by Chris Owen
Cruise vacations offer something for everyone. Active and want to stay that way? Cruise ships have everything from fully-equipped fitness centers to rock-climbing walls, surf simulators and more to make that happen. Don’t want to do anything at all? Cruise ships have you covered there as well, pampering passengers with around the clock room service, twice-daily stateroom cleaning and a variety of activities and programs that require no effort whatsoever. Travelers can do just about anything they want to within reason but there are a few activities that should be avoided.
- Don’t sit, stand, play or have personal relations on the guard rail– The guard rails are meant to keep you on the ship. If you sit on them and the ship moves in the wrong direction, off you go. End of story.
- Don’t argue with other passengers- Cruise lines have the right to throw us off the ship at the next port without a refund or way back home if we misbehave. That could mean being rowdy in a bar, arguing with a casino dealer or just about any other crew member.
- Don’t try skipping the muster drill- Sure, after we have been on just one cruise we have a pretty good idea of what to do in case of an emergency. In the olden days, before the grounding of Costa Concordia, a $20 bill to someone checking cabins to be sure everyone was at the muster stations satisfied the requirement. Not so now and attempting to skip the important safety information session can and has resulted in passengers being kicked off the ship.
- Don’t do it in the hot tub: Surveillance cameras cover pretty much all public areas of the ship, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Do we really need to know more than that?
- Don’t buy travel insurance without knowing what it covers- One of the very worst travel assumptions we can make is “I bought travel insurance so I can cancel if I change my mind and don’t want to go”. Maybe but that would only be if you bought “cancel for any reason” coverage which most often gets a percentage of what was paid as a future cruise credit, not cash back, if bought through the cruise line.
Not surprisingly, common sense on cruise ships is not as common as we might want to believe and those passengers that don’t play by the rules can pose a real danger to others. Cruise lines are highly aware of this and actively look for those passengers who threaten the safety of other passengers, crew members or the ship itself. Those folks have a different sort of memory when thinking back to the cruise they took that ended abruptly.