Avoid Getting Sick on Your Next Cruise


Top 3 Ways to Stay Healthy

Unfortunately, nothing can completely eliminate the risk of getting sick on a cruise. But, don't let fear prevent you from taking that next sun-soaked vacation. Follow these 3 simple steps and cruise carefree:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

This one’s obvious, but incredibly important - The number one way to avoid getting sick on your next cruise is to thoroughly and frequently wash your hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should wash your hands before you eat and drink, smoke, or brush your teeth. Additionally, you should wash your hands after you use the restroom, blow your nose, and touch high-contact surfaces such as door knobs, elevator buttons, and railings. Don't forget to take advantage of the hand sanitizers deliberately placed around cruise ships in the dining areas, lounges, and other public spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry your own hand sanitizer in your purse or travel bag. Note that using a hand sanitizer is not a replacement for hand washing.

2. Be careful what you eat.

Fresh fruit and salads and raw seafood are popular items on most cruise lines, and it should be fine to consume them. However, it’s best to avoid them during excursions away from the ship, especially in under developed regions. While on land, stick with foods that require high cooking temperatures to kill bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. Also, be wary of unpasteurized foods. There are many microbes such as salmonella and listeria that can be present in unpasteurized dairy or eggs. Don’t be afraid to ask if your eggs or dairy items are pasteurized (better to be safe than sorry). Self-serve buffets are also a concern while on board cruise ships. Most cruise lines will limit the number of self-serve buffets for the first few days to identify and quarantine those passengers who are ill. This helps to prevent the spread of germs. Try to avoid self-serve options as much as possible throughout your trip. Finally, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will leave you better equipped to fight off any potential illness.

3. Watch for sick passengers.

Steer clear of any passengers who you see coughing and sneezing incessantly or even vomiting, whether there is a known outbreak or not. It’s best to vacate the area and alert staff immediately. Crew members are trained to quickly clean up any mess and to help sick individuals receive the medical treatment they need. While contagious cruisers may be quarantined in their cabin for the first couple of days, they are doing a great service to the rest of the passengers and crew by not spreading germs around the ship and causing more travelers to become ill.