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If you and your family love the water, a holiday cruise might just seem like the perfect way for all of you to spend some vacation time together. After all, you’ve got catered food, gorgeous sights, and all kinds of entertainment – most of the bigger cruises truly have something for everyone.Just don’t let all that seasonal cheer make you forget that big ships mean big dangers. Most people don’t think about it, but people get hurt on cruises every year.

 

What to Expect from Holiday Cruises

 

They tend to deck the, well, decks this time of year, so you won’t have to leave holiday festivities behind when you hit international waters.

 

It’s not uncommon for cruise lines to feature holiday decorations and meals, carolers, and even Santas who provide gifts for kids. Some get a bit more into it than others, though, so the best thing to do is ask the company about each cruise you might be interested in. You can also check out USA Today’s list of Best Winter Cruises to see if something appeals to you and yours. And don’t worry – if your goal is to avoid holiday cheer and stay away from families and kids, there are cruises where you can do that,as well.

 

Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to cruises,as well. Most of us don’t really think much about it, but people get sick on cruises and injuries do happen. The worst part about this is that cruises can’t bring everything we have on land with them. As much as you wouldn’t want to spend your vacation in a regular hospital after an unfortunate injury, imagine doing so in the medical ward of a cruise ship. Not only will you be isolated from everyone else, you won’t have access to advanced medical care if you need it!

 

Most Common Cruise Injuries

 

As much as they can help people to relax, have fun, and get away from it all, cruise ships also bring with them their fair share of potential problems. The most common injuries and maladies people experience on cruises are:

 

  • Slip and falls – water left on decks, around pools and in other areas often leads to head injuries, broken bones, and other problems
  • Fire injuries – if a fire breaks out on the ship, there’s quite literally nowhere to run; these can be caused both by other individuals and mechanical problems
  • Infections – when you’re on a cruise, you’re subjecting yourself to a closed-off environment with thousands of other people; it’s a breeding ground for sickness, and people do get ill
  • Food poisoning – it’s not just that you’re potentially travelling to exotic locations, but that you’ll likely be eating lots of buffet-style food created in the fastest and most efficient manner
  • Assaults – put thousands of people together in a small space and continually ply them with alcohol and there are bound to be arguments and even fights

How to Avoid Getting Injured

 

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Take it from those who know, the best thing that you can do to keep yourself from sustaining an injury on a cruise ship is to pay attention to your surroundings and keep yourself in check.

 

  • Watch for areas that are wet, slippery, or otherwise difficult to navigate.
  • Don’t overindulge with alcohol, and stay away from those who seem like they are.
  • Check your food to make sure that it’s fully cooked.

 

Sometimes suffering an injury is beyond your control and you need to take action to get the compensation you deserve, but following the above tips should allow you to avoid most problems.

 

About the Author:

 

Andrew Y. Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphy. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”

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