Cruising is a fantastic way to see many parts of the world without needing to worry about transportation, accommodations, and food. A person can simply board the cruise ship, sit back, and relax while the crew takes care of the rest. Most expenses are covered so you can better stick to your budget, too.
It is an amazing way to travel, yet there are a few issues that can arise when a person is onboard one of the numerous cruise ships that are out there.
Here are 10 ways to stay safe and healthy on a cruise:
1. Be Up to Date with Vaccines
There are times when people can be exposed to certain diseases on a cruise ship, so it is important that everyone is up to date with all their vaccinations. Certain destinations may even require that cruise ship passengers have specific vaccinations that they normally wouldn’t need if they were in the United States. This is especially important if you plan to take shore excursions where you may be exposed to environments, unlike home.
2. Prevent Illness
In the past, certain cruise ships have had outbreaks of norovirus, a nasty stomach bug that can ruin your cruise. It spreads easily among people in an enclosed area and is particularly prevalent in winter, which coincides with cruise season. Good hand hygiene is your best defense. Avoid touching handrails and bathroom door handles. Most importantly, wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer throughout the day to reduce your chances of getting sick from norovirus or other virus or bacteria.
3. Prevent Food Poisoning
While in foreign countries, people should be careful about what they eat and drink, to avoid becoming ill. All food should be cooked and served hot, all beverages should be in sealed containers, and produce should only be eaten if a person has washed it and peeled it themselves. Onboard the ship, be wary of buffet foods that have been left out too long or aren’t kept at their proper temperatures.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stay healthy while on a cruise. Many cruise destinations are quite hot, so passengers will want to drink even more water than normal to replace all that sweat. Hydration is always important, but it’s easy to neglect your daily intake of water when you’re busy with activities and alcohol is readily available.
5. Approach Jet Lag Appropriately
Sometimes, going on a cruise means changing time from a person’s regular time zone. This happens a lot when a person from the West Coast wants to cruise to the Bahamas or Canada. While it would be easy to simply sleep the first day of your cruise away, it is not recommended. You can best avoid jet lag by resetting your internal clock. Try not to nap and stay up until a reasonable hour the first night. This will help your body adjust much quicker than it would if you gave in and fell asleep.
6. Use Sunscreen
There is nothing worse than a really bad sunburn on a cruise. To avoid a bad burn that could put a person in bed for a couple of days, they should apply high SPF sunscreen regularly. Many cruises travel near the equator so the sun is much harsher than you may be used to at home. Unprotected, you can even get as bad as third-degree burns from too much exposure. Don’t risk it – you’ll still tan when you’re using sunscreen but you can save yourself a world of hurt.
7. Eat Normally
It is so easy to continuously fill a plate at the buffet line or order that extra entrée at the dinner table. However, that is one way that people can make themselves sick. The food on the ship is not going anywhere and it will be there 24/7. You’re better off eating small meals throughout the day and making an extra trip to the buffet in the middle of the night if hunger strikes.
We don’t mean that people need to hit the gym every day of their cruise, but they should still take the time to make some type of exercise a priority. It can be something as simple as walking around the deck every few hours or choosing the stairs over the elevators. There are plenty of fun physical activities offered, too, from dancing to Zumba to rock climbing walls.
9. Keep an Eye on Your Belongings
Everyone may feel like the ship is a very safe place, and while it is, for the most part, it can also be a place where things can get stolen. Remember that you may be sharing the ship with thousands of other passengers and another thousand crew members. Count on a few bad apples and take normal precautions. Every room on the ship has a safe and that is the best place to lock up anything that is valuable like passports, licenses, money, and credit cards. Rooms should always be locked and no one should leave their belongings laying out on a deck for someone else to grab.
10. Heed the Cruise Line Warnings
Not every port of call is as safe as the rest of them, so passengers should heed the advice of the cruise line when it comes to safety at these ports. It is usually best to take an excursion that the cruise line offers, even if it costs a little more. The cruise line is experienced in each location and uses reputable companies. And you won’t have to worry about missing the ship if you’re running late. You should never venture too far from the port alone. Tourists are prime targets for the unsavory. You may want to skip going ashore altogether in some of the most dangerous cruise ports.
These ten tips should help a person stay safe and healthy on their cruise. A little common sense can go a long way as well, so if you’re not sure about something, ask a crew member or err on the side of caution. Don’t let a lapse of judgment ruin your cruise vacation.