10 Most Dangerous Things People Do on Cruise Ships

Florida is hands-down the most popular state for catching a cruise. In 2016, the cruise industry spent a whopping $7.97 billion in Florida, contributing considerably more to the Sunshine State’s economy than any other state. Florida’s five ports — Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Tampa, and Port of Jacksonville — account for 61% of embarkations in the United States. Port Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral are the three most-visited cruise ports in the entire world.

With millions of travelers flocking to Florida each year to embark on a relaxing cruise, the opportunity for mishaps looms. All too often, passengers put themselves in precarious scenarios and increase the probability of suffering a cruise ship accident. People on vacation do all sorts of dangerous things aboard cruises without knowing the risks of their actions. Let’s take a look at the top 10 things most likely to transform your vacation into an unpleasant experience.

Ignoring the Muster Drill

The muster drill is the safety drill that takes place before the ship embarks from the port. During a muster drill, passengers learn where their muster station — the area where you must gather during an emergency – is aboard the ship, as well as how to wear a life jacket properly and the different types of alarms. Passengers learn crucial safety measures they must follow during emergency procedures.

Excessive Sun Exposure

Too much fun in the sun can lead to heatstroke and dehydration — especially when you’ve been drinking liquor. The best way to protect yourself from sun damage is to use sunblock, even on a cloudy day.

Forgetting to Wash Your Hands

Bacteria and illnesses thrive on cruise ships. Thousands of people living in close quarters and buffet-style dining make diseases spread easily; in fact, passengers may contract highly-contagious noroviruses on cruise ships at any time. Be sure to wash your hands often, even before applying sunblock to your face.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Most cruise ships pride themselves on excess. Giant displays for movie screenings, multiple swimming pools, luxury spas, a constant supply of treats and refreshments and open bars trigger over-consumption. Heavy drinkers, in particular, carry a higher risk of hurting themselves. Consider limiting yourself to no more than a few drinks per day to avoid getting hurt or skip the unlimited drinks package. While the conditions for an injury may be present at any time, if you are incapacitated at the time of an accident, proof of that can completely invalidate a personal injury claim.

Recreating the Balcony Scene from Titanic

Believe it or not, balconies pose a real threat on cruise ships. They are features most people don’t have at home, so they enjoy gazing into the horizon while leaning on them. Unfortunately, people fall off balconies on ships fairly frequently. The fall is usually from pretty high up and can be fatal or near-fatal. Sometimes, people fall overboard into the sea and drown. Those who are intoxicated may be more prone to balcony accidents.

Bringing Cannabis on Board

You may have a prescription for cannabis from your doctor, but the chances are that this prescription won’t be recognized as valid anywhere outside the state in which you received it. Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and it is illegal in many countries. Customs and Border Protection agents will not recognize the drug as a valid medication, meaning you could face serious criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

Failing to Use In-Room Safe

You  might trust the staff with your valuables, but using the safe inside your cabin is wise, as valuables can be swiped or misplaced. If you brought a passport, tablet, large amounts of cash, and fine jewelry or a prized watch, you can likely fit all these items in the safe and not worry about them when you’re enjoying the amenities your ship has to offer.

Carrying Wads of Cash

It’s becoming increasingly dangerous to travel with a hearty supply of loose bills and change. Nearly all transactions on the ship can be made with a credit card, and chances are, you can also use your card at the various destinations you visit. Lots of cash is a target that attracts crime and begs to be misplaced. Unless you frequent the casino, bring only a little cash for emergency situations.

Cruising While Pregnant

Cruise ships are not known for having state-of-the-art medical facilities. On the contrary, it’s dangerous to suddenly go into labor on a ship. There are little resources should a complication arise, and most ships lack the proper equipment to deliver newborns safely — not to mention premature babies.

Ignoring Doctor’s Orders

A physician who knows you well would be the best source of information regarding whether you should book a cruise or not depending on the condition of your health. Cruises are a great, laid-back way to explore the world and are generally safe; however, certain medical conditions can easily be exacerbated on board. Without access to proper medical facilities, you could be putting your life in danger.

Although it’s impossible to prevent all accidents, there are several scenarios that could be avoided by simply acting with due diligence and care. When that standard of care is breached, negligence ensues. At The Umansky Law Firm, our Orlando personal injury attorneys fight for the rights of injured victims aboard cruise ships and help them seek compensation for the harm they sustained aboard the vessel.

If you become injured on a cruise ship due to the negligence of the staff, cruise line, or other party, you may benefit from working with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact our firm at 407-228-3838 or click here for a free consultation.