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Thinking about taking a cruise? Or, let’s face it, maybe you’ve put off scheduling your next cruise. Cruising expert and former luxury yacht purser Duncan Whitehead says you can stay safe and have the most amazing holiday if you follow these simple tips.


1. Keep passports, money, credit cards and wallets in waterproof type wallets, keep them accessible so in the event of an emergency you can grab them.


2. Wear layers of clothing, if you can, should you find yourself in a lifeboat. Rescue could take longer than expected so keeping warm is paramount.


3. Attend all pre-safety briefings and pay attention, these briefings will teach you how to don a life jacket and what to do during an evacuation. These briefings are mandatory but it is important, and maybe even life saving, that you pay attention and prepare.


4. Study evacuation routes posted on the back of your cabin door or in your cabin. Walk the route so you are familiar with it.


5. If you have special needs or allergies, bring your own medications and supplies. Keep these in a waterproof wallet or holdall. First aid bags on-board life-rafts will not stock specific medications.


6. Keep an “emergency kit’’ ready to go; it should include prescriptions, your cell phone, room key, glasses, and hearing aid if needed.


7. Cruise ships are packed with germs and viruses. Don’t spoil your vacation by getting sick, wash your hands often and thoroughly and make use of the hand sanitisers that you will see around the ship.


8. If you do get sick, most cruise ships have sickbays with at least one doctor and nurse aboard. Do not be afraid to verify medical facilities and staff aboard the ship before you book your trip.


9. Cruise ships are floating communities, full of people wanting to have a good time, but do not let your guard down. Treat the ship as you would a small pleasant town. Remember you do not know everyone on-board or their backgrounds. Don’t walk down darkened hallways, keep your wits about you, be careful what you drink, and remember to lock your cabin doors.


10. Always use the safe in your room and report anything suspicious to security or an appropriate crew member.


Have you been on a cruise? Share your cruise story here!