Why Cruise Ships Have Fewer Lifeboats Than the Titanic

7 months ago

More than 25 million people boarded cruise ships globally back in 2017. It may not seem like a lot, but that’s more than the total population of Belgium! It’s a great vacation alternative, with an added bonus: you can sample various different destinations for future time-off in one single trip. If you’ve already booked a trip on a cruise ship, but you still have no idea what you should pack, start with some research on your specific cruise locations.

Either way, be sure to bring deck-friendly shoes that are low-heeled. Also, add a pair that’s comfortable to walk on larger distances, for the days spent ashore. Depending on the season, you might want to add a few swimsuits too. If you are on any type of medication, make sure to bring it with you in its original packaging.

If you’re a light packer, don’t worry. Most cruise ships come equipped with laundry rooms. They are kind of pricey, especially if you want your garments to be washed, ironed, and folded for you, but it does save you the extra hustle of packing more clothes or washing them for yourself. It’s really important that you check in with your credit card company before boarding a ship.

More so, if your itinerary includes one or more foreign countries. Your credit card might get frozen if there’s any unusual activity in your account. Most of these companies have algorithms that get triggered once there are charges from different countries in rapid succession. Which is exactly what you’ll be doing on a cruise ship. Letting them know beforehand saves you the embarrassment of having your card declined at some fancy restaurant.

To make sure you get the best room, before booking it check out the ship’s deck plan. It should be available on their website. If it’s peace and tranquility you’re looking for, don’t go for the rooms directly above or below any of the ship’s entertainment points. Also, if you have a history of getting seasick, try to skip the rooms that are available at the front of the ship. Rather go for those located in the middle of the ship on a lower deck, you’ll feel less movement. If it’s your first time going on a cruise, you might be surprised to know that some cabin rooms don’t have windows.

Before making a reservation, make sure to check out all the amenities of the room you intend to book. Most cruise liners add a bunch of pictures from the common rooms on their reservation pages, and it might be a bit confusing as to what you’re getting exactly, for that specific price point. Also, some rooms on board are quite small too. If you don’t like to sleep in small spaces, you might want to upgrade to a larger room, even if it’s a bit pricier. You can always split the cost with a friend if they want to join you on the cruise.

With the help of modern technology, even if a specific location doesn’t have windows, it doesn’t mean you can’t watch the waves. How, might you ask? Fancier cruise ships feature a secret, added bonus. In the areas with no access to sunlight, specialists have built virtual balconies. These high-tech screens work by showing you what’s going on outside in real-time. They have an added benefit too: In case of bad weather, guests can still have a feel of the outdoors, without the wind or rain ruining their hair or their outfit. It may not be the real deal, but it still beats getting claustrophobic on board.

Planning on going on a budget cruise? It might not be such a bad idea. Especially if you’re on the lookout for last-minute upgrades. You might even end up vacationing like a millionaire without having to spend money like one. These upgrades sometimes include things like a private balcony in your room, maybe some spa services, or even better prices for high-end meals. If they aren’t all booked by the time people board the ship, they might be open for the rest of the passengers, for way better prices than initially listed.

There might be hidden freebies on board if you pay close attention. Things like complimentary pastries on board late in the morning, or a late-night cup of tea on the house might be some of the things offered to guests... you only need to ask. You might want to check out what other tourists are doing.

Some people with more experience cruising can offer pretty great tips and tricks. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation if you see someone getting something for free. Some cruise ships do go all the way on the fancy dial. They even have exclusive areas designed for guests staying in expensive suites. Most of the time they’re located at the top of the ship.

On one particular cruise, these types of guests have designated staff members called Royal Genies, which are similar to butlers. They can cater to just a few cabins. Since the cruise line wants to divert other guests from asking them various questions which will take time away from their assigned guests, the genies do not wear a nametag in public areas.

Most common areas of cruise ships do require travelers to follow a dress code. But if you do your research in advance, you might find that some areas are more relaxed when it comes to what people need to wear. Most cruise ships require people to adhere to “smart attire,” which means pants with a collared shirt for men, or blouses and skirts, dresses, or stylish pants for the ladies.

As for the travel destinations, be sure to research the ports you’re about to visit in advance. You’ll know what to wear, what the weather will be and if you need to pack anything else, like an umbrella or a beach towel. Stops on cruises only last for a few hours in most cases, so you’ll want to get the most out of them. If that specific location includes museums or art galleries you want to add to your checklist, be sure to book in advance, so you don’t waste time waiting in lines.

Some cruise ships even provide their guests with private tours of the ports they are about to visit. Do make sure to book them in advance if this is something you might be interested in, as the list gets pretty full quite fast. Independent tours are a bit more private. You can spend time with your tour guide and even ask more questions. Always remember to put your phone in airplane mode while on board.

Most cruise ship horror stories involve cruising newbies that ended up paying thousands of dollars in cell phone charges while on ships, just because they forgot to turn it off. If you’re the type of person that can’t switch off their phone, be sure to check with your cell phone provider before traveling internationally. Some can provide special plans for limited amounts of time, without extra charges.

You’ll be free to chat, call or browse YouTube videos without worrying you’ll end up paying a fortune. Most cruise ships also provide you with complimentary Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi packages that can be purchased in advance, which are way more affordable. You can stick to communicating with your friends and family back home via FaceTime or Skype.

People that have heard about the Titanic tragedy will always wonder what might happen if something goes wrong while on board. Let’s take lifeboats, for instance. The Titanic had a mere 20 lifeboats on board, which were tragically not enough to fit all the passengers after the ship hit the iceberg.

Some fancy cruise ships these days have an even lower number of lifeboats, anywhere from 15 to 18. Sounds strange? Well, not really, given the fact that each lifeboat can accommodate up to 370 people. Even the largest ships — which have an estimated capacity of 8,000 people if fully booked, including tourists and staff — are safe in case of an emergency.

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