Staying Safe on a Cruise Ship

January 26, 2018

Cruising and Common Sense

Thinking of taking a cruise on a ship? A cruise ship is a safe place for a vacation. To avoid any unpleasant surprises take a moment to review some safety tips that will help insure a vacation, free of injury or crime.

Before you leave home, make copies of important documents that you will be carrying such as: your passport, driver’s license, credit cards and travel documents (tickets, reservation confirmations, etc.). You should also have important phone numbers readily accessible: lost or stolen credit card notification numbers, personal doctor’s phone number (and you and your family’s medication list). One small trip to a photocopy machine prior to your departure, could save you plenty of time and grief during your vacation, trying to retrieve lost information. Make two copies, one for yourself tucked away in your suitcase (stored away from your originals) and a second copy to leave with a family member or friend back home. Many cruise ships will hold on to your passport to expedite passing through foreign ports. You should therefore always have an extra photocopy of your passport in your wallet when you go onshore.

Packing your Suitcase: Some vacationers like to photograph and/or list the contents of their luggage in case of loss. Carry medications and prescription eyeglasses in your carry-on and leave expensive jewelry at home. No need to take the risk of attracting thieves to your cabin. If you do bring expensive jewelry or watches with you, you will need to use the purser’s safe; but remember that you are on a cruise to relax … not to worry about your valuables. Your cabin’s safe is only safe enough to carry small change and a few personal items of little worth.

Do not allow personal identification to be visible on your suitcases. Name and contact information can be put on a piece of paper that is folded down either partially or completely. You can quickly identify your suitcases with creative flair such as a bright orange pompom tied to your handle. Remember to put additional contact information inside your luggage in case your exterior identification goes missing.

On the Ship, you are relatively safe. Stay in public areas and stay alert, listen to your instincts and don’t take unnecessary risks. Imagine yourself and your family being in a small city of strangers. The same rules apply and children must be advised as to the safety rules of conduct. Family members should know where to find each other at all times and common sense rules should apply to all the cruise ship activities such as the pool play. Some scenarios may be less well-known (such as falling overboard) and learning safety guidelines and survival techniques will be necessary. Speak to your ship’s captain about any concerns that you have.

In your Cabin, check your bathroom and closets before closing the cabin’s door. Many people have access to your cabin before you check in and during your stay. Furthermore, cruise ship locks may not be changed as often as hotels. It is best to be vigilant and cautious. Be sure to use all the locks on the door when you are in your cabin. Don’t open your door to strangers and be discreet with the information of your cabin number and key.

Going ashore is an exquisite treat when traveling on a cruise ship. Since it is also an opportune time for crime to take place, learn to be savvy and safe. Use an under-the-clothing bag to store money, credit cards and copies of your passports. Keep purses and wallets on your person at all times. Purses can be easily lifted off chairs in restaurants and wallets can be easily removed from back pockets at busy intersections or elevators. Cameras are another popular item to have stolen. Invest in a waist pack that fits your camera and straps through your belt loops; backpacks are not reliably safe from theft. Deal only with professionals when exchanging money and be wary of offers to separate you from the main visiting areas. Make sure that you negotiate and agree in advance on any fares or fees for services, upfront. If you tolerate the small inconveniences of being safe, you can more likely return to the ship with nothing but good memories.

Your personal safety is your personal responsibility. Have fun without letting your guard down. Don’t accept drinks from strangers and only drink water from sealed water bottles. Don’t walk in desolated areas of the cruise ship (you can ask for assistance to get to your cabin door safely). Don’t drink to a point that your good judgment is compromised. Your best line of defense against crime spoiling your vacation is to plan, be prepared and stay alert.

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