Bon Voyage: Safety Tips When Going On A Cruise
Source: Open Talk Magazine 16/02/2011 00:02:00
They say one of the best ways to travel is by going on a cruise. Every morning, you wake up in a new, exciting destination. Cruising offers the comforts and luxuries of a hotel—well-appointed staterooms, attentive service, and a wide array of dining options. You also have a variety of choices for entertainment: the casino, nightly Las Vegas-type shows, daily movie screenings, games during the day and dancing by night.
Even while the ship’s crew aim is to pamper you during your vacation, they also take on-board safety seriously. First-time cruisers might find safety drills a nuisance, but these are very important in keeping the ship and passengers safe.
Here are a few safety points to remember when going on a cruise:
Check out the cruise liner’s safety guidelines before boarding. Feel free to check with your travel agent, fellow travelers, or the cruise line itself. For safety reasons, certain items are not allowed in your stateroom: candles, flat iron, and curling iron. Knowing this ahead of time will help you prepare. (FYI: These items are the main cause of fires, which is what ship officers onboard are constantly guarding against.)
Take safety drills seriously. Upon embarkation, you will be asked to attend a safety drill. Not exactly the best way to start your vacation, but there is a reason for this: crew and passengers must be prepared in case of emergency. Longer cruises require more than one safety drill; this is required by the coast guard. Remember that the ship officers are doing this for the benefit of all passengers. Pay attention, take note, and be alert.
Familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout. Sure, it’s important to know how to get from your room to the casino, pool, restaurant and back. But even more important is finding out where the emergency exits are. Do you know the quickest route from your room to your lifeboat station? Do you know where the nearest fire extinguisher and fire alarm is? Do you know the number to call in an emergency?
Alert the cruise line of any dietary restrictions or health issues. When booking your trip, specify any food preferences relating to your health issues. If you require a low-salt, low-fat diet, or if you’re diabetic, or vegetarian, let the cruise line know. The ship’s crew will do their best to meet your request. If you have serious medical concerns, make this known when you book your trip. Follow up by informing the front desk upon boarding. Cruise ships have medical staff onboard for any possible emergencies.
Bring enough medication to last the trip. While the cruise ship has a medical staff and an infirmary onboard, they may not carry the specific medication you need. Pharmacies shore-side may not have these either; therefore it’s best to stock up and carry medication with you.
Being a huge vessel in the middle of the ocean makes a cruise ship vulnerable to the elements, especially to fire. Each passenger has a responsibility to be aware of safety precautions while onboard. So on your next cruise, remember to have fun AND stay safe.