The Best Way To Stay Safe On A Cruise Ship

Cruise ships have the best safety record in the travel industry, but despite international maritime rules and regulations, U.S. Coast Guard guidelines, and stringent international laws, cruise ship accidents or incidents still occur. If your cruise ship captain steers too close to the shore, hits a rock, is distracted by a 25 year old blond and lives by the motto “every man for himself”, you probably can’t anticipate that in advance. But there are measures you can take to optimize your general safety on a cruise ship. Your crew, though far better trained than you, commonly works 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week for weeks or months on end. Fatigue undermines judgment, so keep yours sharp!


  • Always participate in the required safety drills.
  • You will be provided with the ship’s map. Take the time to study it and walk the ship to orient yourself with the location of life rafts, lifeboats, and stairwells.


If you’re nervous about the safety record of a cruise line or particular ship:

  • Book through a travel agent. They are most familiar with cruise line reputations.
  • Check the Centers for Disease Control’s “report card” for your cruise ship by going to
  • Tap your social media networks for personal recommendations
  • Read consumer reviews at


It is way more likely that you will have food poisoning, a fall, twist an ankle on an onshore excursion or get robbed than run aground or sink so take practical precautions. Don’t eat anything that smells funny, hold onto the rail, watch the booze, and stow valuable in the ship’s safe if you are not using them such as excess cash, jewelry, and your passport.

  • Keep your ticket. The tiny print on the bottom is your contract with the cruise line. If you feel you have been wronged, you’ll need your ticket and a personal injury lawyer.


Knowing that you can communicate with loved ones can bring you and them great peace of mind if there is an emergency. Here are your options:

–          If you can, wait till you reach port and use your cell phone

–          Direct dial from your stateroom phone. It is convenient but will cost you $7-$20.00 per minute.

–          Obtain your cell phone provider’s cruise coverage rate before your trip

–          Send text messages from your cell phone. It is faster and cheaper than calls.

–          Take advantage of the pre-paid internet use option for sending emails.

–          Use Skype or another VOIP service.

–          Purchase a cruise ship phone card to make calls ship-to-shore. The card will reduce your costs. Ship-to-shore rates without a calling card can be as much as $20.00 a minute which may or may not concern you in an emergency.


—–Judith Kolberg- Writer, Author, and Book Coach.,



Judith Kolberg

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