The Joys of Cruising: Safety and Sanity

Dawn Princess at Puerto Vallarta 2.jpg
By Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Cruisers can make me Crazy Crazy

So we just got back from taking a group on a cruise to the Bahamas.

For some of the guests, it was the first time they had ever been on a cruise.

I always find it interesting to observe people who have never been on a cruise before. One lady who got on the boat was very surprised that that she could see through to the other side.

She was like, I thought it would be much bigger than this. I’m really surprised that I can see out the other side.

I thought to myself, You’re on a boat, lady. What were you expecting?

There is always a bit of confusion the first time people get on a cruise ship. First there is the disorientation. They can’t find their rooms in relation to everything else. Sometimes I have to send out a search party to go find people who have gotten lost.

They are always a bit overwhelmed by the initial muster on the decks. Granted, it is sort of a shocking experience to have every single passenger crammed onto the decks, listening to instructions about how to get into a lifeboat.

I’ve always thought that it was sort of an odd way to start a trip: giving instructions about what to do if the boat sinks. It seems like that would not be great way for most people to start out. I’ve gotten used to that now so it doesn’t faze me at all. But I could see from the look in the eyes of some of our newer guests that it was a bit unsettling.

New guests are always astounded at the amount of food that’s available on cruise ships. That’s always fun to observe. The ships that we take our groups on always have unlimited food available pretty much 24/7. People really enjoy this and go for the gusto generally.

New people are a trip to watch on the excursions. When we use tenders to get off the boat and go onto an island, you can see them going into planning overdrive. Usually there’s always a straggler and I have to send out a search party to track them down and bring them back.
It’s fun to see people relaxing on the boat and getting into the entertainment. Some of the people who are usually reserved will cut loose and really enjoy themselves. That’s very fun to watch.

I always have one or two high-maintenance guests–the person whose sheets are not turned down right or who can’t fit into the trash-can-sized shower or doesn’t know where to store their six oversized suitcases.

These guests take a lot of the fun out of a tour, but I’ve also come to expect them. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for managing them. Usually, I’m aware way ahead of time who the high-maintenance travelers will be—because they’ve been high maintenance already, and all I’ve done is plan their trip!
So I take a deep breath when it comes to those guests and remind myself that this is my job, not my vacation. That helps. If it was my vacation, I wouldn’t put up with their crap!

Here are some cruise safety tips.

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