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How to stay safe on a cruise

Nowadays, most cruisers are fully equipped to deal with emergency situations, with back-up power systems and well-trained crew who will ensure your safety. That being said, there are a number of things you can do as a passenger to ensure your personal safety and enjoy your trip without incident. Here are a list of our top tips for staying safe while cruising.

1. Pay attention during the safety meeting

Most cruise lines will have a mandatory safety meeting at the beginning of the cruise. While this can seem rather mundane and boring, it's vital not to let your attention drift during the meeting. It's during this safety meeting that you'll be told how to use your life vest, where to locate it and you'll also be assigned a muster station. Pay attention during the muster drill and make sure you know where your muster station is as well as the quickest way to get there.

2. Staying healthy

When illnesses break out on a cruise ship, they can easily spread from person to person. To avoid this and keep yourself healthy, don't forget to regularly wash your hands! Another precaution is to bring antibacterial wipes, for wiping down TV remotes and door handles in your cabin, as these are often forgotten about by cleaning teams.

3. Bathroom and shower safety

Remember: you're on a moving vessel, so there are times when the sea can get really rough. When the ship is experiencing some turbulence, it may not be the best time to take a shower. The floor can also be very slippery, so make use of floor towels.

4. Don't give out your cabin number

In the past there have been situations where crooks have made charges and purchases to other peoples cabins. To avoid the same thing happening to you it's generally wise not to give out your cabin number to people you don't know. You wouldn't do this at home, right?

5. Porting

Sometimes your ship won't be able to port exactly at the pier, so you'll need to take a water taxi. Water taxies can be very bumpy so if you suffer from sea sickness remember to take some sea sickness tablets before getting on. If you have a problem with sea sickness and you need to take a water taxi, it's a good idea to hand back a little and be one of the last to get on. The stewards will make sure that the water taxi is almost completely full before setting off, so you don't want to be one of the first on the boat and have to sit their rocking around in the boat while they wait for everyone to get on.

6. Make sure you have the right travel insurance

Sometimes things can happen that nobody was prepared for, like a broken bone, an unexpected cancellation or a stolen belonging. Though it can be distressing when such things happen, having the right travel insurance can do much to soften the blow and reduce stress. Taking out specialist cruise travel insurance will cover you for medical emergencies, lost or stolen belongings, cancellations and emergency repatriation.

7. Check for travel warnings in any of the places you'll be visiting

Much like if you were booking an independent holiday, it's wise to check out the travel warnings and advice for the cities you'll be porting at. Government websites are your best bet for staying savvy and in the know during your trip.

8. Be wary of touters

You may encounter touts during your port excursions. As in any other situation, common sense is your best bet. If an offer sounds too good to be true, like a 'free tour of the island', or something about a situation just doesn't seem to add up, it's best to just refuse and move on. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage.

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