Why Cruises Are the Safest Way to Globetrot
When picturing the perfect family trip, what qualities does it have? For most parents, it’s a combination of fun, relaxation, and maybe even a little bit of learning.
Most of all, you want your family vacation to be safe. No trip is fun or relaxing when you’re worried about the possibility of someone getting hurt.
Perhaps a cruise wasn’t first on your list of safe trips — being surrounded by water can make some people (especially parents) nervous. But thanks to things like strict safety and health rules and a low record of safety incidents, cruises are one of the safest ways for you and your kids to see the world.
Cruises have been around since 1901 (about 13 years longer than commercial airlines). That’s a whole lot of time for the industry to perfect its safety measures and make sure every vacation goes smoothly for children and their parents.
Here are the top 4 reasons why a cruise is a great way to have a safe and stress-free family vacation.
1. All Cruise Ships Have to Follow Strict Safety and Health Rules
Thanks to international law requirements, it’s not easy to let cruise ship safety issues fall through the cracks.
Any operating cruise ship is required to follow strict laws and guidelines to help ensure the safety of all passengers. These regulations apply from the moment plans are made to build the ship, and continue throughout its operation.
Just a few of the requirements are:
- State-of-the-art electronic navigational instruments
- Life boats, rafts and preserves for every passenger on board with spares
- Safety drills in multiple languages
- Training for all crew in hull integrity, personal safety and cargo safety
Cruise ships undergo around 60 rigorous safety, environmental and health inspections a year. This leaves little time for any serious issues to pop up, and keeps the ship’s staff on their toes.
2. There are Very Few Incidents Reported on Cruise Ships
Another common concern for families preparing to embark on an international vacation is personal safety. Some parents fear being robbed, while others fear for their own and their children’s personal safety while navigating foreign countries and public spaces.
Luckily, the chances of any of these personal safety incidents is rather low, particularly if you’re being aware of and following basic safety guidelines. According to a reader survey by Cruise Critic, 89% of their cruisers have never been affected by a crime, major or minor, during their cruise experiences.
As a parent, you know kids aren’t always aware of their surroundings when they’re lost in their imaginations and engaged in play. While the fear of someone falling off the ship is common, it’s extremely rare.
Just like with the rest of the ship, all cruise lines have strict barrier regulations that dictate the heights, railing types and structure.
Most overboard incidents have been travelers jumping overboard on purpose, or climbing up and over safety barriers. Chances are, you and your family are completely safe going about your day-to-day activities (even if your kids can be a little clumsy).
3. Cruise Ships Are Safer Than Trains and Airplanes
Wherever you go on your trip, you’ll have to play a bit of planes, trains, and automobiles to get to the port. Each of these modes of travel can come with safety concerns of their own.
Cruise ships have been shown to have the lowest amount of fatalities per billion passenger miles than planes, trains, and cars.
And if in the worst-case scenario there were to be an accident or emergency, you’ll typically have more time to find a safe exit than you would on a plane or train.
Even in the worst cruise ship accidents that have resulted in ship evacuation, most passengers end up safely on land.
4. Safe Onshore, Too
Sometimes the ship ride itself isn’t what causes worry. Perhaps you’re a bit more worried about arriving in new ports and international cities.
Safety regulations apply on shore as much as they do on the water. Cruises are required to land in vetted ports that undergo regular inspections.
These ports are controlled by the US Coast Guard with the help of various other agencies such as police, ship crews, and cruise security forces.
Cruise security is typically well trained in a variety of circumstances and in touch with the coast guard for any large-scale emergencies.
Upon arrival in a port, a cruise ship has security protocols already in place to protect passengers. Some are even escorted by armed ships!
Cruises are also required to not only know how many passengers they have, but the identity of each one. This helps ensure no one goes missing and that no one who isn’t meant to be on the ship comes aboard.
Cruising Safety Tips for Families
Parents can put their mind at ease by equipping themselves with even more cruise safety tips before embarking:
Put together a first aid kit: Include any medications your family typically uses as well as dressings for small injuries. This will save you a trip to the infirmary and paying extra for medications.
Bring your family’s medical info: You’ll also want to be sure to bring your doctor’s phone number and any medical records so the cruise medical staff will have a better idea of how to treat a health issue.
Make sure your immunizations are up to date: You’ll be traveling to new places and sharing space with people from all over the world. Be sure you can enjoy it without worrying about illness by making sure your family is all up to date on immunizations.
Have a safety meeting: Before the trip, take some time to debrief your kids on travel safety. Remind them about basic safety rules and how they apply on vacation, too:
- Let them know that they should never go into someone else’s cabin or allow someone in theirs.
- Be sure to have them check in regularly when doing things like swimming or other free play activities.
- Encourage them to use the buddy system when playing and walking to and from new activities.
- Go over their activity schedule and anything they’ll need to know about what to bring and how to have fun in a safe way.
- Decide on cabin curfews for older children where you can check in and make sure everyone is back safely.
With a few simple safety measures that would apply on any trip and the comfort of knowing cruise ships are well regulated and built for safety, you can finally start thinking about the fun parts of trip planning, like how you’ll be spending your days on board.
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