Dangerous and Expensive: Why You Might Not Want to Take a Cruise

are cruises dangerous

I have been on various one-day cruise voyages in my life, and I was not impressed by them. Boats are not level as they travel, and floors can become angled. The swaying of the ship didn’t agree with me. I don’t swim and always thought of what I would do if the ship sank or ran aground. Many people seem to enjoy taking multiple-day cruise vacation packages, but I just don’t see the appeal in them. Are cruises dangerous? Yes. And they are also more expensive than you might think.

Dangers of a Cruise Vacation

Cruise ship vacations are very expensive. You forfeit your safety to the mercy of the captain and crew. You have very scant legal recourse if a crime occurs. If the ship is damaged or rendered inoperable, you could be stuck out at seas for days. In 2013, the Carnival cruise ship Triumph made international headlines when its engines caught fire, shut down, and caused the ship to lose power.

Triumph was set adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for a week until rescue operations could be executed. The toilets stopped working, and raw sewage spilled down hallways and the walls of the ship. Food rotted. People had to stay in their cabins or fend for themselves until help arrived. Such situations are not common. But you have no idea how common overcharging and potential danger can be if you have never booked a cruise vacation.

You Will Be Overcharged For Everything

The average week-long cruise ship vacation costs as much as $1,800. If you want to take a vacation on one of those floating city style luxury cruises, you might pay as much as $8,000 per ticket. These prices are per person, keep in mind. Also, while many cruise ship packages are called all-inclusive, that might refer to food, drink, and activities package limits per day. All-inclusive cruise ship tickets don’t cover everything you might want to do while on a cruise or any hidden costs.

Go over such limits, or buy goods outside your ticket package, and you will pay extra. There is no one-size-fits-all standard for cruise ship packages either. You might pay up to $80 a day for food and drink packages. Like $5 for a soda or $15 for one alcoholic drink. If you try to sneak your own booze on board, it might be confiscated. You might pay over $25 an hour for wifi connectivity.

Make sure you keep a budget account of your expenses. A lot of cruises operate an onboard business in a cashless manner, so expenses are counted against room numbers. If you don’t pay attention, costs can add up quick.

There Is No Such Thing As Law In International Waters

Once you are in international waters, the laws of sovereign nations do not apply to a cruise ship. If you are attacked, assaulted, raped, or thrown overboard, there are no police officers on board. The captain of the ship has to make decisions in such circumstances. Cruise ship staff or hired security are there only to keep some semblance of order. They can’t thoroughly investigate such matters.

Even if they did, there isn’t much they can do about it besides forcing someone to stay in their cabin. After the cruise, you would have to file a complaint in your home country. Local or federal authorities of your home country would then have to investigate a crime that happened days, weeks, or months ago in international waters. Then determine what to do about it next.

Dip Your Toes in the Water

Consider taking a two or three-day cruise first. Research the history of the cruise company you want to patronize. Talk to people who take cruises and get their perspective. Don’t just pay $2,000 on a whim. Get an idea of what you are getting yourself into before taking a week-long cruise. No matter what happens, you’re bound to pay a lot for the experience.

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Posted in: Personal Finance, Travel

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