Staying Healthy on Your Cruise

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 ship it only takes that one person to start the spread.   Depending how that passenger handles his or her sickness will determine whether or not there will be a ship-wide outbreak.


After having taken seven cruises, I have been extremely lucky and have never become ill.  To help you with tips on how to keep yourself as healthy as possible and to ensure that you 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. NOTE: This was my practice even before COVID hit us.
Sanitize patio doors, light switches and t.v. remotes when entering stateroom
  • 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.

Just One Tip: Cases of bottled water can be pre-ordered online prior to embarking on your cruise. This option is not available once you are onboard the ship

  • 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.
  • Apply sunscreen frequently and wear a hat whenever you are in the sun.


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.

Just One Tip: Most cruise lines offer specials for the spa and stores if purchased on the day of boarding

  • 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.
Maintain a healthy diet (not that bacon is healthy lol)
  • 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


    Kelly xoxo


    64 thoughts on “Staying Healthy on Your Cruise

    1. Anna

      I would definately be scared of getting ill on a ship! Think it is a good idea to dance and try to use the gym whilst you are onboard. I won’t be going on a cruise ship anytime soon though due to the pollution they emit. I still fly but have decided not to go on a cruise.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. nlhunter

      What a timely post when just today I read that 600 passengers are stuck on board a cruise ship in Rome because two passengers are suspected of having a serious virus. Cruise ships are a little scary when one thinks about how easy it is to spread diseases with people living in such close quarters.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. shreyasaha1987

      Staying healthy on cruise is really crucial, and you have nicely described how to stay healthy. Cruise ship is a place where thousands of passenger join and if someone falls sick in a contagious way, it may affect others easily. In your blog you have mentioned nicely how we can stop spreading the infection – carry sanitizer wipes and wipe down the door handles, try to avoid public restrooms, avoid using the serving utensils at the buffet and stay hydrate all the time and stop consuming lots of alcohol. These points are really helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Alex

      Oh yes, there is no excuse for missing exercise even if you are on a cruise ship. It is good when they have a gym… but don’t remember seeing one when I was moving around Norway.
      I only need 2 square meters to my morning routine though…

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Suman Doogar

      Staying healthy while travelling is a major task in itself. I was detected with diabetes last year and since then health has become a concern. Its so difficult to choose food while travelling because most of times everything is fried or high on carbs. Its great to know that one can exercise and have options related to food on the cruise.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. Jas

      These are great tips and it’s so important to stay safe and healthy when travelling! It’s a good idea to maintain a healthy diet, but you gotta say yes to the occasional bacon too hahaa 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    7. thattexascouple2015

      This post is perfectly timed for me as we are going on a cruise in a few weeks! I really never thought about skipping the public bathrooms, but I definitely will from now on. Thanks for the great tips!

      Liked by 1 person

    8. Brian

      Still have yet to go on a cruise, but this is sound advice! And honestly, I do a lot of the same stuff when staying in hotels. You just have to assume that things aren’t as clean as they should be, especially with common areas of use.


    9. jordinjordinsjourneyscom

      I have never been on a cruise. These are great tips, with so many people on the ship it’s important to stay healthy. I’m pinning this for future reference.

      Liked by 1 person

    10. Kristin In Motion

      OMG That is literally the first time I’ve ever thought about buffet utensils! Wow thanks for sharing! This is obviously very timely but useful information anytime of year for any type of travel!

      Liked by 1 person

    11. Sage Scott

      I’m not a big cruiser. I think it’s a combination of feeling “stuck” and worrying that I’ll get sick. These tips help reassure me a bit should I ever decide to give cruising another go.

      Liked by 1 person

    12. Michelle Segrest

      These are really great tips! Especially the part about using your own utensils at the buffet–that is brilliant! I’m going to start doing that anywhere I go that has a buffet! I also like your tip about using the bathroom in the stateroom and not in the public restrooms! A very helpful article!

      Liked by 1 person

    13. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

      These are great tips – especially now. I’ve always been concerned about this on cruise ships, so I always pack hand sanitizer to carry around. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    14. Kelly

      I have done a couple of cruises before, but both were a few years ago before we ever heard of COVID or considered this when travelling by cruise. Of course in close quarters we should always be aware, but these tips are more important now than ever!

      Liked by 1 person

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