How to Keep Healthy on a Cruise Vacation
If you’re planning a cruise, it’s always a good idea to be thinking about how to stay healthy while cruising and traveling.
In reality, despite recent events, dozens of cruise ships sail regularly without issues. Plus, cruise lines are doing even more to ensure more sanitation, which in turn will result in healthier vacations for all.
In this post, I’ll be sharing what we, as passengers, can do to keep from getting sick while on a cruise ship. These tips and tricks will help to you to stay healthy and avoid some of the common flus and colds we could otherwise get.
What can you do to avoid getting sick while cruising?
Before we get into what passengers can do to stay healthy on a cruise, I wanted to share some useful information about what to expect on a cruise ship at this time.
10 Tips to help you avoid getting sick on a cruise
What can cruise travelers do to keep from catching an illness 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 colds and flus.
Remember to avoid touching your face as well.
2. Use hand sanitizers often
Hand sanitizing gel is placed around the ship, especially as you enter any dining rooms, restaurants and buffets. You’ll also notice hand sanitizers set up as you disembark and re-board your cruise ship at the end of a port day.
Even though hand washing is still considered the best method to keep hands clean and disinfected, sanitizing gel really is helpful and convenient.
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 (can’t hurt, right?).
Here are a few cabin disinfecting tips, any of which have been shared by frequent cruisers who know all the best cruise hacks!
- 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.
6. Bring cold and cough medicine
You can’t be too prepared, right?
It’s a good idea to bring along some over the counter cold medicines, along with a small medicine and first aid kit for your cruise.
The fact is, is you start to catch a sniffle or get a scratchy throat, if you take medicine right away, you’ll keep symptoms at bay and still enjoy your cruise.
Brands are limited on the ship, and tend to be expensive.
Only a few brands of cold medicine are sold on board the ship, so make sure to bring that along in a cruise first aid kit.
Here are some cold and cough medicines you may want to add to your cruise packing list:
You may want to bring other over the counter medicines.
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.
Personally, I try and get back to my own stateroom most of the time, so I’m less likely to be exposed to germy public bathrooms.
This one thing can make a world of a difference!
8. Get adequate sleep
Have you ever noticed that when you don’t sleep enough, you just seem to catch whatever’s around?
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.
Plus, the beds are generally so comfortable on the cruise ship, that most people report having an amazing sleep and rest, so enjoy it!
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 as well.
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.
Here’s a tip: Bring 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.
Refillable water bottle (Amazon)
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)
- 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)
Recap: How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise
In this post we went over 10 tips and tricks to keep healthy and avoid catching an illnesses on the cruise ship and in the ports of call.
Remember to wash and sanitize your hands often, disinfect your cruise cabin, and boost your immune system with some preventative measures.
Reminder: Don’t forget to do a quick cabin sanitizing (details in this post)
Other posts to help with cruising “healthy”
- 10 Ways to Prevent Seasickness on a Cruise
- How to Avoid Weight Gain on a Cruise
- First Aid and Medications to Bring on Your Cruise
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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