Livorno, Italy - Cruise 2

Trip Start Jun 12, 2008
Trip End Aug 25, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, June 28, 2008

This morning in Livorno looked promising, I worked in the library until 10:30...covered the kid's club during an all ship drill...went back to my cabin after lunch to get off the ship and wander around in Livorno...packed up my backpack and cameras and wallet.  I looked everywhere for it and couldn't find it.  I went on the internet and checked my banking sites and no unusual transactions there...called American Express and strangely enough I had managed to charge over $400.00 while at sea...uh oh.  Yep, I met up in Barcelona with one of their notorious pickpocket schemers and after I realized what happened to my wallet can absolutely pinpoint the exact scenario of where and when it happened.  So I now have no driver's license, money or credit cards, but not to worry.  I do have an international cell phone so I called my sister and together we managed to deal with all of the bank accounts and credit card companies except for 2.  One checking account has only $25 in it and the other account has no international access number that I could succesfully dial, but all the other cards and companies were quick to switch my accounts and shut down the cards and even reassure me that I would be in no way liable for any fraudulent charges.  It pays to "Discover" the card that pays you back :) and have AmEx on my side.  Also, because I just moved I needed new checks and a new license anyways (my driver's license is from 3 addresses ago as it was) so if it had to happen it was perfect timing.  Pickpocketing is also different than a mugging, there is no physical threat involved.  If I hadn't looked for my wallet to go off the ship yesterday I wouldn't have even realized for a long time what had happened.
Thankfully my bank is express shipping me a new VISA card so I'll have access to money and I do work on a floating hotel where the paychecks come from onboard the vessel, so I'm fine in every best way.  Please be assured, I am totally FINE.  Thankfully I had had my sister added to my checking account as a joint account holder 2 summer's ago so she was able to walk into a local branch and deal with the matter and then by cell phone from Italy I was able to verify my identity and have them close out everything to a new account.

What is the moral of this tale - stuff happens.  When it does how will you choose to handle it?  Freak out and make yourself miserable and those around you equally so or deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible and move on?  I choose the latter.  Will I ever go off the ship again in Barcelona?  Absolutely.  Will I even frequent the same area of notorious pickpocketers (i.e. tourist heavy area) there?  Absolutely, but I will go about it differently, because if I didn't then it would be my fault for not learning from my mistake.  

So I did not get off the ship yesterday as I had no readily available funds and shuttles cost at least a Euro.  So I spent the afternoon chillin' on the ship and then going back to work in the evening and late night.
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tlbuster on

Re: Pickpocket details
Thanks for the kind words. I was pickpocketed at a McDonald's off of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, a major pickpocketing area. I was sitting eating when two gentlemen with coffee and newspapers sat at the table directly next to mine (bench seat on one side, individual seats on the other side) even though there were two empty tables next to me. After a few minutes the gentleman on my side of the table dropped a bunch of coins on the bench and apologized profusely and was collecting them back up. This was the distraction technique after picking the wallet from my backpack which was directly next to him. I realized it a couple days later when I went to use my wallet in Italy. They managed to charge over $1000 on the cards in total, but thankfully I got it all back.

Brenda Hall on

Have enjoyed your entries as my husband and myself are cruising W Med in Oct. I have also been pickpocketed once when I was in Rome but realised within about 15 mins

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