Dial 911 – What Are the Most Common Injuries Guests Suffer While on a Cruise Vacation?

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As much of a happy place as a cruise ship can be, accidents are simply a part of life, and in spite of all the efforts cruise lines make to ensure all guests are safe at all times, sometimes people are just people. Here are a few of the most common injuries we encounter on our day to day (ideally not THIS often!) onboard.

Trips and Falls – Tripping and falling is unfortunately something that cannot be prevented. When falling on board, the upside is having a medical team just a few decks away ready to assist as needed, and with so many carpeted areas, it’s mostly a less-than-urgent matter. There are cases, however, when more attention is needed, and in the worst of the cases, we will have to have the guest disembark in the nearest port.

Falls in the Tub – Surprisingly, not that common of an occurrence. However, due to the nature of the fall and the fact that shower areas in ships are quite small, it generally doesn’t result in major injuries. If particularly concerned, you can always request a shower/bath mat for extra safety.

Dangers Around the Port – There are many dangers in and around the port area with everything from steep gangways to uneven surfaces to ropes to heavy machinery and shuttles moving in many directions at once. It might be raining and windy resulting in slippery footing. When accidents occur while ashore a few more things come into the equation. Nothing can prevent a fall or injury 100% effectively, but it almost always results in a ruined cruising experience, so it’s just a matter of minding your step and being aware of your surroundings at all times.

Activity Based Shore Excursions – Whether you’re riding a scooter, a segway or a horse, accidents that occur while engaging in these sorts of activities can generally result in painful injuries. Unless you have a great deal of experience, I would recommend choosing a different adventure. ESPECIALLY if you’re planning on doing it on your own as opposed to a cruise-organized excursion.

Sun burns – Yeah, we all get excited to be under the sun, ready to show off a wonderful tan, a trademark souvenir of a great vacation. But some people are more sensitive, and less cautious about the effects of the sun on their skin, especially when in a different latitude of the world where the strength of the sun rays may hit differently from home. Better to be safe than in pain, so pack – and use – the sunscreen!

Burns from the Deck – Under a bright sun the decks onboard can get hot. So hot in fact that you can burn your skin just walking on them. One guest who had nerve damage burned the bottoms of his feet so severely that his skin was coming off! So be safe and always wear some sort of footwear when walking on deck!

Falling overboard – As René blogged about, by far the worst case scenario when on a ship. While a lot less frequent, these events make a huge dent with everyone’s vacation. Don’t be surprised if ports of call are canceled altogether, aside from the horrible search and rescue process. This can also cause delays to the ship’s arrival in the next port, which, if happens to be the debark one, you might have to wait a while before the ship is cleared. This is one of the main reasons you should never book your flights too close to your debark time.

These are the most common injuries I have seen, but as you can see some simple steps can help to reduce the likelihood of any of them happening to you on your next cruise! – That Guy (onboard)

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