The holidays are an exciting time, both for solo travelers and those with families. During the late December and early January weeks, many choose to take time off from work and head off on a vacation. And, one of the most popular types of vacations is cruising.
Cruise vacations can be especially rewarding because not only are several expenses already included, like dining and entertainment, but also, cruising allows vacationers – especially those living in colder areas – the opportunity to escape to a tropical, warm, and exotic destination. Cruisers also don’t have to worry about paying separate fees for hotel stays, nor have to stress about spending extra costs on gas or highway tolls. With so much to enjoy for people of all ages, it’s easy to understand why so many opt for a cruise vacation instead of a traditional, land-based holiday getaway.
However, cruising isn’t always fun and games. As cruise ship accident lawyers, we know, unfortunately, just how dangerous embarking on a cruise vacation can be – especially a holiday cruise, when vessels tend to be filled to capacity. For that reason, we’ve taken the time to outline four simple tips that can help you stay as safe as possible.
- Pack a first aid kit – Though some cruise ships these days are more akin to floating cities than actual vessels, passengers may be surprised to learn that medical services are basic – at best. You may be able to find general, over-the-counter medications on board, but when it comes to obtaining treatment for more complex medical conditions and serious cruise ship injuries, a ship’s medical facility is limited. Even if you are able to obtain a particular medication or treatment for wounds, you may end up spending an arm and a leg. To avoid finding yourself stranded at sea without medicines or injury care materials, it’s a good idea to pack a first aid kit filled with things like bandages, gauze, pain relievers, and other important medications you or your loved ones are currently taking.
- Refrain from taking valuables ashore – While the idea of cruising to new and possibly remote locations can be appealing, many of the destinations featured on cruise itineraries can be dangerous. Some areas are wrought with crime, and locals can easily spot tourists whom they will assume are carrying valuables. To prevent becoming the victim of a robbery, we suggest leaving your most expensive possessions on board, including jewelry, designer sunglasses or purses, high-tech electronics, and other items that are of value. Instead of cash, consider bringing traveler’s checks that can easily be replaced. You may also want to invest in an inexpensive disposable camera.
- Employ the “buddy system” – For many, one of the best aspects of cruising is the chance to meet new people and socialize. Unfortunately, there are times when socializing can lead to hazardous and potentially life-threatening incidents. Just as crimes can take place ashore, passengers can also become the victims of aggravated assault, theft, and cruise ship rape while aboard a vessel. To reduce your chances of getting hurt, try to have at least one other travel partner with you at all times. Let your loved ones know what your daily plans are and establish meeting times and locations so that if something does go wrong, help can be sought as quickly as possible. Additionally, it’s important to socialize in public areas where there are plenty of other passengers and crew members around. Never let someone you don’t know into your cabin and also keep a close eye on any beverages and food items to prevent potential assailants from contaminating them with drugs.
Though cruise ship accidents and crimes occur frequently, by following these three tips, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim so you and your loved ones can focus on enjoying your holiday sail.