Something that might surprise you if you're not a regular cruiser: As recently as five years ago, lifeguards were nowhere to be found at the pool areas of the major lines' ships. There were caution signs posted, but passengers swam at their own risk.
Disney Cruise Line was the first to add lifeguards in 2013. Royal Caribbean International followed suit earlier this year.
Now another big player in the industry, Norwegian Cruise Line, has announced that lifeguards will soon be on its ships, too.
Trained and certified by the American Red Cross, Norwegian's on-staff life savers will monitor family pools during scheduled hours. They'll appear this summer on Norwegian's four biggest ships—Escape, Getaway, Breakaway, and Epic. The rest of the fleet will have lifeguards by early 2018.
The move follows several instances of children coming to harm in cruise ship pools in recent years, including the 2015 drowning death of a 10-year-old girl aboard the Norwegian Gem.