Cruising is one of the most enjoyable and luxurious ways to travel. However, if you’re a cruising novice, it’s prudent to do your research and make sure you’re well-prepared.
There are a few pitfalls that newbie passengers commonly engage in. Avoid doing these things and you’ll have a safer and more enjoyable cruise.
Pick the Wrong Travel Companion
On a cruise, you’ll be in close quarters and spending a lot of time with your travel companion(s). Cruises are most fun with someone who’s flexible, up for anything, and sociable. A wallflower who wants to hang out in the cabin all the time will put a damper on your cruise.
Underestimate the Power of the Buffet
You may think that you have the willpower not to overindulge. However, the food choices available in the all-you-can eat buffets can bend even the strongest of wills. Save loose-fitting clothes for the end of the week – you will likely gain a bit of weight.
Don’t go too overboard, though, and remember to watch out for buffet items that might have been sitting out for too long or sick workers who shouldn’t be around food – there’s a reason illnesses spread so quickly on cruises.
Make sure to pack thoughtfully, as forgetting an essential item can put a damper on the fun. We recommend making a list before you start packing. Also, pack your passport in a purse or carry-on. If you pack it in your checked luggage, you will not be let onboard until the ship staff finds your bag. If you’re a first-timer, you might want to read up on these cruise packing tips.
Overindulge in Alcohol
Cruises offer abundant opportunities to enjoy alcoholic beverages, and it can be tempting to overindulge – after all, you’re on vacation. However, overindulging, especially for a few nights in a row, can lead to nasty hangovers and dehydration, which can be exacerbated by seasickness. Further, slip trip and fall injuries become much more likely if you’re intoxicated.
Get Your Teeth Whitened
Many cruise ships offer cosmetic dentistry at steep discounts, and it can be tempting to take advantage of these offers. However, remember that these facilities may not offer the same standard of care you’d find in a dental office. Further, if you get your teeth whitened, your gums will be sore for a few days, which can put a damper on some of the cruise fun.
Fly to Your Port of Call the Day of the Cruise
Cruises have a firm departure time. They do not wait for delayed flights, so if you’re flying to your port of call, especially during the winter months when delayed flights are common, you’ll want to fly in the day before you set sail. The price of the hotel is well worth the peace of mind.
Limit Yourself to Ship-Sponsored Shore Excursions
New cruisers commonly assume that on-shore excursions are limited to the shore tours advertised by the cruise line. This isn’t the case – once in port you’re free to do whatever you like. Two caveat to forging your own way onshore is that:
- It’s your responsibility to make it back to the ship before departure.
- The cruise company is not liable for any injuries that occur during excursions that are not booked through the cruise line.
Assume You’re Immune to Sea Sickness
If you don’t know whether you’re prone to seasickness, a several-day cruise (or longer) is not the time to find out. To prevent seasickness, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, avoid sitting or standing opposite of the ship’s direction of motion, and avoid activities like reading.
It’s also recommended to pack some anti-nausea meds. You can ask your doctor for a prescription, or pack over-the-counter remedies such as Dramamine, Bonine, or Benadryl.
Because norovirus outbreaks are relatively common on cruises, packing other stomach remedies such as Immodium and Pepto Bismol is advisable.
As you can see, there’s a lot to remember and a number of different ways that you might suffer injury. If you are harmed in any way on your cruise and believe it was due to negligence, do not hesitate to get in touch with our office as soon as possible.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.