Are there enough lifeboats for everybody onboard?
Yes, there are enough lifeboats onboard to comfortably hold every passenger and crew member.
Are there lifeboat drills?
Lifeboat drills (also known as assembly drills or muster drills) are held at the beginning of each cruise, just before the ship sets sail. Attendance is mandatory in order to comply with Coast Guard and international safety regulations. Passengers must come prepared with their own life preservers, which will be found in passenger cabins (all cabins have one life preserver for each passenger).
I've heard about shipboard flu outbreaks. How can I check if my ship has had one?
Though flu outbreaks are rare, ships may occasionally have a few passengers who experience stomach discomfort. If you're concerned about any past illnesses on your ship, contact the cruise line directly.
What happens if I get sick?
All ships have doctors onboard who can assist sick passengers. In the event of a medical emergency, sick or injured passengers can also be airlifted from the ship, or the ship can make an emergency detour into a nearby port of call.
One mild form of sickness some passengers experience is seasickness; however, seasickness is very rare on larger cruise ships since they're equipped with stabilizers which minimize the feeling of movement. Again, if you feel sick, you can visit the ship's doctor, or pick up some over-the-counter seasickness medication from the sundries shop.
What happens if there's a hurricane or typhoon?
If inclement weather is ahead, the ship can easily change course to avoid the storm.
Can I call home from the ship?
Yes. Most ships have telephones in all cabins. If your cabin does not have a telephone (which is very rare), the ship's radio operator can connect you to a mainland number. Please keep in mind that making a ship-to-shore telephone call can be quite expensive, and it may be worth the wait to use a pay phone at the next port stop.
Will I get seasick?
If you have a problem with motion sickness in automobiles and airplanes, you may be more prone to seasickness. On the other hand, if you get nauseous in a smallish sailboat, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get seasick on a cruise ship. Modern cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers that eliminate much of the motion responsible for seasickness. And, unless your cruise includes the open sea and wind-whipped water, you may not even feel the ship's movement--particularly if your ship is a mega-liner.
If you have a history of motion sickness, do not book an inside cabin. Being able to view the horizon can help restore your sense of balance. Select an outside cabin in the middle of the ship on a low deck where any extreme motion will be less noticeable.
What should I bring in case I get seasick?
The most common drugs are Dramamine, Dramamine II, and Bonine. They are all essentially anti-histamines and are available at most pharmacies over-the-counter. Anti-histamines make most people drowsy and Dramamine will almost certainly have that effect. Dramamine II and Bonine are non-drowsy formulas but they still put some people to sleep for a few hours. Considering the alternative, that's not necessarily a bad side effect. Rest assured that if you forget to bring your own, an ample supply will be available onboard your vessel, either in sick bay or at the Purser's Desk. Another alternative is the "Patch" which is worn behind the ear. The "patch" dispenses a continuous metered dose of medication that's absorbed into the skin and enters the bloodstream. Apply the patch four hours before sailing and it will continue to be effective for three days. You'll need a prescription from your physician for the patch and, while wearing it, be vigilant for possible side effects including blurred vision, dry mouth, and drowsiness. Additionally, alcohol should be avoided and you shouldn't drive or do other things that require alertness until you discontinue using the patch.