Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tip of the Day: Important Safety and Security Tips for Cruise-Ship Enthusiasts

A cruise-ship experience can last a lifetime, particularly if you are in the company of close family and friends.

All "cruisers," new and experienced and young and old should also realize that infection, accidents, health emergencies and even violent crime (larceny, assault, rape, disappearances, etc.) do occur on cruise-ships with many cruise-ship lines wanting to "sweep trouble under the rug" and not report crimes to the authorities.

As a result, I suggest the following:

1. Take plenty of hand sanitizer, an extra roll or two of toilet paper, a first-aid kit, prescribed and emergency medications sufficient for DOUBLE the duration of your cruise;

2. Wash your hands often with hot and sudsy water frequently;

3. Use the "head" in your stateroom in lieu of using public toilets where the bacteria risk is much, much greater which could contribute to your becoming ill;

4. Keep in mind that many cruise-ship passengers don't always wash their hands regularly;

5. Take no valuables aboard the ship as theft can and does occur;

6. Subscribe t0 international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before you leave home in the event you are injured or become ill during ports of call. For assistance go to:

http://www.insuremytrip.com;

7. Check the online website of your appropriate foreign affairs agency to determine what security advice they offer for citizens traveling to your destinations:

http://www.embassyworld.com;

8. Drink alcoholic beverages moderately, as opportunists and predators abound on cruise-ships just as they do on land;

9. Utilize only ground excursions managed by the cruise-line you are traveling on, as they have been fully vetted and screened. Those you hire yourself at local ports of call may not be vetted; 

10.  Seniors who are unsteady on land should consider taking a cane or other steadying device aboard ship. They should also ask for help in traversing stairs and ladder-ways when necessary if elevators are not available;

11. If you're traveling with valuable electronics (e.g., laptops, electronic tablets, digital cameras, MP3-4 players, DVD players, etc.) consider insuring high-end items:

http://www.safeware.com;

12. If you're traveling with a group aboard ship, consider taking compact intercom units so that everyone can stay in contact with each other;

13.  Consider accessing the below CDC website for health guidance while aboard ship:

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2014/chapter-6-conveyance-and-transportation-issues/cruise-ship-travel; 

14. Read the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (HR 3360) which directly applies to the US Government's concern for the welfare and safety The U. S. Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 in order to improve cruise passenger safety and ensure that, should a sexual assault occur onboard a cruise ship, the victim has access to trained first responders and to a confidential means of communication with law enforcement, legal and victim advocacy professionals. This law applies to cruise ships with overnight sleeping facilities that carry 250 or more passengers that depart from or call at all US ports.

Keep in mind that if you travel on non-US-registered cruise-ships the safety and security standards and services provided by HR 3360 may or may not apply. Thus, you may want to ask cruise-ship lines that are not registered in the US whether they have safety and security provisions similar to HR 3360.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3360enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3360enr.pdf;

15. Follow the advice of those managing your cruise-line's land excursion. Do not flaunt your wealth, carry large denomination bills, carry only local currency and don't use ATMs on the street or walk at night;

16. Always travel on ground excursions with trusted "ship-mates"; and

17. Discourage a cruise for anyone who is under the care of a physician who is treating them for a mental illness as such ailments can place them at further risk.