“To the ship” is a phrase every cruiser loves to read. Nothing quite compares to that feeling of excitement as you step onboard for the first time and prepare to embark on your cruise holiday. Sounds perfect, right? And for the majority of cruisers, it will be.
However, once onboard, it can be far too easy to take safety for granted. Cruises still carry an element of risk despite being one of the safest ways to travel, so it’s important not to become complacent when it comes to your, and your fellow passengers, safety. Taking a few simple precautions can help ensure you have a happy and healthy cruise, one which you’ll remember for all the right reasons.
With that said, let’s review some top tips for staying safe onboard.
1. Muster drills ARE important.
Shortly after you board your ship, you’ll be required to take part in a muster drill. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it is essential that you attend and pay attention! You will learn crucial information including what to do in an emergency, where your muster station is and how to correctly use a life jacket.
2. Listen out for ship announcements.
There will be daily announcements from your Captain and the senior crew. While not all of these are important, it’s useful to listen as they share key information on the day’s events, as well as weather, sea state and ship movement. These are rarely sounded directly into cabins unless it’s important or an emergency. So, if you hear it through your cabin speakers, please pay attention.
3. Use the handrails provided.
Talking of ship movement, there will be handrails all around the ship and on all staircases. Take care when moving about, especially when at sea, and use the bars and aids provided to avoid any unwanted tumbles. Falls are one of the biggest causes of injuries on a cruise!
4. Do not throw items overboard.
Just don’t. While it is terrible for the environment, throwing anything overboard also poses a threat to passenger safety and wellbeing. This includes cigarette butts, which can be drawn back into the ship and start a fire. Please use the bins and smoking receptacles provided at all times.
5. Practice cabin safety.
You wouldn’t go around telling strangers your home address, so try to avoid broadcasting your cabin number onboard. Most cabin doors automatically shut, but it’s worth double checking, and many have secondary locks from the inside, so be sure to use them when retiring for the night. Use the safe provided to store any valuables, and if you have a balcony, be sure to lock the door when not in use.
6. Be careful with your money.
Unless you are heading to the casino, there really isn’t any need to carry money around onboard so leave any cash in your cabin safe. And if heading ashore, only take what you need and keep it hidden in a secure bag.
7. Make friends if going solo.
Solo cruising can be daunting, especially when sailing on larger ships. Cruise lines will often put on ‘meet and greet’ events to help you find fellow likeminded cruisers. Make some friends early on so you can watch out for one another. You are less likely to run into trouble if you are in a pair or larger group.
8. Be mindful of your surroundings.
Whether travelling solo or not, it is important to be aware of your surroundings. Ships are essentially floating resorts, so be sure to take the same care that you would on land. For instance, avoid dark or isolated areas, and don’t leave your drinks or bags unattended.
9. take care by the pool, especially if you have children.
Be mindful when relaxing by the pool. The majority of cruise lines do not have lifeguards, so take care by the pool and keep an eye on your friends, family and children.
10. Watch what you drink.
Alcohol changes your perceptions of the world and how you behave. Know your limits and drink responsibly. It’s no fun sailing to your next port of call under ship arrest!
11. Wash those hands.
Personal hygiene is one of the most imperative aspects of any cruise. Make sure you frequently wash your hands and use the hand sanitiser provided around the ship. This will help keep you fit and healthy throughout your cruise and minimise the spread of unwanted germs.
12. Never enter crew-only areas.
Even if you are invited, never go into crew only-areas. This can land yourself and the crew member in serious trouble. The only exception to this is when you are taking part in a ship organised tour.