Arrive home shipshape with these cruise safety tips

Plenty of us are getting into cruising – just shy of 700,000 Aussies in 2012 according to the Cruise Lines International Association – so are we doing everything we can to stay safe on these sea-bound voyages?

Here are a few tips on sailing safety:

1. A cruise ship is not an aeroplane.Even though you’ve seen dozens of in-flight safety videos, the process aboard a vessel is entirely different, so you should take the time to attend the safety briefing. There will be a lifeboat drill on the first day, complete with highlighter vests, muster points and instructions from the crew. Sort this out early on and be prepared in the unlikely event of having to use it.

2. Explore. Learn the ins and outs of the ship (or at least, the parts you’re allowed in) so you know the quickest routes between your cabin and the deck, and any other escape routes around the vessel. Not only will this help you in case of an emergency, knowing the blueprint like the back of your hand might help you find your way back to your bed after a few too many post-dinner cocktails.

3. Safety features are there for a reason. If your cabin is small and you’re short on space, try having a tidy up rather than hanging items from your fire sprinkler.

4. Wear sensible shoes. The deck may become wet and slippery which can make wearing thongs a nightmare, while a dry deck in socks can be just as slippery. Opt for footwear with traction.

5. Don’t let your common sense go on holiday. You will still have to ensure you lock your cabin door when you go out and don’t leave handbags lying around. There are often thousands of people aboard a ship and it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Don’t forget to sort out travel insurance policy before you set sail. Virgin Travel Insurance now comes with an optional cruise pack that may suit your cruising needs.

What’s your best cruising safety tip?