|1. Pay attention to hygiene. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself on a cruise is to faithfully wash your hands. This is silly and trite, but oh so true. You should wash after going to the latrine, before eating and after dancing or other social events with lots of contact.
2. Bring along emergency contact information. Have phone numbers and addresses for consulates and FBI offices for the countries that are on your itinerary.
3. Pay attention to the crew. There will be lifeboat drills and other opportunities for the crew to tell you what to do in the case of an emergency. Simply pay attention, ensure you understand and that you have sufficient life preservers in your room for all in the room.
4. Pay attention to the environment. There are handrails and other safety features all over the ship. Use them. I recommend the rule of three-points of contact, both feet on the ground and one hand holding on to the rail while moving.
5. Pay attention to your belongings. Safeguard valuables. Cruise ships have safes and some even have security boxes in the staterooms. Put valuables in them to avoid theft or loss. Don’t expose the crew to temptation. Those who aren’t honest because they might take something, and those who are because they don’t want to be accused to theft because a passenger put jewelry on a dresser and it rolled off and it is hiding under a shoe.
6. Pay attention to the people. Report anything suspicious to the crew. Most will immediately leap to the scariest possibility: Terrorists. In practice, what you are more likely to find are thieves and those with too much to drink.
7. Pay attention to the drinks. Many love to drink alcoholic beverages. There is certainly a significant variety available on a cruise and no dangerous drive home afterward. However, you should hold off while you get used to the ship’s motion at sea.
8. Pay attention to the budget. There are many ways to spend money on a cruise, even before we consider the casinos. If you can’t afford to lose ridiculous amounts without wincing, put yourself on a firm budget and resist any urge to exceed those amounts.
9. Pay attention on shore. The cruise will almost certainly have organized activities arranged. If you must strike out on your own, there are many precautions to take. Negotiate all fees before entering taxis, tell your driver if you are unhappy quickly if needed and listen carefully to warnings from the ship about what is and what is not safe to do on shore.
10. Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t horseplay. Safety rails are on ships for reasons and bragging rights for standing on the rails of a moving ship isn’t worth falling overboard.