For many people who are preparing to go on a cruise, safety is among the least of their concerns. Most passengers are focused on making sure they pack everything they need and get to the cruise terminal on time, and they take their health and safety for granted. They assume the cruise line has adequate safety protocols in place, and they just want to get on board so they can relax and have a good time.

Unfortunately, the statistics show that cruise lines often don’t prioritize passengers’ health and safety as much as they should. In fact, accidents and outbreaks are both alarmingly common. With this in mind, if you are preparing to embark on a cruise ship, it is important to know what you can do to keep yourself safe—and what to do in the event that something goes wrong.

What Can Cruise Passengers Do to Minimize Their Risk Onboard?

So, what do cruise passengers need to know to protect themselves onboard? Here are 10 cruise safety tips for minimizing the risk of injuries, illnesses and unnecessary complications:

1. Always Travel with a Buddy

This applies not only to going on a cruise but traveling around the cruise ship as well. When you are onboard, it is always best to have someone you know with you. This way, if something happens your buddy can seek help immediately, and walking with a buddy can help protect against the risk of being physically or sexually assaulted as well.

2. Avoid Passengers Who Have Had Too Much to Drink

Many cruise passengers drink to excess onboard. These passengers can be dangerous, not only to themselves but to other passengers as well. If you encounter a passenger who has clearly had too much to drink, do your best to keep your distance. If a drunk passenger trips and falls into you or becomes violent, you could suddenly find yourself in a dangerous situation.

3. Follow the Ship’s Safety Rules

All cruise lines have safety rules that they ask their passengers to follow. While some of these rules can seem unnecessary and overbearing, they exist for a reason. Most likely, if a cruise line has a very specific rule in place, the rule is a response to an accident that happened in the past. So, follow the rules and use your best judgment. Even if following a rule means not doing something you want to do on your vacation, there is a good chance that you can find another way to have a good time.

4. Avoid High-Risks Activities

Certain onboard and shore excursion activities are known to have higher-than-usual injury risks. For example, FlowRider wave machines have proven to be particularly dangerous. Bungee jumping, ziplining and other shore excursions leave many cruise passengers suffering from serious injuries as well.

5. Avoid Large Crowds in Enclosed Areas

While dealing with lines and crowds is a part of cruising, it is best to avoid large crowds in enclosed areas when possible. Not only does standing or sitting in a crowded area increase your risk of exposure to infectious diseases (including, but by no means limited to, COVID-19), but being in a crowd can increase your risk of physical injury as well. Whether you get bumped and fall to the ground in an onboard casino or someone falls onto you on a pool deck, you could easily be injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness in a crowded area.

6. Stay Put During Rough Seas and Storms

There are lots of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall risks onboard cruise ships, and the risk of slipping or tripping becomes even greater during rough seas and storms. As a result, if your cruise ship encounters rough seas or passes through a major storm while on the water, it is best to stay put in your stateroom until the conditions improve.

7. Don’t Accept Invitations from Strangers

While many cruise passengers forge new long-term relationships while onboard, accepting invitations from strangers—even if you feel like you are getting to know them—can be very dangerous. This is especially true if someone (whether a passenger or crew member) invites you to a private room or an isolated area of the ship. If you do decide to go somewhere with someone you have just met onboard, let a friend or family member know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.

8. Don’t Necessarily Trust the Food Onboard

For many cruise passengers, one of the best parts of cruising is having virtually unlimited access to enjoyable foods. But, while cruise kitchens should follow good food safety practices, this doesn’t always happen. Food poisoning is a very real risk onboard cruise ships, so if you are served any foods that seem questionable, send them back or discard them and try a different option.

9. Wear Footwear with Non-Slip Soles

Whether you are on your balcony, on the pool deck, or walking to an onboard restaurant or café, you should always wear footwear with non-slip soles while cruising. As we mentioned above, there are many slip-and-fall risks onboard cruise ships, and wearing non-slip shoes or sandals can help reduce your risk of being injured in a sudden and unexpected fall.

10. Seek Help When Necessary

Finally, if you need help for any reason while onboard a cruise ship, you should seek help immediately. This is true whether someone else is making you feel unsafe, you are feeling sick, or you suffer an injury. If you get sick or injured, you should visit the ship’s infirmary, and you should call a lawyer to find out if you may be entitled to just compensation.

Contact the Cruise Injury Lawyers at Brais Law Firm in Florida

Brais Law Firm is a maritime injury law firm in Florida that represents cruise ship passengers and their families. If you have questions about your legal rights after an accident or other incident onboard a cruise ship, you can call 800-499-0551 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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