Cruising is supposed to be a fun, carefree, and relaxing type of vacation. Unfortunately, there are times when cruising is far from the ideal getaway that consumers envision. Whether it’s because of unfavorable weather conditions, a cruise ship accident, or cancelled port calls, there are numerous times when a cruise can become more of a nightmare than a vacation.
If you’re planning on sailing aboard a cruise ship anytime soon, avoid these three common mistakes that passengers often make so you can prevent an unpleasant experience as well as a serious accident or crime.
- Horseplay. Clowning around on a cruise ship is one of the riskiest things passengers can do – and a surefire way to land in the ship’s infirmary. While on a vessel, refrain from any “dare devil” types of antics, such as climbing over railings, diving head first into a ship’s pool, or sliding down staircase banisters. We can’t tell you how many times passengers have suffered serious and even fatal injuries because they decided to “show off” to their travel mates and fellow passengers. If you’d rather spend your time enjoying your trip, as opposed to recovering in a clinic or hospital bed from injuries, leave the antics to the cruise line’s entertainment professionals and err on the side of prudence.
- Over-indulging in alcohol. For many passengers, cruising and booze go hand in hand. Sure, it’s nice to enjoy a refreshing cocktail poolside or at one of a ship’s bars. However, cruise lines derive the majority of their onboard revenue from alcohol sales and are counting on passengers to purchase as much alcohol as possible. Don’t expect a cruise ship bartender to cut you off. Alcohol is one of the main factors that threaten cruise ship safety. Ultimately, it’s the passenger’s responsibility to ensure they don’t exceed their limit when it comes to alcohol consumption. It’s easy to go a little overboard with alcohol while on a cruise vacation, but remember, alcohol lowers inhibitions, mobility, and reaction time. It can lead passengers to make careless mistakes, such as leaving drinks unattended (which can make it easy for someone to spike), allowing strangers into one’s stateroom, and can also lead to serious injuries. Try to limit your alcohol intake while sailing, and if you feel as though you might not be able to, assign someone in your party to be the “designated cruiser” so they can look after you if you’ve had one too many drinks.
- Venturing out on your own. Though there are hundreds of people who enjoy vacationing alone, the fact of the matter is that cruise lines tend to visit areas that are less than safe. Travel Warnings have been issued in several Caribbean destinations, where the rate of tourist crimes has risen to concerning levels. As the popular saying goes, there’s always safety in numbers – or at least a greater degree of safety. Try to cruise with at least one other person, or more if possible. Assailants are much less likely to target travelers in groups. If you do find yourself cruising solo, avoid areas on the ship that are isolated. While in port, steer clear from areas that are deemed risky or unsafe by the cruise line or Travel Warning reports. Tip: areas closer to port are generally considered less dangerous. Criminals are more likely to strike deeper into town or in areas where traffic is low.
Though cruise ship accidents often happen while on the high seas or in port, your chances of getting hurt on your next cruise can be drastically lowered by avoiding these three mistakes.