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25 Important Health Tips for Cruise Goers

Going on vacation is great for your health, but not if you’re laid up sick the whole time. Cruise goers are especially susceptible to vacation illnesses, with close quarters, shared food, and multiple ports of call threatening their health. Here, you’ll find out how you can protect yourself from health hazards on and off the ship.

  1. Wash your hands before eating: Before you eat or drink, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Don’t go if you’re sick: Be considerate of others, and stay home from your cruise if you’re sick. Discuss the situation with the cruise line and find out if you can reschedule.
  3. Use the on-board gym: Most cruise ships have on-board gyms available to guests, so be sure to get your exercise in on your vacation. If the gym doesn’t appeal to you, at least visit the pool, walk on deck, or sign up for cruise ship exercise classes.
  4. Check out your cruise ship: Do your research and check your ship’s health record before you book your trip to be sure that you’re setting sail on a healthy, well maintained line.
  5. Double check your medical insurance coverage: Ensure that your health insurance will cover your health care overseas, and medical evacuation if necessary. You may find that you need to purchase additional insurance to get this coverage.
  6. Get some rest: It’s tempting to stay up late and push yourself to have fun on your vacation, but remember that you need an adequate night’s sleep for good health.
  7. Don’t get gluttonous: Most ships offer an impressive array of food for guests, but don’t be too tempted. Allow yourself the occasional splurge, while being careful not to let your vacation turn into a free for all.
  8. Drink plenty of water: Be sure to drink an adequate amount of water, which will help prevent dehydration, as well as help with motion sickness.
  9. Cut down on seasickness: Look for a larger, newer ship that will be less subject to rough movement, and book your cruise for a time of year when the ocean should be calm.
  10. Keep an eye out for sick people: If you see someone with vomiting or diarrhea, report the problem to cruise staff and leave the area as soon as possible.
  11. See your doctor before traveling: Visit your doctor to discuss your travels, including immunization, medications, and chronic health issues.
  12. Purchase water purification drops: Use water purification drops for your drinking water, as well as water to wash fruit and vegetables in.
  13. Clean your cabin: Wipe down any surfaces you’ll touch with a disinfectant product to make sure you won’t pick up any germs.
  14. Keep medications handy: Remember to carry medications with you, not in your luggage, to ensure that you don’t lose them.
  15. Don’t share food: It’s tempting to pass food among friends to try different dishes, but germs and viruses can be spread this way even before symptoms are exhibited.
  16. Eat thoroughly cooked foods: Eat foods that are thoroughly cooked and prepared at the appropriate temperature to be sure that local bacteria and diseases are not present in your food.
  17. Pack a first aid kit: Be prepared for small emergencies by packing a first aid kit to take on your cruise.
  18. Remove your bedspread: Take the bedspread off your cabin bed and ask your cabin maid to triple sheet your bed instead.
  19. Organize your medical information: Get all of your important medical information together to bring on your cruise just in case you have an accident or medical emergency.
  20. Inform the cruise line of your health needs: If you have any special medical needs, be sure to inform the cruise line or ship doctor before your cruise.
  21. Avoid traveling during high infection periods: Pay attention to the time of year and destination to make sure you’re not visiting an area during its peak influenza season.
  22. At the buffet, use different hands for serving and eating: Handle tongs and serving utensils with one hand, and eat food with the other-you don’t know what germs have come in contact with serving utensils.
  23. Avoid insect bites: Your cruise may take you to locations with mosquitoes and other insects, so be sure to use DEET and/or clothing that provides coverage.
  24. Practice good sexual health: Choose trusted sexual partners and use adequate protection including condoms to carefully maintain your sexual health while on your cruise.
  25. Relax: Remember that vacations are good for your health and stress level, so have fun!

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