What to Take With You on a Cruise in Case of Emergency
I have had about six cruises so far, and at least two of them included what you might call “medical emergencies.” There was one voyage during which the ship headed to the nearest port of call to disembark a passenger who, for example, required medical assistance that could not be provided on board. There was another flight, if I remember correctly, with a helicopter for medical evacuation.
There have also been more predictable bouts of norovirus and / or cruise mud, which can humiliate you no matter how often you try to wash your hands (but hand washing is still your best defense, so get out the soap and be ready to sing a song Happy Birthday twice in a row).
Of course, I’ve never been in a situation like the recent Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine, but I know what it’s like to get on the boat knowing that A) you get stuck there for a week or so and B) you might feel unwell at any moment …
Therefore, it is important to prepare for such things in advance.
The Points Guy has a great guide to “preparing for a travel disaster,” including tips on what to pack if you get sick and what to pack if everyone else gets sick and you’ve been stuck on your cruise ship for longer. than you. expected. (This tip also applies if you are stuck at airports due to flight delays, hotels due to weather, etc. Etc. Etc.)
Some of the TPG tips are pretty obvious. For example, take as many additional medications as possible with you; a week is good, but three weeks is better. Another tip is less obvious: TPG suggests downloading downloaded media files to your phone or laptop in case you get stuck in an airport / hotel / cabin / bus station, etc. you have no internet access and nothing to do – and if you have work that you can do offline, be prepared to get it done.
But let me add my own advice to this list:
Pack excess underwear and pajamas
Yes, I saw that joke on Twitter about how we all pack our underwear like we’re going to get dirty twice a day. Well … guess what might happen if you get infected with norovirus? By packing in plenty of underwear, socks, and pajamas, you can change into fresh and dry clothes as often as you need, whether you have stomach trouble or too much margaritas.
Bring yourself a comfortable meal
While cruise ships are essentially 24/7 floating buffets, The Points Guy still advises cruise ship travelers to pack their own snacks – and I agree with him. Some days you wake up wanting to eat a granola bar instead of your next huge cruise ship breakfast; some days you wake up late and you only have time to grab a granola bar before jumping out of your cabin to go on a dolphin tour; some days you wake up feeling seasick or hungover and want to eat only certain types of salt. (Plus, if you do end up on a cruise ship that’s temporarily out of service due to a quarantine situation, well … having your own food supply might come in handy.)
Carry a small bottle of dish soap with you.
These days, I never travel without a palm-sized bottle of soap. There is so much you can do with it: wash your hands, wash the aluminum water bottle you carry with you, wash the glasses of water that the hotel provides (they are not actually as clean as you think), wash any clothes. who need washing (I hand washed the entire dress in the shower with dish soap and it turned out to be normal), etc., etc.
If you also have cruise ship packaging suggestions or any “emergency” travel packaging suggestions, let us know! The last thing we want to do is get stuck somewhere without what we might need, from pain relievers to a way to pass the time – and even on something as luxurious as a vacation, sometimes you need both.