Staepark

    • In Denver, carry is allowed on public transit. However, to change trains at Union Station you must cross Amtrak property. So you can carry on the train, and in HALF of the station, but you can’t cross the station to the next train, where you can carry.
      Security is too busy keeping homeless guys from peeing in the corner to bother me, though.
      There’s another place I go reularly that has a security guard at the entrance. They have NEVER seen my wonder 9 IWB. Some guard…

  29. Convenience Stores after 10:00 pm
    Go 8: 00 am Monday to fill up gas tank & get a breakfast tacos.

    Retired now so don’t have deal with rush hour traffic anymore

  30. Enclosed spaces with hundreds or thousands of other people meet my definition of torture pretty easily. Cruise ships, planes, trains, etc. are no go zones for me. Same applies to major metropolitan areas.

  31. Anywhere that I can’t take a firearm. Usually places with metal detectors and screening personnel with wands and such. That includes airline travel. If I have to go somewhere, I drive. My transportation, my comforts, my everything. Sitting an inch away from someone I don’t know at all, who possibly smells bad, and could possibly annoy the shit out of me, sounds like a terrible thing to pay for.

    The only exception I’ve made is the theme park. I’m a roller coaster junkie, and I’ve figured out other items to take in that won’t fall out of a double loop.

  32. Hmmm…somehow missed this thread. When younger I had few “no go” places. Now anywhere I have no way to defend me and mine. I have to say a LOT of you guys sound like total wussies. Damn I’ve been in every freakin’ hood in Chicago-unarmed too. Girlboys…

    • i predict you will make an equally offensive remark in reference to comic con/ cosplay attendees in the near future.
      keep up the good work.

  33. International Soccer and some NFL games. The world of Soccer hooligans has become a whole underground Fight Club thing. Russian guys are actually planning full on combat vs Brits, French, Irish and German hooligans next World Cup. As for the NFL? Avoid Jets and Giants games.

    • trivia bit: the nfl stadiums at oakland and philadelphia are the only two that house a brig of some sort. maybe.

  34. If cruise ships were that juicy of a target, it would happen a whole lot more than it has. Having said that’ I’ve been on one small boat cruise from Turkey to Greece via the Aegean that was wonderful but I dont care if I ever go on another cruise. The only interesting/entertaining part of the experience for me was all the historical and archaeological sites we visited everyday for 10 days. As to movie theaters, I dont really understand how they still exist in todays technological wired in society. I guess just for date night. If I never set foot in another movie theater it wont be too soon and it’s not because of being a target rich environment, it because people young and old (the geriatrics are worse than the teenagers) dont know how to act in public anymore.

  35. I live two blocks from Detroit, which serves as kind of a baseline for me: if you don’t met the minimal standards set by civilization in Detroit, such as it is, then I don’t want to go there.

    Sorry, New Jersey.

  36. So the consensus here at TTAG is that we should all sit in our bunkers clutching our AR’s with constant situational awareness to facilitate going full operator at a moment’s notice?

  37. my wife refers to cruise ships as floating petri dishes; i’d never get her on one. but she visits istanbul (not constantinople) and hasn’t been blown up yet. i figure it’s better odds than the lotto.
    did an overnight cruise out of helsinki years back. i’m still pining for the fjords.
    can’t say there is anywhere i wouldn’t go other than a dnc convention. and this bar on clark street called jackhammer. yeah, not goin’ there.
    nepal is the best. visit the chitwan forest and ride elephants out into the tall (10ft) grass.

    • “I figure it’s better odds than the lotto.” Yeah, but I’d really rather be on slim chance side of winning the lottery than the slim chance side of being blown up. Heck, I’d rather be on the “bad” side of the lotto equation than on the bad side of the blown up equation.


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