Who doesn’t love a good treat? Especially those covered in chocolate… or sprinkles…or caramel…well, you get the picture. Halloween is a great holiday for those of us who enjoy unleashing our spirited sides – and those of us with a sweet tooth. Between the outrageous costume ideas, ghoulish parties, and decadent sweets, there’s no limit to what you can do to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve – including a special Halloween cruise vacation.
This year, Halloween falls on a Friday, which is pretty ideal for cruise lovers. There are tons of three and four day holiday getaways, and best of all, many cruise lines feature themed Halloween parties and even let guests dress up. If you’re into cruising, then this is definitely your kind of treat.
But while it’s easy to get lost in the spirit of the holiday and the endless festivities on board a theme-cruise, it’s important to remember that it’s also easy to become a target of cruise ship crime – especially sexual assault.
Although it’s not the first thing we think of when we step foot on board a cruise ship, becoming a victim of sexual assault on the high seas is a very real threat. In fact, sexual assault is the number one crime on cruise ships. Attacks can happen at any time, but having costumed passengers (and possibly even crew members) on a Halloween cruise means there’s even a greater risk of an assault crime taking place on board and greater chance of the suspect getting away.
So what can you do to stay safe on your Halloween cruise? Plenty. Below are a few tips from a cruise ship sexual assault lawyer to help ensure your cruise is all treats and no tricks.
- Avoid isolated areas: Cruise ships are filled with dozens of hidden corridors and rooms where there aren’t any cameras to catch a crime in the making. And, unfortunately, ships that do feature surveillance systems don’t always have crew members monitoring them. Crimes can take place anywhere, but usually, assailants prefer isolated areas where there’s much less of a chance they’ll get caught. Stick to areas on the ship that are bustling with activities and where there are plenty of other people around at the same time as you are there.
- Travel in groups: The vast majority of victims who suffer a sexual assault on a cruise ship were alone when the assailant made their move. One of the best ways to protect yourself against crimes on the high seas is to travel in large groups. If you don’t have that many people in your party, at least have one other person around you at all times. In addition, it’s also important to let your party members know your plans and whereabouts so that in the event something does happen, your loved ones can quickly notify ship authorities and begin an investigation.
- Don’t get carried away with alcohol: Yes, we know it’s tough to avoid alcohol on a cruise vacation, but alcohol is one of the leading contributors to sexual crimes. Cruise lines tend to push alcohol sales because that’s one of the top ways they make revenue. Chances are, if you get a tipsy, neither the cruise staff nor the stranger you met and are drinking with is going to have your back and cut you off. Instead, it’s much more likely you’ll keep getting offered more drinks. Sexual predators thrive off of intoxication because they know their potential victim’s inhibitions are drastically lowered. Victims may not even put up a fight if they are drunk enough. This means a quick getaway for the perpetrator. Even though it’s Halloween, try to keep your alcohol intake under control. Besides, if you get too drunk, chances are good you won’t even be able to enjoy the activities on board the ship anyway.
- Don’t leave drinks unattended: Tying in to the previous tip, it’s also important to make sure your drinks are always monitored. It’s a lot easier than you might think to get slipped a date rape drug on a cruise ship. In fact, sometimes it’s the ship’s own bartender or waiter that’s doing the slipping. If you have to get up for some reason, take your drink with you or finish it before moving to another location. If you do happen to lose track of your drink – even if it’s only for a second – ask for a new drink. For even greater protection, have your drinks made at the bar, so you can personally watch the bartender pour it.
By following these four simple tips, your Halloween cruise will be a lot safer. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race. It’s important to be aware of this fact so you can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity on your ship. The more alert you are, the safer you’ll be, and consequently, the more peace of mind you’ll have to enjoy your holiday cruise.