Unfortunate incidents that occur on cruise lines plague headlines whenever one takes place. Splashed across papers internationally are pictures and stories of the damage that occurred, diseases that spread rapidly, or some operational incident. Those incidents are enough to scare some people away from even giving a cruise vacation trip a chance. However, the chances of something going wrong on your cruise is not as common as it may seem.
Incidents on cruise ships occur at the same rate as incidents of airlines, both having equal safety records and both having a better rate of safety than travelling via vehicle. Man overboard incidents on cruise ships have drastically reduced from 23 in 2009 to just 12 in 2013, which is another common fear of people debating a cruise vacation. Fatalities from man overboard incidents on board ships totals 80 people from 2009 to 2013.
About 39 percent of survey respondents believe that safety is top priority on board, especially following the tragic ordeal of the Costa Concordia. Following that incident there has been the introduction of ten new safety procedures, according to research carried out by cruise.co.uk. While most people have the images of the Costa Concordia incident permanently branded in their minds, cruise lines have taken a lot of steps to improve the onboard safety of the cruise.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) “the average CLIA ship, of approximately 97,000 gross tons carrying approximately 2700 passengers and 800 crew, typically has five firefighting teams whose main members have advanced shipboard firefighting training, 4,000 smoke detectors, 500 fire extinguishers, 16 miles of sprinkler piping, 5,000 sprinkler heads and 6 miles of fire hose. Sprinklers and smoke detectors, as required by international regulation, are located throughout the ship.”
Another common fear of a cruise vacation is the spread of disease such as the Norovirus. The total number of outbreaks on cruises on ships with U.S. and foreign ports totals 62 outbreaks from 2010 to 2014 and the total number of people sickened went from 2,821 in 2010 to 1,766 in 2014. As it is great to see the number of outbreaks going down over the years, take the necessary precautions yourself to keep yourself healthy while cruising.
As the cruise lines have been making serious efforts to protect their travelers, you can also drastically reduce your odds of something going wrong on your cruise by following travel safety tips and cruise packing guidelines. The more that you educate yourself and follow the instructions from the crew on board, the odds will be in your favor.