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  • 17
  • Jan
  • 2012

When Something Goes Wrong: Top Tips to Help You Prepare for Cruising Emergencies

No one goes on a cruise expecting something to go wrong.  And for the vast majority of people, nothing does. However, there may be that rare time when your trip can run into a few bumps or an even more rare larger emergency event.

Cruising still remains one of the safest ways to travel and we  encourage those who are skeptical to avoid crossing cruising off of their to-do list too quickly. As with any other type of travel, we also encourage you to be prepared for emergencies so that you are able to get back to safety quickly and with as little grief as possible.

Happy Traveler Comment
I want to thank you [Glynna] for suggesting the Avalon boat trip through the Rhine River. We had a superb time. As I reflect back I am in awe of the history in Europe. The architecture is stunning. I would recommend the trip to all that inquire about it. The finale of a week in Holland was the icing on the cake. Did I say we had a WONDERFUL time? Thank you so much. — Sharon F.

Here are some tips from our cruise experts on what you can do to prepare yourself before leaving and what to do during your trip if anything should happen:


  1. Find a good travel agent
    When the unexpected happens you need someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Having a travel agent who has a relationship with


    Travel Agent

    you and your best interest in mind is worth gold when travel emergencies happen. While you focus on your safety and well-being, they can focus on getting you back home or to the rest of your itinerary with the least amount of hassle.

  2. Always provide your contact and travel information to others
    Make sure your family and travel agent have your contact information, travel itinerary and any other information they might need for you while you’re on your vacation. Give a copy of your passport’s information page to your travel agent so they have it on file with your other travel documents in case they are lost.
  3. Collect important contact information and keep it close
    Just in case something extreme happens and you need assistance, make a list of important contact information for things like the closest embassies along your route, your travel agent’s emergency contact number, your healthcare provider back home, and anyone else you may need to speak with. Keep a copy of this information close at hand and  also email yourself a copy to an email address that you can access while on the road. If you lose access to the paper copy, you will have a backup online to get to.
  4. Plan for emergency communication back home
    Your mobile phone carrier probably has an international option they can activate on your cell phone plan or your agent can give you several options for renting an international mobile phone.
  5. Travel Insurance is worth it
    Most people can afford to lose the cost of their trip, as unfortunate as that might be. But, the cost to be air-lifted off a cruise ship due to a medical emergency is financially life-changing.


  1. Keep your documents handy
    Have all your travel documents in a “grab and go” waterproof travel pouch.

    Untied States of America Passport

  2. Pay attention during muster drills
    As soon as you board your cruise, find out where your lifeboat station is and when the muster drill will take place. Pay attention and take this drill seriously.  It makes all the difference in getting you off the ship safely in case of evacuation.
  3. Report in to authorities as soon as possible 
    In the event of any emergency, report in to someone in authority as soon as possible so that your situation can be documented. Loved ones back home are likely to hear of your circumstances through an official channel before you are able to make direct contact with them.
  4. Try to stay calm and cooperative
    Most importantly when emergency situations happen, try to remain calm and be patient. Emergency responders always operate in a triage mode – the highest need is addressed first. By demanding their immediate attention, you only slow down their effectiveness and compromise everyone’s safety.


Are there any other safety measures you take when traveling abroad? If you feel they could help other travelers be safer while at sea, share them with us below!

Get more Expert advice by contacting the at 1-866-361-3405. Also, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join our Inner Circle.

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