When you think about cruise travel, what comes to mind? Chances are things like soaking up the sun on the deck, drinking fancy cocktails out of a pineapple on the beach, touring tropical islands and remote lands. But while you’re packing swimsuits and sunglasses and everything you need for all those expected delights, consider doing what you can to prepare for the unexpected. Although, it’s not something you want to think about, spending some time to pack and prepare can protect you and your loved ones if your cruise trip hits a snag. Here are 9 essential items to include in your cruise emergency safety kit.
1. Food and Water
In one of the worst-cast scenarios, a cruise-goer might have to abandon ship for a lifeboat. So it’s important to pack protein-rich portable food items like trail mix, granola bars and bottled water. It’s certainly unlikely that you’ll actually have to resort to rationing, but it’s better to have the extra sustenance and not need it than to need it and not have it.
2. Backup Power
While it’s highly unlikely that a cruise ship will lose power, it doesn’t take much to be prepared for it. Bring extra batteries, and solar-powered chargers so that you’re ready.
3. Hand Sanitizer, Face Masks and Disinfectant Wipes
This one isn’t just for Covid protections. Cruises can be a breeding ground for germs and viruses. Having extra hand sanitizer and wipes on hand will help ensure that your dream cruise isn’t interrupted by a preventable illness.
4. Emergency Whistles
A cruise ship emergency is unlikely. That can’t be overstated. But if an emergency does occur aboard a ship it will often involve loss of power. Amid the darkness it can be hard to tell where your loved ones are. Packing a bunch of emergency whistles will help make it easier for everyone to stay together and stay safe.
In all likelihood, you’ll only use your flashlight for reading after the rest of your cabinmates have gone to bed. But if the ship does lose power, you’ll be glad you have a few on hand to help navigate through the darkness.
6. Over-the-Counter Medication & First Aid
While the medical facilities on board your ship will more than likely have aspirin, cold and flu medication, dramamine for seasickness, bandages or thermometers on hand, you can save time and money by packing these on your own.
7. Sanitary Waste Bags
While it’s unpleasant to think about, if a cruise ship loses power it could lead to toilet and sewage issues. Packing some waste bags can make the resulting situation a little easier.
8. Your Up-to-Date Passport & Travel Docs
Make sure your passport and all necessary travel documents, from vaccination cards to visas, are up-to-date. Note that some countries require the passport to be effective up to six months AFTER you’re scheduled to return home. Some countries will have different entry requirements. Your cruise line can help you ensure that you have everything necessary to enjoy all the ports of call on your itinerary.
9. Cruise Trip Insurance with Emergency Medical Evacuation
Cruise Lines may offer basic insurance but it’s generally not as comprehensive as cruise trip insurance. Currently, it’s only available for U.S. citizens. Here’s a look at what trip insurance designed specifically for cruise insurance provides that may not be covered by cruise line-offered insurance.
- Cancel For Any Reason Coverage. Most cruise line insurance offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage if they’re related to a covered reason like inclement weather. But Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance gives you even more flexibility. With CFAR, you can cancel your cruise trip for any reason and still recoup certain prepaid expenses like unused excursion tickets.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation. While all cruises will have medical staff and resources on board, most ships are not equipped to handle moderate or severe medical issues. If you suffer a significant injury or illness while at sea, you’ll need to be taken to the nearest medical facility for treatment. If you’re not at a port or are in a remote area, you might require emergency medical evacuation, which involves being airlifted by plane or helicopter to the nearest medical facility. Cruise Line-offered insurance won’t cover this procedure. Without cruise trip insurance it could cost you thousands of dollars just to get to a hospital.
- Accident & Sickness Coverage. Trip insurance actually offers coverage for urgently needed medical care. This is important because cruise ships may not have the capacity or the resources to handle many emergency medical events. You may need to be evacuated to the nearest hospital. Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage doesn’t cover you once you are at the medical facility. But Accident & Sickness benefit may cover you for urgently needed medical care you receive there.
- Missed Connections. If you miss your port, cruise coverage can provide financial assistance for costs associated with reconnecting you with your ship at the next port on the itinerary.
One plan you might consider is SafeCruise cruise travel insurance, which is designed specifically for cruise travel. This plan is exclusively for U.S. citizens embarking on cruises, whether they be international or domestic.
Chances are, your cruise trip will be an amazing experience you’ll remember all your life. But it’s always best to be prepared for the possibility that things might not go quite as you planned. Adding these items to your cruise emergency kit can give you peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your trip.
If you’re looking into cruise trip insurance and you need assistance, our Customer Success Team of licensed insurance experts is happy to help.