Most people have heard stories, in the news or from people they know, about how illness can spread on a cruise ship. Be assured that cruise lines follow strict sanitation guidelines to guard against the spread of any bugs that come on board. And, there are simple steps you can take to help yourself stay well.
Wash Your Hands. Whether you’re at home or at sea, regular hand washing is the best way to protect yourself from illness. Also, take advantage of the hand sanitizers you’ll find strategically placed all around the ship.
Stay Hydrated. You can purchase bottled water, or use the water station at the buffet; many ships will allow you to fill your own reusable water bottle there, too. Take water with you when you go onshore and sip often, especially in hot and dry locations.
Pace Your Alcoholic Drinks. It’s delightful to relax with a refreshing cocktail or craft beer around the pool or at the piano bar. But, don’t drink to the point that you become disoriented or sick: it could put you out of commission for a day or two. A good practice is to alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.
Avoid Seasickness. Seasickness is real, but not everyone is susceptible – many people have no problem adjusting to the slight motion of today’s very stable cruise ships. If you feel a little queasy, try going up on deck in the fresh air and focusing on the horizon. Other natural remedies include eating ginger candy or green apples and crackers, or wearing an acupressure wrist band. Over-the-counter remedies include Dramamine, Bonine and Benadryl, while a scopolamine patch requires a prescription.
Wear Sunscreen. Wherever you cruise, you’re likely to spend more time in the sun than usual. Pack your favorite sunscreen (less expensive than buying it onboard) and use it often on all exposed skin.
Eat Smart. Eating too much or too richly can make you just as ill as catching a gastrointestinal bug; a little discipline will serve you well. There are also easy ways to exercise – including taking the stairs, doing laps on the promenade deck, working out in the fitness center or choosing an active shore excursion – that will give you an appetite to sample all the wonderful tastes on board.
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