A tropical cruise sounds like a beautiful way to see the world, and it absolutely can be. When things go smoothly, as they do for hundreds of thousands of passengers, a cruise is relaxing and enjoyable. It takes you to places you’ve never been and helps you get away from the daily grind.

That said, it’s not perfect. You’re still out in the deep sea, and there are risks that come with that, just as there always have been. You can’t ignore them.

For instance, did you know that some reports claim that 274 cruise ship passengers fell from the boats and into the water in the decade from 2006 to 2016? Or, did you know that other reports claim that over 200 people completely vanished after going overboard from 2000 to 2013? They were never seen again.

Many times, these incidents are fatal. A cruise ship takes a very long time to slow down for a search. No one may realize that the person fell. The ocean is vast, and staying afloat in that choppy water is incredibly taxing.

Of course, people also do survive. Over the last two decades, about a dozen people have been recovered. One person lived in the water for 17 hours before they were found. But even surviving does not mean everything is fine. That type of exposure to extreme conditions can cause very serious injuries and ailments.

Again, most people ride cruise ships safely, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the very real risks. If you get hurt or if a loved one passes away, you need to know what options you have.