|Photo by: Seth J/Flickr|
I’ve been reading all about the situation with the Carnival Triumph this past weekend. My thoughts are sincerely with them as they wait for assistance. According to the Carnival Cruise Lines website, they are expected to get back into port Thursday – making for several days without basic accommodations such as functioning toilets throughout the ship, hot food, and air conditioning in the core of the ship. While Carnival has pledged to refund the cost of the trip as well as a credit on a future cruise, I don’t know how far that would go.
In this situation, I agree with blogger Marshall Jackson and what he wrote on his blog. Cruise ships, just like airplanes, are machines that are prone to malfunction. But when malfunction happens, you have to deal with it and make the best of the situation.
The lithium battery issue on the 787 Dreamliner is an example of this: it’s entirely unfortunate that a malfunction happens that can totally mess up an otherwise great vacation. The important thing to remember is that everyone is safe and secure, and that no injuries have been reported as a result. Just like the battery malfunction is not going to stop me from getting on a Dreamliner once they get back in the air this year (I hope), this incident will not prevent me from going on a cruise sometime this year.
But this incident is going to make me consider how I prepare for my cruise vacation, and prepare for a situation like this. In this worst case scenario, there are several things that can be done in order to make life easier in an unforeseen event:
- Travel First Aid Kit
A small first aid kit doesn’t take a lot of room and can be invaluable when it comes to surviving the trip. It can be as simple as a small bottle of pain relievers, bandages of various sizes, antibiotic ointment, and information to give to a doctor in case of emergency. With this small package, you would be surprised how far it will get you. Just make sure all of your medicine and ointment are less than 3 ounces and can fit in a 1-quart bag.
- Water Treatment System or Tablets
This might sound a little extreme but when you’re stuck in a place with non-potable water, this can help you get a drink in a hurry. A small, UV light emitting device (like SteriPEN) can treat as small as a single glass of water, and kill viruses and bacteria in the water instantly. If you’re not planning to be in a remote place for long, water treating tablets are also a convenient way to make sure that you’ve got access to water wherever you go. But keep in mind that tablets have a waiting time for treatment and are meant to treat larger quantities of water (a liter or more). To get rid of the weird taste left behind, use a liquid water flavoring to drop in.
- Battery-Powered USB Charger
In the event that you can’t charge your phone somewhere, a battery-powered backup charger can certainly save the day for your electronics. Just plug it in before your trip and use it as your regular charger while away. In the event that power is lost, the internal battery will give your phones and tablets the charge it needs to stay on when the lights go off.
- Emergency Contact Information and Travel Insurance Contacts
In the event that you’re stuck somewhere – do people know how to get a hold of you? More importantly, do you know who to contact while you’re away? Can you remember the phone numbers for the five most important people in your life off the top of your head? Wherever you go, keep a list of emergency numbers on hand. Be sure to include: important family contacts, your carriers (air, land, or sea) and hotels, people who need to be contacted in the event of an emergency, and the nearest American Consulate (if you’re away from home). Also remember to keep the phone number of your travel insurance provider nearby – as they can assist you in the event of an emergency, such as making alternate arrangements when your travels are delayed or contacting family and employers when you’re stuck. I always keep this information written down in case my phone dies. It’s easy to remember when your phone has plenty of battery life. But if there’s no power in the phone…you can forget about accessing that information, and easily forget the numbers in the first place.
By being prepared for the worst, you can make the best of any situation. How do you make sure you’re prepared for a trip? Let me know how you get ready for the worst in the comments below!
(Ed. Note: No incentive was given to mention any product or service in this blog. Travel Insurance Services and its affiliated companies do not endorse nor guarantee any product or service mentioned in this or any blog. However, we sure would love to hear about your experiences with them!)