The whole idea is to leave your worries behind. While that is true, when on a cruise ship there are a few worries, or concerns you should be ready for.
For those of us who don’t reside in a port city, an airline flight is usually involved. Do not trust the airline to get you there when they promise. We don’t trust them to feed us or make us comfortable, so why trust their word about arrival times? It’s a good idea to arrive in your port city the night before. The extra cost of a hotel room and a meal or two is well worth it for the peace of mind that you will make your boarding call. The ship will not wait for you, no matter who you are, so don’t be late.
Even though you are boarding and ending in the U.S, most itineraries include sovereign nations. The U.S Virgin islands are a U.S territory but what if you want to take a day excursion to one of the British Virgin Islands? St. Maarten is half French and half Dutch, though you can travel the whole island unimpeded. Jamaica, Mexico, and all the other stops are foreign countries and passports are either required or at least recommended for everyone, kids included.
A lot of folks think you can let the kids run free—where are they going to go? Unfortunately too many folks think this and let the kids run amuck. There are plenty of ways to get hurt or in trouble on a cruise ship so keep an eye on the kids. Predators are everywhere, though less likely to act in such a closed environment. There is always the danger of a kid climbing the rails and falling over board either on deck or on your balcony, and teenagers always seem to find a way to score alcohol if that’s their intent. Just because it’s vacation and a closed ship doesn’t mean they can’t find or cause mischief.
Since you pay off your tab near the end of the cruise, it’s easy to let it get out of control. Sure the buffets are included, but the specialty restaurants, the alcohol and even the soda pop is extra. Want to buy souvenirs in the gift shop? Wait until you’re off the boat where prices are way cheaper. Want to buy those pictures they take in the lobby? Use your own cameras; the backgrounds they use are fake and you can get a real one outside on your own.
The headlines announce every time there is an outbreak on a cruise ship. Anytime you put this many people together in an enclosed space there is a chance of flu or other infectious ailments. When you look at how many cruises there are and how many people partake in them, the odds are rather slim you will be on one of those with a bad outbreak. Just like you may do at home, wash your hands well and often and you should be fine. Make sure you bring any medications you take regularly or may anticipate needing like antacids, anti-diarrhea, or constipation cures. Aspirin or other similar headache relievers are advised, especially if you plan on drinking. If you do get sick or injured the ships all have medical facilities and personnel though they are not known for the very best medical care around.
It’s not so much the quality as the quantity that should concern you. Cruise ships feed massive throngs of passengers daily with no problems at all. Though buffets are the main feeding troughs for their clients, most people enjoy the selections and quality immensely. The problem for some is food is available 24 hrs. a day. Some of us have no self-control and others of us do but blow it off anyway while on vacation. One of the most dangerous aspects I’ve encountered is the free, unlimited soft ice cream machines. They are available all day and night as long as you can get the kids out of your way.