It’s that time of year again. Time to get dressed up and hunt for candy. Time to enjoy friendly tricks for treats. It’s Halloween and there’s plenty of fun to be had, whether you are young or young at heart.
Some of us will be spending the holiday with our kids while some of us may decide to attend a ghoulish party or two. And then there are those of us who will be celebrating Halloween aboard a cruise ship. And, for those of us who have elected to spend the holiday on a ship, you’re in for quite the thrill. Since Halloween happened to fall on a Friday, there are several three and four day cruise sailings that are going to feature special activities for guests, anywhere from costume contests to specialty drinks to pumpkin carving. Many ships even offer trick or treating opportunities for kids. But while it can be easy to get lost in the excitement of the costumes and games, it’s important to remember that Halloween can also be a very dangerous holiday.
Accidents and crimes at sea can take place at any time, but on a day like Halloween, there’s a much greater chance that cruise ship guests can get hurt. Between the large number of people that will be on board a ship this weekend having a good time, the costumes that can cause perpetrators to more easily get away with committing a crime like sexual assault, and the fact that many adult passengers will be drinking (many to an excess), trouble is a lot more likely to strike on a Halloween cruise. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your chances of getting hurt or becoming the target of a crime. Our maritime lawyers have a few tips that will help you stay as safe as possible.
First thing’s first, try to limit your alcohol intake. Though we know it’s Halloween and you are on a cruise, alcohol is one of the leading contributors to passenger accidents and crimes. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions, causing you to engage in behaviors and activities you might not necessarily agree to while sober. Alcohol can also cause you to stumble and fall, resulting in an injury. But one of the worst outcomes of over-intoxication on a cruise ship is the fact that it can lead to sexual assault. Sexual predators tend to target those who are under the influence because it is much easier to get away with a crime when the target is tipsy and in many cases, not fully aware of what’s going on. The victim can more easily be lured into a secluded area or the victim might even allow the assailant into their room, where a sexual crime might unfold. Suspects can also more easily slip something inside a passenger’s drink that is inebriated without their noticing. Unfortunately, cruise lines are not going to cut you off if you’ve had one too many, so it’s up to you to make a reasonable decision as to how many drinks is too many.
Another way you can reduce your chances of getting hurt during a Halloween cruise is to travel in groups. There are many people who will be up to no good, and the fact that they can wear costumes on many ships makes it a lot easier to get away with a crime. After committing a crime, all a suspect has to do is take their costume off and go about their normal activities. No one will be the wiser. However, perpetrators are much less likely to target larger groups. When guests are singled out, suspects can make their move and have a much higher chance of getting away. Not only can groups be a deterrent for criminals, but a group can look out for each other and notice suspicious activity or keep one another from drinking excessively.
It’s also important to inform those whom you are traveling with of your whereabouts. If, by chance, something does happen, it’s a lot easier for help to be provided if your loved ones know where to look for you. Establish meeting points and check ins, communicating with loved ones frequently. And, if you do happen to get separated from your travel partners, try to stay away from areas that are more secluded, and instead, opt for areas like the lido deck or atrium, where there’s usually a lot of traffic and less of a chance that a criminal will strike.
That being said, it’s important you also have a good time. From all our maritime lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., we wish you a happy – and SAFE – Halloween, whether you’ll be celebrating at sea or on land.