Warm ocean breezes, tropical island stopovers, and endless activities make cruises an especially popular vacation choice during the winter months. However, with the rising popularity of expedition cruises and themed cruises, getting onboard with a cruise vacation can be a great idea any time of the year.
But while it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and carefree ambiance of the cruise ship atmosphere, you still have to keep safety in mind. In order to make your next voyage as smooth as possible, follow these five important safety tips for cruises:
1. Moderate Your Drinking
While a cruise can be the perfect place to let your hair down and imbibe, try to do so responsibly. Alcohol impairment can increase your risk of injuries, and overdoing it can flat-out ruin good portions of your vacation. After all, if you’re already vulnerable to seasickness, the last thing you want is to add a hangover to the mix. So, instead of taking full advantage of that open bar, try to alternate your alcoholic drinks with water. Your body will thank you.
Need another reason to watch your intake? Many travel insurance plans have alcohol exclusions, meaning you may not be covered for injuries that occur while you’re under the influence.
2. Pay Attention During Safety Drills
Yes, you probably ignore the cabin crew’s safety briefings on airlines, but cruise ships are a different beast. They’re absolutely massive, so it’s essential that you know where to go in case of emergency. The ship’s safety drill will equip you with important knowledge like lifeboat locations, evacuation procedures, etc. When you’re on a ship that’s the size of a small city, this is information that you simply must have.
3. Explore Port Cities Carefully
While you might have the urge to explore on your own when your cruise stops in port cities, do so responsibly. Not every area of each port is safe for tourists. And if you get hopelessly lost, you could risk missing the ship’s departure. It’s best to stick to cruise-arranged tours when possible. If you decide to set off on your own, make sure you’re armed with a good amount of local knowledge first.
4. Don’t Carry More Cash Than You Need
If you lose a credit card, it can be cancelled and replaced. But if you lose a large amount of cash, it’s usually gone for good. Luckily, most every transaction aboard a cruise ship can be completed with a credit card or billed to you. If you want to carry cash while visiting a port city to buy souvenirs, don’t go overboard. Just carry the money that you need for the day. Leave additional funds securely locked in your cabin. Also, it’s a good idea to carry your bills in a money belt while ashore. Tourist areas are notorious for pickpockets, so you’ll want to depend on more than just luck to keep your cash secure.
5. Choose the Right Insurance
Many cruise lines may sell something that they call “travel insurance,” but it typically offers far too little coverage to be useful when you need it. You’re far better off buying travel insurance from a company that actually specializes in insurance.
If you’re interested in benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, and emergency medical coverage, be sure to compare different options and purchase the right travel insurance plan for your cruise.
If you have no need for travel-related benefits and are solely interested in medical coverage in case you get sick or injured while on your cruise, consider travel medical insurance, which can often be had for a considerably cheaper price.