If you’re planning a cruise, you might be thinking about how to keep healthy and avoid getting sick while on board. Cruise lines do a great job sanitizing and cleaning, however there are things each of us can do to stay healthier when we cruise.
After taking more than 25 cruises, there are a few things I’ve learned from my experience and from other cruisers.
In this post, I share some things you can do to avoid getting sick on a cruise. These things will help you to stay healthy and feel your best during your cruise vacation.
How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise
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1. Wash your hands and avoid touching your face
This might seem super obvious, but sometimes when on vacation, we don’t realize everything we touch as we go about our day. Washing hands (even more often than usual), is considered to be the best form of preventing the spread of illness.
Remember to avoid touching your face as well.
2. Use hand sanitizers often
Cruise lines have recently shared that they’ll be placing hand sanitizers in many areas of the cruise ship. While in the past, hand sanitizing stations could be seen as you entered dining rooms, restaurants and buffets, they will now be placed in more public areas.
For even more convenience, consider keeping small bottles of hand sanitizer with you as you go around the ship, and even as you’re in a cruise port or on an excursion. You may also like convenient travel size antibacterial wipes (verify price and reviews on Amazon).
3. Disinfect your cruise cabin with these hacks
Even though your cabin steward will have cleaned your stateroom before your cruise, it’s a good idea to do your own disinfecting as well. I was surprised to know how many frequent cruisers say that they do a quick cabin disinfection before they unpack.
I love these cruise cabin disinfection hacks, and will be doing this myself on all my future cruises!
- Use disinfectant wipes (kills 99% of viruses and germs/sold on Amazon) to wipe down all surfaces (desk, night tables and bathroom counters)
- Don’t forget to also wipe down the cabin telephone and tv remote control
- Ask your cabin attendant to remove magazines and brochures that have been left in the cabin (and touched by many passengers)
- If you plan to watch tv, place your remote control in a ziplock bag
- Wash the wine or other glasses placed in your cabin yourself (bring a small container or dish soap)
Take 10-15 minutes to sanitize your stateroom, as soon as you enter on embarkation day. Then use the wipes as needed throughout the cruise.
4. Be cautious when eating off the cruise ship
Many times stomach ailments are caused by food borne illnesses, so use caution when eating off the cruise ship. It’s a good idea to eat at recommended restaurants – you could even look these up on trip adviser or other sites before you go.
One tip we like to use is to ask a a few staff members on the ship for their recommendations. Some of the best recommendations have come from the cruise shop staff (they’re off during port days and often head out for the day), youth staff, and the on-board entertainers.
My thought is that the crew will hear of places that are having “issues”, since they are back week after week.
Read more: 11 Cruise Shore Excursion Do’s and Don’ts
5. Take vitamins to boost your bodies’ immunities
One of the best ways to avoid getting sick on a cruise, is to find ways to keep the body healthy in the first place. Consider taking vitamins or using natural products that help to bolster your body’s immunity system.
Many people have had great results with Cold-Eeze, zinc and edelberry syrup and products.
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6. Bring over the counter medication
While if you’re really sick, you shouldn’t embark on your cruise, it is possible to simply catch a common cold or something benign while traveling.
It’s a good idea to bring along some over the counter cold medicines, in a first aid kit for your cruise.
Brands are limited on the ship, and tend to be on the expensive side, so pack a small medical bag.
Here are some cold and cough medicines you may want to add to your cruise packing list:
7. Avoid using public cruise ship washrooms
Whenever possible, try to use your own cabin washroom rather than public ones outside the dining room or near the pool.
Even though cruise lines have said that there will now be a rigorous cleaning schedule, and doors may be propped open to reduce touchpoints, the fact is you’re always better off in your own cabin.
If this is possible, try to avoid the use of public bathrooms. If not, make sure to wash hands and use the sanitizer (you may want to have your own wipes).
8. Get adequate sleep
Even though this post may seem a bit serious – after all it’s all about keeping healthy and avoiding getting sick while cruising.
However, cruising is actually a lot of fun. So, it’s only normal to try and take in all the great activities and shows, and have an overall great time.
However, be careful not to overdo it. It can be tempting to use the motto “I’ll rest when I get home”, but truthfully you’ll feel better and enjoy your cruise more if you get the sleep you need.
Studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, you are actually more susceptible to getting sick, so it’s important.
9. Stay hydrated and eat fruits (and other vitamin rich foods)
Eat fruits and vegetables
One of the best things about cruising is cruise food!
While we often think about the desserts and decadent meals, cruises have so many healthy fresh fruits and vegetables available and conveniently cut up. It’s the best!
Load up on Vitamin C rich citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits (often available at breakfast), fresh fruit salads at lunch or as a snack, fruit plates after dinner, and more.
Drink more water
It can be easy to forget to drink as much water as we should, especially if we’re on the go or indulging in some poolside frozen cocktails.
Consider, bringing along a refillable water bottle that you can use both on and off the ship. Keep it filled with fresh cold water at all times and you’ll be more likely to drink water. You can even add some fresh fruit in your bottle to make it even more appealing.
10. Bring Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes can be your best friend on a cruise ship. Keep a few in a ziplock or bring some of the portable packs.
Some places to wipe around the ship that may not be obvious (but can be covered in germs)
- poolside chairs and loungers
- elevator buttons
- Casino games and chips
- Gym equipment (wipe BEFORE you uses as well as after)
- bathroom sink faucets and door handles
These disinfectant wipes kill more than 99% of viruses and germs: Disinfectant wipes (see information on Amazon)
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Video: 8 Things to Do to Keep Healthy on a Cruise (and 5 things to avoid)
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What tips do you have that helps you to stay healthy on a cruise ship? Please let me know in the comments below.
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