When the snow piles high and the thermometer drops low, what better way to beat the winter blahs than cruising to a tropic port – or several?
But, when you plan a winter cruise, plan for safety as well as fun. The basic rules for personal safety and security are the same on a cruise ship as they are on dry land: Stay alert and use common sense.
Take safety seriously. Pay attention during safety drills. Study the ship’s overall layout and know where to go in any emergency. Learn where lifeboats and floatation devices are stowed, and know how to get into your life jacket. Finally, stick to populated areas and walkways, especially late at night, when traversing the ship.
Keep valuables safe. Use the in-cabin safe for valuables you need every day, such as tipping cash, phones and cameras. Ask to store your most important belongings, including credit cards, return tickets and passports, in the ship’s safe. And, unless you really need valuable jewels or electronics to enjoy the cruise, the safest place for them is back home.
Lock the door. Make sure your cabin door latches completely every time you close it. If there’s no deadbolt, use a doorstop when you’re inside.
Know where your children are. Handle your children’s safety just as you would on dry land: Stick with authorized and supervised activities, and agree where and when to meet up afterward. Encourage kids to participate in safety drills and to know the location of safety stations.
Watch your drinking. It’s normal to relax and let your hair down on vacation. But, too much alcohol increases your vulnerability. And, walking on a swaying ship is hard enough when you’re sober.
Finally, a cruise can represent a rather sizable upfront investment, so you might want to consider travel insurance. Whether you book online or through a travel agent, you should be able to add insurance coverage to your purchase. Additionally, some credit cards offer travel interruption, trip cancellation and/or lost luggage benefits. Check with your card provider on the benefits available to you.
Before You Set Sail
Follow our tips to help burglar-proof your home for greater peace of mind while you’re away. Also, remember that your Safeco homeowners policy protects personal belongings whether you leave them home or take them with you. Double check your coverage before you go, so your greatest worries during the cruise are sunburn and indigestion from the buffest.