New Products Address Old Cruise Travel Concerns

Attending the Seatrade Global Convention in Fort Lauderdale, there were plenty of vendors hawking their wares.  Want to buy a cruise ship?  There are a bunch of companies that would like to sell you one, repair the one you have or help make it better.  Not in the market for any of that? Hidden in displays of all things cruising that packed the sprawling Fort Lauderdale Convention Center floor were a few items that might be of particular interest to cruise travelers.


Overly Concerned About Personal Safety?

Throw Raft is a personal life preserver that automatically inflates when it comes in contact with water. The U.S. Coast Guard approved device transforms from less than the size of a cereal box, to a fully operational life saving device within five seconds of touching water.  Actually invented to save space on small boats, the small size before inflation of The Survivor model ($229.99) would pack well, making it a good choice for those worried that their ship might sink.  A better choice?  Cruise lines might choose (easier to)Throw Rafts, updating the standard throw rings we see on ships now and have for decades.



Inventor Troy Faletra explains his invention in this video:


Especially Concerned About Norovirus?
Sensitive To Lingering Smoke Odor?

An ongoing major concern of cruise lines and travelers both is Norovirus, the fast-spreading illness found in closed environments like hospitals, schools and cruise ships. When 3% or more of the passengers on board have it, cruise lines are required to report the outbreak to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which brings bad publicity.  Cruise travelers skip using elevators, holding handrails on stairs and take other precautions with limited effectiveness.   In the past we made a practice of fogging cruise ship staterooms with an air sanitizer like Ozium when first boarding, closing the door behind us  and going off to lunch, returning later to a more sanitary space.  Actually, we were just fooling ourselves, using the wrong product.

“What you need is not a sanitizer but a disinfectant,” said James Epstein, President of INTERCON, the company that makes and markets PURE hard surface disinfectant, fungicide, virucide and food contact surface sanitizer.  Marketed online at, their products promise to kill Norovirus in 30 seconds and are safe to use around children.

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Bonus Benefit: This product completely eliminates the lingering smoke odor that permeates clothing, drapery and stateroom furnishings.  That’s a huge win for especially sensitive non-smoking cruise travelers, even though staterooms are almost universally non smoking areas.  Still, smokers cheat in the bathroom and on balconies.  Cruise lines like this for often-smoky casino areas and Epstein touts a bonus benefit.  The ‘linger effect’ is where non-smokers often driven away from the casino by smoke stay longer, lingering around to lose more money.

Extra Special Bonus Benefit:  You can drink the stuff.

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Like A Cigar But Not The Nasty Looks?

To a number of cruise travelers, there is nothing better than a nice cigar on their stateroom balcony or on deck from time to time throughout the voyage.  But as smoking in general has become less popular, smokers have been relegated to a specific area of the ship that seems to be getting smaller all the time.  For non smokers, the worst offenders of their personal space are cigar smokers but hey, they have rights too don’t they?  Sort of like an e-cigarette but not refillable with a choice of designer flavors, the full size Citizen cigar comes to the rescue.

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Said to last about as long as eight cigars, the product could help with packing and transporting cigars much like tablets replaced luggage space formerly occupied by books.   Still, some things never change, including the marketing of deadly smoking products via this apparently super cool guy with designer tattoos enjoying his mock Cuban.