Cruise Ship Nightmares: 5 Health Mistakes Never to Make
Planning a cruise? Seasickness is just one worry. In recent years, many cruise ships have been hit by gastrointestinal illnesses, including the notorious norovirus. There's no surefire way to avoid illness on a cruise, but here are seven precautions that might spell the difference between sunning yourself on deck and staring into the toilet below deck.
Wash Your Hands
In the tight quarters of a cruise ship, infectious illnesses can spread fast. That's why frequent hand-washing is so important. Wash your hands before and after eating, smoking, going to the bathroom - and, of course, anytime your hands get dirty.
Leave the Area
The viruses that cause stomach bugs that sometimes hit cruise ship passengers can be transmitted via infectious vomit and diarrhea. If someone near you is throwing up or experiencing diarrhea, leave the area at once. If you're not sure whether the crew knows, alert them.
Take Care of Yourself
Cruise ship passengers sometimes see the voyage as a time to cut loose and forget their worries - including concerns about health. But the same rules that apply on dry land apply at sea. So be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. Rest helps keep your immune system strong. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration, which can make you vulnerable to infections, among other things.
Be Considerate of Others
If you fall ill before taking a cruise, call the cruise line and let them know. There may be other cruising options that would keep you from infecting others.
Know Before You Go
Wouldn't it be great if there were some way you could check up your ship for its health record - before you embark? There is. The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention website lets you search the health records of cruise lines and specific cruise ships.