In our last blog, our maritime attorneys here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman talked about how a Valentine’s Day cruise can be a breeding grounds for potentially life-threatening scenarios at sea. While many cruisers embark on a Valentine’s cruise to have a good time with their significant others or even celebrate the single life with their friends, there are several risks that can present themselves on a holiday sailing. Last time, we discussed how scorned travelers can create a threatening situation on a ship. Scorned travelers are individuals who may be suffering from severe heartbreak, loneliness, or any other depressive state of mind. The actions of these passengers can be unpredictable, and can lead to troublesome situations on the high seas, including violence.
However, there are a number of other factors that can create a dangerous environment on a Valentine’s Day sailing besides scorned travelers. Below are some of the main safety threats for passengers cruising on Valentine’s Day and how to best avoid them:
Higher likelihood of sexual assault
Many of the individuals who opt for a Valentine’s Day cruise are single women who are just looking to have a good time with their also single girlfriends. Though they may be traveling in groups, there’s a good chance these women may consume a greater amount of alcohol during a Valentine’s Day cruise. Much like the scorned travelers, single women may begin to feel lonely or depressed, which may lead them to drink more alcohol than they normally would. Sexual predators on board take note of this and use the passenger’s intoxicated state to their advantage, which is why the frequency of cruise ship sexual assault is often higher on a Valentine’s Day cruise. Because alcohol can lower inhibitions drastically, it can lead an individual to make choices they wouldn’t otherwise make while sober, including approaching or engaging with strangers. It’s important to note that not all sexual predators are lurking in the dark, dressed in dark clothing and waiting to strike with brute force. On the contrary, a large percentage of assailants seem quite normal and even charming. They will approach a target with a pleasant demeanor, and the unsuspecting victim may lower their guard and allow themselves to be alone with the predator – a dangerous mistake. Our cruise lawyers advise anyone who is considering a Valentine’s Day cruise – or any cruise for that matter – to be very careful when engaging with strangers. It’s fun to socialize with new people on a ship, but never allow yourself to be alone with someone you don’t know and never return to their stateroom or your own with the unknown person.
General increase in alcohol consumption
You don’t have to be a scorned traveler or lonely on Valentine’s Day to succumb to the temptation of alcohol on a cruise ship. Cruise lines generate the majority of their revenue from alcohol sales, so naturally, there’s usually a push for travelers to consume alcoholic beverages. Sometimes this push is discrete while other times it is much more obvious. Between offering drink specials, all-inclusive alcohol packages, and Valentine’s Day inspired cocktails, it can be pretty easy to over indulge in alcohol while on a cruise. When too much alcohol is consumed, a plethora of consequences can ensue, including aggravated assault, sexual assault, overboard accidents, and even fatal alcohol poisoning. Though we understand that cruise passengers are on a vacation and may want to unwind with a few drinks, it’s important to know and stay within your tolerance limits because cruise ship bartenders certainly won’t take it upon themselves to cut you off.
These are just a few of the many reasons why passenger should exercise extra caution while on a Valentine’s Day sailing. Being aware of these increased risk factors and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and other members in your party can help reduce the chance of getting hurt.