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 youre packing swimsuits and sunglasses and everything you need for all those expected delights, consider doing what you can to prepare for the unexpected. Although, its 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 & water rations
In one of the worst-cast scenarios a cruise-goer might have to abandon ship for a lifeboat. So its important to pack protein-rich portable food items like trail mix and granola bars and bottled water. Its certainly unlikely that youll actually have to resort to rationing but its better to have the extra sustenance and not need it than to need it and not have it.
2. Backup power
While its highly unlikely that a cruise ship will lose power, it doesnt take much to be prepared for it. Bring extra batteries, and solar-powered chargers so that youre ready.
3. Hand sanitizer, extra face masks and disinfectant wipes
This one isnt just for Covid protections, though thats certainly still a concern. 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 isnt interrupted by a preventable illness.
4. Emergency whistles
A cruise ship emergency is unlikely. That cant 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, youll only use your flashlight for reading after the rest of your cabinmates have gone to bed. But if the ship does lose power, youll 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 its 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 & other essential 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 youre scheduled to return home. As we attempt to transition away from pandemic travel, 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. Consider cruise trip insurance with emergency medical evacuation
Cruise Lines may offer basic insurance but its generally not as comprehensive as cruise trip insurance. Unfortunately, its only available for U.S. citizens. Heres 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 theyre related to a covered reason like inclement weather. But Cancel For Any Reason coverage 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, youll need to be taken to the nearest medical facility for treatment. If youre 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 wont cover this procedure. Without cruise trip insurance it could cost you thousands of dollars just to get to a hospital.
- Covid coverage. Due to the nature of cruise travel, youll often find yourself in close proximity to your fellow passengers and will be using the same air as them. This makes cruise-goers more susceptible to Covid. While cruise lines are doing everything they can to prevent outbreaks, there are no guarantees. Fortunately cruise insurance covers Covid like any new illness, meaning that as long as the virus was contracted within the policy effective dates, youll receive financial coverage for any urgent medical treatment needed.
- 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 insurance, trip insurance 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 youll remember all your life. But its 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 youre looking into cruise trip insurance and you need assistance, our Customer Success Team of licensed insurance experts is happy to help.