All cruise lines have to follow safety regulations called Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS), which are a specific set of regulated guidelines which were adopted following the sinking of the Titanic and are monitored by the United Nation’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO). National and regional coastguards and port staff also get involved in making sure cruise and passenger ships that stop in their area are maintaining the correct and adequate safety procedures.
- Everyone on-board must participate in a mandatory safety drill before departure, which is due to international safety regulations. All passengers are notified and required to attend upon boarding the ship and all that’s required is that you put on the life jackets in your cabin and follow the instructions heard over the ship’s loudspeakers or tannoy.
- Travelling in groups seems to be a cliché suggestion but safety in numbers really does apply, especially in a situation or setting you find unfamiliar. The larger your group, the less likely you are to become a target for a crime. It also ensures that should you get hurt, injured or suddenly ill, you have people around you who know you and who are a friendly face. Try not to wander parts of the ship alone at night, it’s always best to travel in groups.
- If you’re travelling with a young family, issuing everyone with walkie-talkies is a popular idea amongst cruising families. It’s easy to get lost on big ships, especially with everyone being interested in doing different things. Walkie-talkies ensure you can stay in constant communication with your family without the extensive roaming charges mobile phones offer.
- Packing an emergency kit may seem counter-productive especially as you’re trying to keep your baggage weight down to a minimum and cruise ships offer their own state-of-the-art medical facilities, but it can come in really handy even if only for the little things. Pack your kit with first aid supplies, medication and alcohol swabs, as well as bottled water or non-perishable snacks.
- Never drink to excess, either at any of the bars, casinos or with your meal. Drunk passengers are vulnerable and easy identified as targets by thieves or criminals. Also, make sure you never accept a drink from a stranger, and don’t leave your drinks unattended.
- In severe weather, it’s best to take a little extra care when on-board. When seas are rough, wind gusts against the ship can reach hurricane force and blow you around or even off deck, even when holding onto to something or someone else. Wear shoes with an adequate tread whilst you’re on deck as these can keep you from slipping if the deck is wet.
- Try not to flaunt expensive items such as jewellery or valuables as this can identify you to thieves as a target for burglary, robbery or assault.