If a poll were taken of the least dangerous places to be in the world, a cruise ship might be near the top. A cruise is, after all, by definition, a relaxing place where everything is supposed to be taken care of for you.
On a cruise, in theory, you have no responsibilities. Your food is prepared, activities are available, others chauffeur you around, all you have to do is relax. All that can be true, and yet it can also be true that there are still dangers onboard.
These dangers can be major and obvious or surprisingly small and almost negligible. On the major end, there are plenty of historic and recent examples. Starting with the most glaring, the Titanic was, after all, a sort of cruise ship, even if it had a more direct purpose as well. While few accidents on the sea have ever rivaled that of the Titanic, there are plenty of ships that have stalled in open waters, crashed into docks or other ships, or been harassed by pirates.
Another major concern, and far more common, is food poisoning. While ships do their best to keep food fresh, the combination of being away from land (where fresh ingredients can be bought) and the use of buffets onboard can lead to more than a few food poisoning incidents. These can be individual and confine, or, as in the case of the Celebrity Mercury in 2010, can affect hundreds of individuals on board.
While food poisoning is usually more uncomfortable than dangerous, a lack of fresh water can lead to more serious problems because of dehydration, especially for young children and the elderly.
In terms of dangers that everyone is aware of but thinks little of, there is always a risk of falling off. Every year, people fall off ships or fall from one level of a ship to another. With so much water around, falls aren’t the only possible injury, there are also slips to worry about.
Finally, a lot of injuries that involve cruise ships don’t even take place on board. A large number actually occur at the dock. Cruise ship docks can be dangerous places where any number of people can pick up pretty serious injuries.
Another location would be onshore at a tourist destination. Another big chunk of cruise related accidents happens either on the beach or in the towns.
While cruises remain a safe and fun way to take a vacation, and it is important not to overstate the risks, there are still potential dangers onboard and onshore, just as there are anywhere else.
Just be sure, no matter how little everyone worries about getting on a cruise ship, that you try to stay safe. You may have no responsibilities on board, but that doesn’t actually mean “no” responsibilities. You still have a responsibility to yourself to stay safe. So, watch out for slips and falls, choose what you eat carefully, and watch your step on the docks. Then, just enjoy the party.