DALLAS, January 23, 2012 – On a cruise the last thing you want to do is to go to your cabin, pull out a life jacket and head to the muster station for a safety drill. I know. I’ve resisted it on every cruise I’ve been on.
That was then, but now, in light of the recent incident with Costa Cruises I realize just how important taking the time to pay attention to the safety drill is. It can literally save your life.
Here five things that every cruise traveler needs to know before boarding a cruise:
Know the ship’s layout before you board. Every cruise line these days has the means for a passenger to take a look at the layout before boarding the ship. Know where the exits are all around the ship, how many floors are on the ship and where your cabin is in relation to the nearest lifeboat and emergency decks.
Know where your life jacket is located. On some ships your life jacket might be in your cabin and at the sound of an emergency alarm you will need to go to your cabin and get it before reporting to your muster station. On other ships the life jackets are handed out at the muster station. Remember too, children’s life jackets are normally kept on deck near the life boats. Become familiar with your life jacket and the whistle and light that are attached.
Pay attention to your cabin lock and how to get on the main deck in a hurry. Cabin door locks can be vary, depending on your ship. For example, sometimes a key is needed to lock and unlock the door. Pay attention to where you will need to go in an emergency. Do you need to turn left or right for the nearest exit to get to your muster station? There is an emergency evacuation route in every cabin on all reputable cruise ships and you should learn the route soon after boarding.
Know the ship’s safety record before you book. Before you even book a cruise, know the ship’s safety record. Inquire about everything from sickness outbreaks to cleanliness, hygiene and even guest services.
Watch your alcohol intake. For many reasons watching how much you drink is good advice. The best reason however, is that in an emergency you want to be able to think clearly. While you are on vacation to have a good time, too much alcohol can cause sun stroke, injury or even the possibility of your falling overboard.
While no one wants to believe they might become a cruise ship casualty, the tragedy of the Costa Concordia proves it can happen. Neglecting to spend time arming yourself with information can have serious consequences.
Being prepared can, in the most extreme cases, be the key to your survival.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com. Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.