This week, Carnival Cruise Lines is making headlines for a fire aboard one of its ships that turned a cruise into an experience passengers will never want to repeat. Some call it a nightmare, while others chalk it up to adventure.
Like many newspapers, The Arizona Republic was quick to localize the story. Reporters found Janell and Chad Kennedy, a couple from Glendale, Ariz.., that was aboard the cruise ship. They described being in the dark (thanks to their darkened inside cabin) and hungry for decent food during the seagoing debacle aboard Carnival Splendor.
What nobody is mentioning, though, are a few items that could made life far better for these travelers. Here are a few bits I bring on every trip that would’ve made it far easier for me to endure the experience patiently – and possibly even have a bit of fun.
Janell and Chad Kennedy had an inside cabin. Aboard a ship with no power, that means no artificial or natural light. I never fly without a Petzl headlamp apiece for my wife and myself. I usually bring a smaller hand-held light, too. Because the Petzl lights attach to your head like a headband, it’s easy to move around with your hands free. Shedding some light on their surroundings could’ve helped them ease some anxiety.
A Supply of High-Calorie Snacks
I’m sure the Kennedy couple counted on the cruise ship to keep their appetites at bay. That’s understandable. But I always have my own calories with me. It’s not that I’m paranoid, but we burn a lot of calories. On a cruise, you’ll have the chance to take in shore expeditions – you might need some energy food. In an emergency such as this, those snacks would’ve come in handy. I recommend a stash of ProBars and Primal Strips. The ProBars are healthy calorie bombs that take up barely any space. They’re relatively high in fat, but that fat is derived from nuts. Primal Strips are salty vegan jerky strips – great for replacing electrolytes lost through sweat while providing some protein. ProBars and Primal Strips are far tastier and more nutritious than the cold hot dog salad the Kennedy couple noshed on.
Camelbak or other Hydration Pack
Just in case collecting water would become an obstacle, there’s nothing better than a good hydration pack. Mine stores 100 ounces. This helps you monitor your intake while keeping your water clean and cool. At the first sign of trouble, I’d be filling it. It’s likely the ship had plenty of bottled water, but this is still the most convenient way to carry your fill.
There are many other accessories that are wise to pack on your travels, especially multitools like the Leatherman. But the items above are most relevant to this “cruise ship without power” situation.