Essential Tips for Staying Safe on a Cruise and What to Do if Injured

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Cruising is great vacation option! Read our tips for staying safe on a cruise and what to do if you’re injured while on a cruise.

Cruising is a fun and adventurous way to travel and enjoy your vacation. It allows you to visit multiple destinations while experiencing the fresh breeze of the open sea. A cruise trip is one of the easiest and most stress-free vacations, as your only job is to relax and enjoy. While cruising is a generally safe travel option, like any other vacation, it comes with its own risk.

Enjoy your cruise but pay attention to the crew and follow safety guidelines.

How Safe are Cruises?

Cruises are generally considered a safe mode of travel. Operators are mandated to comply with certain strict safety regulations, such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

While the U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for cruise ship safety in the United States, each cruise ship is subject to the vessel inspection laws of the country where it is registered.

These regulations cover fire safety, navigation rules, maritime security, and the requirement to help another vessel in need.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) also requires cruise management to compensate passengers injured aboard their ships. However, if you are injured during a cruise vacation, you will need to hire a competent cruise ship lawyer to get the most money for your claim.

All of these ensure the ship’s safety as it transports passengers. Even though cruises are safe, there are important safety precautions experts recommend travelers put in place to ensure safety.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Cruise lines typically ensure the safety of all passengers aboard; however, injuries might still occur, and this might not be their fault.

Pack a small first-aid kit with essential items like bandages and pain relievers. If possible, purchase travel insurance before embarking on the cruise. Although cruise lines usually have medical facilities onboard, they can be expensive. However, travel insurance can help cover such costs.

Examine the pros and cons of purchasing travel insurance. Photo by Rawpixel via DepositPhotos

Pay Attention to Crew Members’ Safety Instructions

All passengers must participate in muster drills within their first few hours on board. The drill aims to familiarize passengers and crew members with emergency exits and the muster station, a location on the ship where they assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency.

The drill also covers safety briefings and evacuations. For your safety, you should pay attention to all the instructions communicated during the drill.

Muster station sign directing passengers to the life boats on a cruise ship. Photo by CARLOSVOSS via iStock by Getty Images

Prepare for the Sun

There are lots of activities to enjoy outdoors on the cruise. Since you will most likely be exposed to sunlight during this time, it is best to prepare for the sun.

Pack a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen for your cruise. Photo by olga_simonova_ph via DepositPhotos

Pack a lot of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to avoid sunburn. You must constantly reapply it throughout the day, especially if you intend to swim.

Hats and sunglasses can shield your precious face and eyeballs from the sun’s harmful rays.

Be Vigilant and Cautious of Your Environment

The opportunity to explore port cities is part of the reason cruise trips are so fun. While it can be intriguing and adventurous, it can be equally dangerous. Keep these tips in mind when visiting ports of call:

Be vigilant always, as pickpockets and scammers usually flood common tourist destinations.
Only walk in well-lit and populated areas, and always inform someone on board if you intend to venture far from the port area.
Ensure your cell phone is charged and have the emergency number of the ship saved in your contact list.
Do not accept tours from vendors in the port, even if they offer their service for free. Let your tour guide or cruise ship escort be your major acquaintance.

Secure your Cabin

Your cabin should be your haven during the cruise trip. Here are tips to ensure you are comfortable and safe while enjoying your cruise ship cabin:

Ensure the door is securely closed and locked when not inside or sleeping.
Do not entertain strangers in your cabin. If you intend to meet anyone, there are a lot of open places on the ship.
Safeguard your belongings, like jewelry, passports, and credit cards, in the safe provided in the cabin.

Your cabin is your onboard sanctuary. One of the essential tips for staying safe on a cruise is to lock your cabin door. Photo by Kirk Fisher via iStock by Getty Images

Alcohol Moderation

When it comes to drinking alcohol, it is easy to get carried away when onboard an all-inclusive cruise. For your safety, know your limit when it comes to alcohol consumption. Do not try to compete with the pros.

The best way to keep your alcohol consumption in check is to avoid beverage packages. Also, stay away from gatherings where drinking is part of a game. Peer pressure can get you drunk.

Avoid walking around the ship or disembarking at ports while intoxicated.

Establish Good Relationships

This is crucial for solo travelers. Get to know your cabin steward; they will typically knock on your door to introduce themselves, do the same, and try to establish a rapport. They can serve as additional security, as they can identify and probably prevent strangers from accessing your cabin since they know the rightful occupant.

What to Do if Injured on a Cruise

Despite your best efforts, there are times when injuries are inevitable. When that happens, follow these steps immediately if injured on a cruise:

Seek medical attention immediately
Document the incident and keep the receipt of medical bills
Gather witness information
Report the incident to the cruise line
Keep copies of everything
Hire a cruise ship lawyer

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Embarking on Your Cruise

Now that you’re prepared with the facts and know the best tips for staying safe on a cruise, you are ready to start planning and book that cruise. We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder for some of our favorite cruises.