Cruise Ship Injuries, Vacation Accidents

What Are The Safest Cruise Destinations?

Michael A. Winkleman

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Michael A. Winkleman is one of the nation’s top maritime lawyers. An active trial and appellate attorney, Mr. Winkleman is also a frequent contributing expert on maritime and cruise ship law. He has made more than 100 national television appearances regarding cruise ship law.

When deciding to book a cruise, it’s safe to say that safety may be on your mind. After all, if you’re choosing to place your well being in the hands of a cruise company, you want to make sure you’re making the right choice. While onboard security is a major concern (there’s not enough of it), it’s important to keep in mind that a cruise vacation allows you to enjoy the best of the land and the sea. As a result, it’s worthwhile to ensure that your destination is just as safe as your cruise line.

If you’ve been wondering, “what are the safest cruise destinations?” then you’ve come to the right place. With over 200 years of combined experience in maritime law, our team has a comprehensive understanding of the industry. We’ve handled countless cases from clients who have sailed to destinations around the world. This experience has allowed us to gain invaluable insight into the safest ports of call; or at least the ports of call we rarely hear troublesome stories about.

When it comes to safety, there are a variety of factors to consider. Crime, however, frequently tops the list of concerns. So we’ll focus on offering you destinations that we infrequently hear about crime perpetrated on cruise ship passengers:

Turks and Caicos Islands, located southeast of the Bahamas, is an all-around great choice for a safe cruise destination. The island relies heavily upon tourism and, as a result, keeping vacationers safe and happy is a high priority. While opportunistic petty theft can happen, we haven’t recently heard of incidents of major threat to tourists.

Anguilla is another scenic choice for vacationers looking for a relaxing cruise vacation. Frommer’s travel website considers it one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, with low rates of drug use and crime. In addition, there are no reports of dangerous wildlife of potential natural disasters on the eel-shaped island, which means you can kick back with confidence.

The British Virgin Islands, such as Tortola, are also reputed as some of the safest islands for visitors, with crime incidents ranking especially low here. And with more than 60 islands to enjoy in this country, this could be a perfect place to bring the whole family for a worry-free holiday.

This overview would be incomplete without mentioning Martinique, which is an oft-overlooked, low-crime destination that may be of interest to those seeking to avoid thefts.

What is the Safest Cruise Line?

The CDC gave ships with Disney Cruise Lines a score of 96 or above on their 2016 inspections. According to their voluntary disclosures in Q2 of 2016, there was 1 claim of theft exceeding $10,000 and 2 claims of sexual assault. However, they are careful to articulate that no charges were filed for any of the above allegations.

Ships with Celebrity Cruise Line scored 93 or above on the CDC’s sanitation inspections. As for crime rates, the cruise line reported 1 case of assault with bodily harm and 3 sexual assault allegations in Q2 of 2016.

Carnival ships scored anywhere from 88 to 100 on their CDC inspections. Their voluntary crime report includes ships with Carnival, Princess, Holland America, and Seabourn and revealed 1 missing U.S. National, 1 assault with serious bodily injury, 1 theft exceeding $10,000, 14 reports of sexual assault, and 6 reports of rape in Q2 of 2016.

Royal Caribbean’s fleet received marks ranging from 86 to 100 on their CDC inspections. The most recent voluntary crime reports for this line are from Q2 of 2014, when there was 1 reported theft exceeding $10,000, 2 reports of sexual assault, and 2 reports of rape.

What is the Safest Part of a Cruise Ship?

Cruise ships constructed and designed to keep passengers comfortable and happy, returning them home in one piece. However, if you are worried about safety, you must first consider what it is that you are hoping to avoid. After all, any place aboard a cruise can be safe or dangerous, depending on how you approach it.

If you have young children, for example, you might be especially cautious around the edges of the ship. This means that you should opt for a cabin that does not have easy access to a balcony. You should also be especially vigilant in the play areas and public spaces, always keeping children nearby and keeping an eye on them at all times.

No matter your age, it is wise to walk, not run, on the open decks, and to be mindful of how turbulent water conditions may affect your ability to steady yourself, no matter where you are.

In recent years, there has been a rise in exciting onboard activities such as bungee trampolines, waterslides, climbing walls, and zip-lining, just to name a few. While these are a great way to make your days at sea a little less monotonous, they also provide a greater risk for accidents and injuries to occur. Many of these activities are already somewhat risky on land, so you can expect to double that risk while at sea.

If you do choose to partake in these onboard options, we advise that you do so with caution, and follow all rules during the duration of the activity.

Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

While these destinations are considered generally safe for tourists, it’s important to always keep an eye on your belongings and loved ones. Remember, your purse or bag can be snatched in your home town just as easily as it can while you’re on vacation. So be mindful of your surroundings, use good common sense, especially when going out after dark, and you’ll be on your way to a hassle-free cruise vacation. Also, don’t venture out alone or into areas of a port that are tucked away and not frequented by the cruise crowds (and local police or security).

However, just because you have taken the necessary precautions does not mean that crime and personal injury will not happen. If you have been injured while on a cruise vacation, or if you know someone who has, we are here to help.

It can be overwhelming to face your legal situation head-on in the wake of a traumatic incident. But there’s no need to let the process rest on your shoulders alone. Our firm has handled countless cases against major cruise lines around the world, and a maritime lawyer on our team is ready to do the same for you.

So if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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