This week the cruise line industry is meeting in Miami for the “State of the Industry” conference. Among other things, the industry is discussing an expansion of the geography of the itineraries. Currently, the most popular destination is the Caribbean, both east and west. Voyages to Mexico have fallen into disfavor due to the extensive crime and drug problems there. In the never ending effort to remain competitive in the travel industry, the cruise lines strive to expand their services to appeal to the masses. They are now discussing, expanding their European routes and creating new itineraries in Asia, including China. This of course will present itself with new safety challenges. Passengers may be required to obtain certain vaccinations, otherwise not necessary for the US and Caribbean routes. Obviously, the food choices will reflect the local custom and most US citizens are not used to the native Asian cuisine. Also, some of the areas in Asia have governments that are rather restrictive. If a traveler intends on travelling to these new locations, it will serve them well to familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of the ticket, learn the local customs and research the dos and don’ts of the countries on the itinerary. Especially when the cruise destination is halfway around the globe. If one becomes seriously ill or injured, they may find themselves in an Asian medical facility not likely to take American insurance. Remember, safety is always first.