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10 Tips for Cruise Travelers

10 Tips for Staying Safe while Cruising

Cruise ships are quickly becoming one of the most popular vacation choices for travelers worldwide. With the numerous cruise lines and tour excursions now available to vacationers, more and more people are packing their bags and hitting the high seas for a little relaxation. However, before you set sail, AAA offers 10 great tips to staying safe while at sea.

As you travel:

  • Choose your ship carefully. Consider one that docks in a U.S. port to ensure your vessel meets strict U.S. Coast Guard standards. Consult the for recent Vessel Sanitation reports.

  • Investigate your health care coverage. Will your insurance apply in a foreign port? If not, consider purchasing trip insurance and a personal protection policy to ensure medical emergencies or trip cancellations are covered.

  • Alert cruise staff to any special needs you may have. Ask whether arrangements can be made for any special meals or equipment.

  • Get you travel documents in ship-shape condition. Order all necessary passports, visas and proof of citizenship papers in advance. Complete cruise documents prior to ship boarding. Consider applying for International Drivers License identification, whether or not you drive.

  • Consult your physician. Address concerns you may have about seasickness or climate-related conditions. Request a letter detailing pertinent medical information, including medications and copies of your prescriptions. For medicines containing a narcotic, include a written justification. Ask that medication lists include names of generic equivalents.

  • Duplicate all travel documents. Photocopy your passport, cruise information, travelers checks, medical information, itinerary and emergency contact addresses and phone numbers with country codes. Carry one copy in a suitcase and leave a duplicate with a family member or friend.

  • Practice onboard safety. Make sure your room has enough life jackets. Pay attention to the lifeboat drills and crew instructions. Study alternate routes from your cabin to the nearest lifeboats.

  • Be realistic about physical limitations. Sudden changes in climate and diet can affect your health. Use sun block and wear a hat in tropical ports of call. Dress warmly when traveling in colder climates.

  • Be alert. Lock your cabin door. Make use of a cabin safe or safety deposit box. Leave expensive equipment and jewelry at home. Consider a disposable camera and inexpensive watch. Avoid gold or gold-tone jewelry. Wear a money belt or necklace purse. Whenever possible, travel with a group.

  • Obey the law. The rights we have in the United States do not apply outside our waters. At sea, cruise ships are subject to international maritime law. On land, laws in your port of call apply. Don't take chances. When in doubt, consult cruise staff member.

(Source: AAA)

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