Staying healthy while on a cruise ship is not always an easy task!
Since many cruise ships carry well over 4,000 passengers and staff, staying healthy for the duration of the cruise is not always an easy feat! Cruise ships are floating cities with all passengers being in extremely close proximity to each other throughout the duration of the cruise. The chances of at least one passenger of becoming ill is extremely high. On a cruise, it only takes that one. Depending how that passenger handles his or her sickness will determine whether or not there will be a ship-wide outbreak.
Stay Healthy While Cruising
After having taken seven cruises, I have been lucky and have never become ill. To help you with tips on how to have the best cruise ever, I have provided a list of the “health” techniques that I follow whenever I’m cruising to keep me healthy.
- The VERY FIRST thing that I do when I arrive at my stateroom is to sanitize all common areas. I carry sanitizer wipes and wipe down the door handles, including the balcony door handles, toilet seat, faucets, television remotes and light switches. No matter how clean your cabin is, I can almost guarantee you that most of these items are not kept clean.
- Avoid using the public restrooms. Return to your cabin if at all possible.
- Sanitize your hands before and after you eat your meals. There are hand sanitizers at the entrance of each restaurant. The last cruise I was on, an employee stood at the entrance to the buffet to ensure that all passengers sanitized before entering the restaurant.
- If you encounter a sick passenger, report him or her to the medical station. All passengers who are feeling under the weather or outright sick, should be in their staterooms and not wandering around the ship. Unfortunately, not all follow this logic.
- Whenever eating at the buffet, avoid using the serving utensils provided with each dish. Use the cutlery that you have grabbed to eat with.
- Ensure that you are up-to-date with all of your vaccinations, and don’t forget to take your prescription medications!
- Stay hydrated! And NOT with the alcoholic form of beverage! Avoid an excessive amount of alcohol and drink lots of bottled water.
Pro Tip: Cases of bottled water can be pre-ordered online prior to your cruise. Once onboard, this option is not available)
- Get plenty of rest. I know that with all of the activities available on the cruise ship, this is easier said than done, but it is important that you take at least an hour a day to rest up. I always do this when I return to the cabin to get ready for dinner.
- Avoid sharing! This includes food, drinks, towels and/or articles of clothing (hats, etc.).
- Arrive to your port city at least one day early if there is a time difference. This enables you to get acclimatized prior to boarding the ship.
Stay Fit While Cruising
In addition to avoiding sickness while on your cruise, there are also plenty of opportunities to stay fit and not gain an excessive amount of weight while at the same time continuing to enjoy your vacation. Make the most of your cruise and join in the activities and take advantage of the facilities offered onboard the ship.
- All cruise ships have a state of the art gym. I have found that it is least busy later in the evening and during meal times.
- Join in a morning walk, a yoga class on deck or a spin class. The various classes offered onboard and the time will be in the ships daily newsletter. This is also the perfect way to meet some fellow cruisers.
- Book a spa appointment.
Pro Tip: Most cruise lines offer specials if purchased the day that you board the ship
- Choose healthy, low carb foods. With all of the food options that you will find on a ship, this should be easy to do. Note to Self: it is okay to indulge on occasion.
- Dance the night away. Many of the cruise lines offer various venues for dancing. Take advantage of this, as dancing is an excellent, not to mention fun, form of exercise.
- Find quiet time at some point throughout every day to sit back and read a book. People watching is always fun as well.
- Book active shore excursions to get the adrenaline going.
- Take the stairs as much as possible. Believe me when I tell you that there is A LOT of walking on a cruise ship. These babies are massive, with the majority of ships spanning 3 football fields long. I have found that I am always too impatient to wait for an elevator so I took the stairs whenever possible.
Unfortunately, not everybody onboard is consciences when it comes to staying healthy and there will be the occasional outbreak of sickness on the ship. Depending on the severity, all passengers may be quarantined to their staterooms. If this occurs, the next set of passengers to board the ship will be delayed, as the crew disinfects the cruise ship. Boarding will not commence until this has been complete.
The possibility of becoming ill is one of the small risks that you take whenever cruising, but it will never stop me. Cruising is still one of my favourite ways to travel and I have never gotten sick, nor have I been on a cruise that was under quarantine. I would love to hear what precautions you take when cruising? Have you ever encountered a ship-wide quarantine?
“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings” – Publilius Syrus