It’s not fun when a cruise that you’ve planned and saved for is disrupted by illness, whether from a virus, a bacteria, or a bit of overindulgence. So, take these steps to stay healthy for the duration of your cruise.
Wash your hands. Think of a cruise ship like any other public space – schools, offices, stores, restaurants – and protect yourself from picking up (or spreading) germs just as you do in those places. The best thing to do is wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or drinking.
Bring a little medicine. You don’t need an entire pharmacy, but bring small supplies of things you know will help you with minor discomforts: pain reliever, seasickness preventive, allergy medicine, antacids. If you take prescription medications, be sure to bring enough for the length of the cruise, and don’t forget to take them regularly.
Eat and drink in moderation. Food and drink are plentiful, delicious and always available. Treat yourself, but do so in moderation. It’s easy: order that rich entrée, but ask for a half-portion; enjoy a dessert, but share it with a companion. And, there are always light, healthy options available in the dining rooms, restaurants and buffets. Plus, you can order dishes the way you would make them: with less butter, no sauce, dressing on the side, etc. Also, enjoy some cocktails, wines or craft beers, but know when to stop so that you can have a great night, followed by a great morning.
Be active. If you follow a fitness routine at home, you can maintain it (or something very close to it) in the ship’s fitness center. Most onboard gyms have a variety of equipment, group classes and personal trainers. There’s often a jogging track (with a great view) on the top deck, too. Of course, don’t overdo. For moderate exercise, stroll on deck, take a dance class or try some gentle yoga.
Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t let all the fun run you down. You need sleep to enjoy each day, and to keep your body healthy and able to fight off illnesses. If you’re up late, sleep in a bit the next day – you might miss a little of the fun, but you’ll feel better.
Cruise lines take many steps to keep passengers healthy, too. Ships that sail from U.S. ports must comply with the Vessel Sanitation Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. This protocol helps to prevent or control the introduction and spread of gastrointestinal illness on ships.
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