Top Lifesaving Tips Every Family Planning a Cruise Must Know!
Despite the recent cruise ship issues we have heard in the news, cruise travel is still a safe and delightful adventure for families, couples and singles alike. Here are 10 easy lifesaving tips you can follow to help you set aside your worries and enjoy your vacation.
1. Mandatory: On-board Family E-Prep Meeting Once you get to your room and before everyone goes off in different directions, have a Mandatory Family E-Prep Meeting in your state room. Here are some key elements to make your meeting effective:
i) When you arrive to your cabin, look for your muster station assignment
posted on the inside of your cabin door. Everyone has a badge or room key.
Write the muster station on your room key with a sharpie. Make up a rhyme if you think your kids will have trouble remembering.
ii) Go into the hallway and count how many cabin doors are between your cabin
and the Exit to your muster station. Memorize which way you turn out of your cabin and how many cabin doors you pass to the Exit. In the event the ship looses power or heavy smoke fills the hall you can feel your way to the Exit.
iii) There must be a life jacket for everyone assigned to a cabin. Remove
the life jackets from the closet to make sure they are the correct size for everyone in the cabin. Life jackets are available in children and infant size too.
iv) Practice putting on your life jacket. A life jacket will feel snug but
not tight. Be sure the strap wraps around your waist and listen for the “click” to be sure it’s secure. Do this exercise with your kids a few times before sailing so they can put on their life jacket without you. They can do it…just watch them! J 2. Attend the mandatory pre-departure safety drill on the ship by walking from your cabin to your assigned muster station. If your safety drill is not at the location of your assigned lifeboat, find out exactly where on deck your lifeboat is.
3. As a family determine one place where everyone will meet in the event of an emergency. Small handheld walkie talkies are a great idea to bring on a cruise so everyone can stay in touch, instant chat.
Best place is the Muster Station assigned to your cabin. These stations can be big so when you are at the safety drill, pick a special place…under a visible sign is best. Make it an obvious place: it will be crowded and crazy in a real emergency. You don’t want to lose your family in a sea of scared people.
You’ll be advised to go to your cabin and get your life jackets first, but kids might get lost going too many places. Make a pact. If the alarm goes off and you are not together only ONE goes and gets the life vest (should be Dad or Mom). The truth is, if the boat goes down quickly, you’ll want those kids by the life boats pronto! Dad or Mom can run fast and get the jackets.
There are always spare life vest in the boats.
4. Walk the evacuation route from various areas on the ship not just from your cabin. Make sure your kids know how to get to your muster station from
the pool deck, kid’s club and other places they might be – make it a game!
Their wristband is marked with their muster station. Be sure to point this out to your kids or rewrite it with a sharpie if you think they can’t read it.
5. Cruise with a small Maglite flashlight and Glow Sticks. During the day hang the flashlight on the door knob inside your cabin. At night, place the flashlight on your nightstand. In the evening carry a Glow Stick in your evening bag or dinner jacket in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to pack replacement batteries. Glow Sticks are great night lights too!
6. Store a medication supply in a small air/water-tight container that can be hooked on your belt. Be sure to do this for your kids too in case you get separated during an emergency. If your child has life saving medicine, they need it on their person. You might not be there to administer. This is my
favorite: Ezy-Dose Deluxe Pill Fob Metal Keychain. It is small, water tight and the pills don’t get crushed. You can put a simple clip on it so it can be on a belt loop.
7. Consolidate and manage your critical data and vital documents such as
medical records, medications, Passport information, emergency contact phone numbers and the name and phone number of your travel professional on an encrypted flash drive like “life @ HAND”. Place “life @ HAND”, a copy of your Passport, your travel professional’s business card and your Sea Card in a document holder you can wear around your neck under your shirt. You will never have to worry about not having your valuable, important information with you in an emergency onboard or on shore.
8. Hand Health: Don’t put your hands in your mouth…Wash them often (sign Happy Birthday while washing so you are scrubbing long enough)…Use the hand sanitizer before each meal (most ships have this available at the entrance to the dining room).
9. Really worried? Bring a small container of Clorox® Wipes ….when you get in your room. Wipe down the following:
All Door Knobs and Handles
Important tip: Let the wiped areas air dry (this is how those nasty germs get
10. Although we would like to believe in an emergency everyone will pitch in to take care of each other, the sad truth is in many situations becomes “Every man for himself “. Remember to practice your safety drill; listen to crew instructions; know your path; carry your meds and documents, but most of all remain calm and carry on.