Although I have dreamed of being stranded on a tropical island for a week, I would rather not be stranded on a disabled cruise ship. This week I have sadly watched the news reports for the Carnival Cruise ship Triumph. A fire can occur and disable any cruise line. With power lost throughout the ship, passengers are left to survive as best they can under the trying circumstances. Although my family has enjoyed a snowy evening with out power I have always been happy to see the power turned back on. I can only hope that my clients will not experience these hardships on their next vacation. I have put together a small list of items that every guest sailing should consider before sailing.
- Anti Bacterial Gel – You can usually find this at the entrance of every dining room. But it is a good idea to keep a small bottle of gel in your day pack. You might need it poolside or on your shore excursion.
- Bottled Water – Most ships offer a bottled water plan. On your first night you can arrange to have a case of water delivered to your stateroom. Disney Cruise Lines even allows it’s guest to bring their own water on board.
- Snacks – You will never go hungry on a cruise. But sometimes you just want a small snack late at night or while on shore. Pack snack size trail mixes, nuts, granola and power bars. They don’t take up much room, and they hold up well.
- Baby Wipes – We use these for many reasons. I like to pack a few in a Ziploc bag and place them in our stateroom refrigerator/freezer. They are great way to cool off. I’m sure some of the passengers on the Carnival Cruise line would love to have a few to “freshen up”. Baby wipes also come in handy when your kids spill something on the only nice pair of pants they own.
- Medications – Some medications should be packed for those “just in case” scenarios. I always make sure I have Pepto Bismol and Imodium. Our extended family of 12 recently took a vacation to Eastern Europe. 9 of the 12 of us contracted food poisoning. I became a very popular person with my bottle of Imodium.
- Dramamine – Once the power is off the ship, the ship’s stabilizers stop working. This can cause even the most hardy sailor to become seasick.
- Solar battery chargers – If the power is off how are you going to charge your cell phone, I-pod or I-pad? Having a solar charger has saved me on many camping trips.
- Insurance – Well you don’t’ really pack insurance but I always recommend that clients purchase travel insurance while cruising. The cruise lines will refund your fare and usually offer a free cruise in the future. But they might not cover additional expenses incurred while you dock in a different port. The Carnival Triumph sailed from Galveston Texas but is returning to Mobile, Alabama. The Cruise line is providing free overnight rooms before the guests fly home. But with 4000 passengers if I had insurance I would just get off the ship, jump in a cab and go to the nearest hotel to take a shower. My travel insurance should cover my extra expenses.
- PASSPORTS – Currently cruise line passengers may travel with an original birth certificate on a closed loop cruise. But if you need to be evacuated from a foreign country for any reason by air you will need a US Passport to re-enter the country. Originally the Carnival ship was to be towed to Mexico and then passengers were to be flown home by charter plane. However, any passenger that did not have a passport would not be able to re-enter the United States.
- Patience – When things go wrong on any vacation it is a disappointment. Tempers can start to flare and before you know it the situation starts to deteriorate fast. Take a deep breath and calmly try to get through it.
Patricia M Patricia lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is an avid fan of all things Disney and has been for many years. Her first trip to Walt Disney World was 40 years ago during their opening year. Since then she has taken 25+ trips to a Disney destination, staying on multiple Disney properties at each of the three resort levels. She cherishes the family memories that are made with each vacation. Patricia has a passion for Disney trip planning. She has helped many friends and family members plan their trips. You can find her tips for planning a trip full of magical memories here at the Disney Planning Blog and also on her Facebook page, Magical Memories Travel