Avoid Getting Sick on Your Cruise
Most cruise travelers enjoy their cruise vacation and stay perfectly healthy. However, with a change in diet, changes to your daily routine, and a lack of sleep can greatly reduce your body’s immune system. Common cruise illnesses are: upset stomach, sinus and head colds, seasickness, sunburn, dehydration, and jet lag just to name a few.
Combined with thousands of passengers spreading germs and the common ailments listed above, it is relatively easy to stay healthy and happy on your cruise vacation if you follow a few simple steps.
Here are 10 tips for staying healthy and reducing the potential of getting sick on your next cruise.
Wash Your Hands Often
Thoroughly washing your hands – more than you normally would – is the #1 way to avoid getting sick. Wash before you eat, after you use the restroom, when you return from an onshore excursion, after shaking hands with other passengers or staff, and after touching any surface that is often touched by others. Many cruise ships have hand sanitizers strategically place throughout the cruise ship – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM! Hand sanitizers are not a replacement for washing your hands thoroughly, it definitely is helpful in spreading potentially hazardous germs.
If you have ever cruised on Norwegian, you can sing a long with the Washy Washy Song. Catchy tune, but the message of staying healthy is priceless.
Drinking a lot of water is a great way to stay healthy. Flushing your body of toxins, and rehydrating after a long day in the sun can prevent your body’s immune system from declining. We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle, fill it up at the many different ship’s restaurants. If you are going to be very active during an offshore excursion or you are prone to dehydration, you might want to choose a drink with added electrolytes.
**Remember: Alcohol can also dehydrate you. Be mindful when consuming alcohol that it can lead to dehydration. We suggest choosing water every so often when drinking alcohol to reduce chances of dehydration. To cut down on Want to save on bottled water and other drinks? You might want to purchase a beverage package from your cruise line.
Don’t Drink The Local Water
Following up a tip on drinking a lot of water, it sounds strange to say don’t drink water. What we are saying is make sure that you drink the RIGHT water. The public water in some countries is unsafe to drink. We strongly recommend drinking only bottled water with a closed seal during onshore excursions.
We also suggest avoiding ice or fruit where you eat the skin, and uncooked vegetables.
Avoid Jet Lag
Nothing is worse that missing out on your vacation due to jet lag. We suggest arriving a day or two early if you are departing out of a port that is in a different time zone that where you live. Another tip is to not take a nap when you first arrive in your cabin, head to bed at a decent time your first night to avoid that “hung over” feeling, and spend a lot of time in the sun to absorb as much natural light as possible. If you are highly prove to the affects of jet lag, you might want to consult your physician before your cruise to see what they recommend.
Applying sunscreen is a great way to avoid painful, irritating sunburn. You don’t have to be poolside to get a sun burned, walking the streets of a destination port, any water sport activity, or enjoying exotic beaches in a climate with more intense UV radiation than what you are used to can lead to a sunburn in no time. Apply and re-apply your sun block may be annoying, but it can prevent you from enjoying the days following while you nurse a lobster red sunburn.
Don’t Overeat at the Buffets
A huge attraction to cruise vacations is the food. Endless possibilities of all you can eat buffets, followed by night after night multi-course meals of rich, calorie filled meals that can irritate your stomach. Bloated, sluggish, and queasy can follow over indulging on a cruise vacation.
According to the polls of several online cruise reviewers, it appears that the average weight gain on a 7-day cruise ranges from 5 to 10 pounds, depending on several factors such as amount of alcoholic drinks and workout frequency. (Source www.cruisereviews.com)
We are not saying that you skip tasting the many joys of food on a cruise ship, but we do recommend not over eating and watching what you eat. Eating at a slower pace, not only allows you to enjoy your food, it allows your body to properly digest your food.
Remember, you are on a cruise ship. The restaurant’s never close, so pace yourself and eat smart.
Take The Stairs
It is easy to over-indulge while on your cruise vacation. After all, you are on vacation. Unless you are an avid gym rat, you don’t want to spend time sweating in the ship gym while on vacation.
One easy way to exercise on the cruise ship is to take the stairs. Great cardio, great leg workout, and you will save tremendous amounts of time not standing around waiting for an elevator.
Take It Easy on the Alcohol, Sailor
It is fun to have a drink or two, enjoy the ship’s entertainment, and enjoy a poolside drink, especially since you don’t have to drive home afterwards. However, if you are looking to stay healthy, drink in moderation. Avoid drinking yourself sick, or to a point you are impaired. Not only is it hard on your body, your judgement makes you more accident prone, potentially a danger to yourself or others.
Be Honest on Pre-Boarding Forms
Let’s not only keep ourselves healthy, but let’s keep everyone else health as well. Fill out the pre-boarding paperwork in regards to illness, sickness, and sickness symptoms accurately and honestly. By doing so, you can meet with the ship’s medical team to design a course of action to keep you healthy and those around you. It does not mean that you will be refused to board the ship, it is a precaution to protect yourself as well as others.
Better Safe Than Sorry
A cruise vacation will make life-long memories for you and your loved ones. Cruising while healthy will only make the experience more enjoyable for you and those around you. Following a few steps can help prevent you falling ill while vacationing.