WHAT ARE PEOPLE’S BIGGEST CRUISE FEARS?
We love the wide ocean, the continually open bars and the plethora of onboard activities.
But not everyone is as infatuated with cruising as we are.
According to research conducted by finder.com.au, one in seven Australians, roughly 2.8 million Aussies, would avoid a cruise because they’re too afraid of pirates.
As well as that, 37 per cent of people said they feared getting food poisoning or gastro, making it the most common cruise fear.
Close behind that were big storms (34 per cent) and seasickness (33 per cent).
Getting sick or injured and having to be airlifted to hospital was also a big fear, as well as the thought of the ship sinking or running ashore.
Somewhat more comically, hitting an iceberg or falling overboard were also cited as big concerns for 12 per cent and 11 per cent of respondents respectively.
However, while these concerns may seem laughable, there is actually a bit of truth behind the anxieties.
According to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report, pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers globally in the first quarter of 2017.
There were also 12 cases of Norovirus and E. Coli – the most common agents of food poisoning – reported officially by the Vessel Sanitation Program last year.
Luckily, it’s not all bad news, as 26 per cent of Australian travellers reported that nothing would prevent them from heading offshore on a cruise.
New figures from the Cruise Lines International Association also show that the number of Aussies heading on a cruise grew by 21 per cent in 2016 to a record 1,281,159 passengers.
That’s 1 in 19 Australians (5.3 per cent of the population) that cruised last year – the highest ratio in the world.
At the end of the day, it’s up to industry experts to educate travellers on the facts.
For example, food poisoning and gastro can be prevented through protective measures such as sanitising hands before and after meals and not sharing drinks.
It’s also a good idea to have a safety net in place.
Travel insurance for cruises can provide compensation for some of the things that can potentially go wrong, including missing your cruise, cancelling your trip, lost baggage or emergency medical rescue.
You can’t allow anxiety and doubt to interfere with your plans, and the best solution lies in preparation and knowing the facts.