Nothing can be said to be of an absolute certainty in this world – as I am sure it could be said at any age in history. So is cruising safe? The following is this writer’s perspective on the question.
I have vacationed by car and by plane, have stayed in all inclusive resorts, experienced many individualized far-flung itineraries, cruised on the oceans and rivers. After all these, cruising remains my absolute favourite way to vacation – and one of the top reasons is the peace of mind it brings because I know I am safe and secure in the hands of the cruise line.
Cruising is big business these days. Think of the bad publicity garnered a cruise line (or any other well known business) when things go wrong. Cruise lines are not going to purposely put their passengers in harm’s way. If a port of call becomes unsafe whether from the political climate of the country it is in, or from unsavory criminal elements there, you will hear there has been a switch in itinerary to another safer port. This switch signals a better indicator of possible danger than many western countries’ travel advisories which have been known in the past to be confusing and sometimes, ridiculous.
Of course, no cruise line vendor can protect you from random acts of violence or other criminal acts. These can happen in your hometown too. It is up to the traveler to act in a responsible manner, be cautious, be aware, and to take appropriate precautions. If you imbide too much of the local wine on shore and get mugged for example, that is irresponsible and you alone are to blame, not the cruise line. If you are pick pocketed in Rome or Paris, that is miserable too certainly, but perhaps you should have been aware these are known areas for thievery of this sort and hid your valuables. (I love river cruise line
excursions as I know these are either the company’s own or arranged by the vendor depending on the line.) Cruise lines try to keep you safe but they can’t prevent passenger naiveté, or downright stupidity, on board or on shore.
Another way I feel personally safe on board a cruise or river ship, is with the food I am served. Cruise ships undergo rigorous inspections. Personal hand washing is encouraged everywhere. Extra precautions are taken at the buffets. I can drink the water without worry and have ice cubes in my tropical mixed drinks without hesitation. I have picked up more illnesses through air travel than I ever have on a cruise ship.
My personal items of value are safe too because on board all I need is my card. Everything else stays in the room safe. If I ever had anything of very great value, I know it can be taken to the Purser.
So is it safe to cruise? Yes, of course it is. But if you are uncomfortable with certain areas of the world right now, remember that cruise offerings – both ocean and river – are global: just explore somewhere else. It’s amazing where you can go and what you can do cruising these days. Try a theme cruise, try a luxury cruise or a river cruise as a change, or even cruise close to home. Ask you travel professional to help you find that perfect vacation waiting for you. Don’t let fears – of anything – make you an armchair traveller.
Author’s travel motto: Travel as far and often as you can because the day will soon come when you can travel no more. Will you ever regret on your deathbed, ” I never read that article on cruising to the Galapagos”?
Images courtesy of Pixabay and Big Stock.