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Cruise Travel Checklist: What to Bring on Your First Cruise



The first time you book a cruise vacation, it can be tempting to go overboard and pack everything but the kitchen sink “just in case”—or to go in the opposite direction and leave out some of the essentials in an attempt to pack light. So how do you find that middle ground and bring the important stuff without packing an enormous suitcase that you’ll regret once you start going up the gangway?


Below is a list of a few essential cruise vacation items. You shouldn’t treat it as a definitive list, but it will hopefully help you start packing and remind you about some items that you might have forgotten otherwise.


Cruise Vacation Must-Haves


Dress code appropriate clothes. You probably already know that you should pack a couple swimsuits and T-shirts or cover-ups for the pool deck, but you’ll

What Injured Cruise Ship Crew Members Need to Know

While injuries at sea may be most commonly associated with higher-risk industries like offshore drilling and deep-sea fishing, injuries can occur on any type of vessel, to people working in any capacity. Cruise ship crew members, whether they’re responsible for the movement of the ship or for managing onboard activities, may experience an injury in the workplace and need to understand how they can be compensated.


If you’re a cruise ship employee, take the time to familiarize yourself with the Jones Act—under maritime law, your cruise line employer is legally obligated to compensate you if you were injured in the line of work due to their negligence.


What You Need to Know about the Jones Act


As you may already know, accidents that occur due to negligence at sea fall under maritime law, which is completely distinct from state and federal

Cruising during Hurricane Season: What You Should Know

Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, and—since that’s also prime vacation season for many people—major cruise lines continue offering vacations along the East Coast, Caribbean, and the Mediterranean during this time. But just because ocean liners are headed out to sea during hurricane season, does that mean you and your family should do the same?


There are actually some great advantages to cruising during hurricane season. For a lot of people, especially families with kids, late summer is the time when it’s most convenient to schedule a vacation. Regarding pricing, many cruise lines offer some great discounts that can make your vacation much more affordable than at any other time of year. And considering that the chances of being caught in the middle of a hurricane are relatively slim (since cruise ships can travel faster than these storms), there’s absolutely

How Common Are Cruise Ship Fires?

It might appear unbelievable that fires are a problem for vessels surrounded by water from all sides, yet several incidences of boiler room fires on cruise ships in recent years have raised questions about just how common ocean liner fires really are.


Just last month, the Holland America ship Westerdam was forced to cut short her voyage from Seattle to Alaska when a fire broke out in one of the boiler rooms. The ship, which was carrying 2,086 passengers and 798 crew members, returned to port in Seattle for a safety inspection after the fire was extinguished. Fortunately, no one was injured, and representatives from Holland America said the ship would depart again as soon as assessments were complete.


More famously, an engine room fire on the Carnival Cruise ship Triumph disabled the ship’s propulsion, air conditioning, and sewage systems, leaving passengers

First Time on a Cruise Ship? What Not to Do on Your Trip

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you may not really know what to expect—other than what you’ve seen in advertisements and heard from friends. You probably have some idea that you’ll spend time lounging by the pool, indulging in gourmet food, and exploring the ports of call. But beyond that, what can you do to both stay safe and make the best of your cruise? Many first-time cruisers miss some great opportunities—or even jeopardize their health and safety—just because they aren’t fully prepared for their trip or don’t know how to get the most out of what cruises offer.


Those who are preparing to embark on their first cruise vacation should try to avoid the following mistakes.


Failing to pay attention to safety talks or drills


In the wake of the tragic Costa Concordia accident in 2012, many cruise

Does the Cruise Industry Have a Drinking Problem?

The expression “booze cruise” doesn’t just exist because it’s a convenient rhyme. From Champagne Brunches to happy hours to all-you-can-drink packages, there’s certainly no shortage of alcohol aboard cruise ships. But all the libations can be problematic, with intoxicated passengers more likely to get into an accident due to poor judgment, lack of coordination, or even manipulative crew members.


Here’s a quick look at how the culture of cruises has led to excessive drinking and associated accidents.


Drinking is an Expectation on Many Cruises


Cruise ships are vacation vessels, and for many passengers, letting loose and drinking is what they plan to do on their vacation. Cruise lines know that people want to drink on their ships, and they often take advantage of this by significantly marking up their beverage prices or even offering an all-you-can-drink package. (Carnival defends their all-you-can-drink

Why It’s Important to Research before You Set Sail

Booking and setting sail on a cruise vacation should always be fun and exciting. While the cruise injury attorneys at Lawlor Winston will always be there to defend you if you suffer injuries aboard a cruise ship, we would much prefer that you experience the most relaxing vacation possible and that you come back to Miami rejuvenated, excited, and most of all, safe.


To lessen your chance of sustaining an injury aboard the ship and ensure that you have the best trip possible, it’s important that you thoroughly research different cruise lines before you book your getaway. Here’s how to do it:


Read Reviews


From personal blogs to Fodor’s Travel, cruise reviews are available all over the Internet. Reviews from both travel authorities, as well as past passengers, can be some of the most valuable resources when it comes to finding