September 17, 2021

Safety Tips for your next Cruise

European cruises, such as to Santorini, Greece, require bit more preparation time to ensure a safe trip.

North Americans love to take cruises. Twenty-four percent of the population has taken a cruise and although Alaska and Caribbean cruises remain as top destinations, Europe cruises continue to attract huge numbers of cruisers. Any type of travel comes with risks, though, and a cruise is no exception. Minimize the risks with the following four tips to stay safe during your cruise.

Buy Travel Insurance With Medical Coverage

Don’t risk getting sick or hurt without insurance while you’re on your trip. Do so, and you’ll either incur hefty medical bills for overseas treatment or try to tough it out until you get home, which could result in a more serious health issue. Contact your health insurance provider before you leave and ask what it covers and what it doesn’t. You may need travel insurance with medical coverage, which—depending on the level you buy—could include anything from replacement eyeglasses to an evacuation home, which the U.S. Department of State estimates could cost more than $10,000.

Keep Your Finances Secure

Credit cards and travelers checks are the most secure ways to pay when traveling abroad. Neither requires you to enter a pin number, which can be seen by a thief standing nearby and later used in an ATM scam. Both will be replaced by the issuer if lost or stolen.

Once you decide which cards to bring, contact the issuing companies to let them know your travel plans. That way, they will be ready to use when you need them and not be held up by a fraud alert triggered by a transaction in another country.

To keep thieves at bay when in port, gents should carry their cards, checks and any cash in a money belt or a secure (zipped) pocket; ladies should stow the same in a crossbody bag.

Make Copies of Your Passport and Other Important Documents

Head to the local copy shop and make at least two copies of your:

  • Passport ID page
  • Driver’s license
  • Travel itinerary with any hotel and airline confirmation receipts
  • Credit cards (front and back)
  • Travelers checks
  • Prescriptions

Also get backup passport photos taken. You will need them and the first three items on this list to get a replacement passport if the original is lost or stolen.

Keep the copies separate from the originals at all times. Leave the originals in the cabin safe, keep a set of copies in your bag or money belt and give another set to a friend or family member who would fax them to you if needed. And speaking of the cabin safe—use it for everything, including electronics, the previously mentioned docs, medications and jewelry.

Enroll in STEP

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs administers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP. Enroll in it before you go. The bureau will send you travel updates and information about your destination country, and it will be better able to assist you in the event of an emergency, such as a lost or stolen passport or natural disaster.

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