When boarding a cruise ship – especially if it’s your first – you’ll gaze in wonder with your head in the clouds at your surroundings. However, once you have come down to earth, it’ll be time to get down to the business of reviewing a few safety measures to make your cruise a safe and enjoyable one.
Begin by taking a tour of the ship. Gather your family or traveling companions together and take a walk around the ship. I know – given the size of some of today’s super mega vessels, this could take a while. While walking around and checking out the many public areas, pay close attention to the location of the emergency exits, lifeboats and the medical facilities – being aware of the proximity of each to your cabin.
When you’re together with your family or companions in your cabin for the first time, read the safety information posted. This is especially true if you have children in your group. Locate your lifejackets, write down the location of your muster station, and review together the safety instructions. You will receive a visual presentation later in the day at the safety drill, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start.
After you’ve unpacked, put together a “grab & go kit”. Place your key important items in a waterproof or zip-lock freezer bag, and store them in a single place, ready to grab at a moment’s notice. These items might include your medications, small flashlight, an extra set of eyeglasses, a list of contacts or PDA, a small amount of cash, a credit card and a driver’s license. If you store the kit in your safe, be sure you know the combination and can access it quick.
Most importantly, don’t use the Safety Drill as an opportunity to take a catnap. In the wake of the Concordia disaster, new, improved safety measures and crew training have risen to the forefront, and the requirement of safety drill attendance by every passenger and crew member is enforced more than ever. Pay close attention to the detailed instructions and demonstrations by the crew so you will be prepared in the event of an emergency.
For more tips and advice concerning safety on a cruise, read: Health and Safety on a Cruise Ship - A Review for Passengers