Cruises are a lot of fun, but there are understandable health concerns as ships host thousands of people, especially when it comes to norovirus, the flu, and outbreaks of new diseases.

However, don't let the chance of sickness stand in the way of your vacation. Just take some health precautions and follow these tips to stay healthy and not get sick on a cruise.

Be Proactive with Your Health

Make sure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations, bring your medications, and pack a first aid kit. You’ll particularly want to bring probiotics, a Vitamin C supplement, motion sickness remedies, and anti-diarrhea medications. 

Why the long list? Taking a daily probiotic or Vitamin C supplement will help keep colds and other illnesses at bay. Although your chances of seasickness are slim, it’s also best to come prepared with your remedies ready whether its Dramamine or ginger candies. 

Even if you follow all of these other health guidelines, there’s still a chance you can get sick from eating or drinking something because it doesn’t sit well in your system for whatever reason. Don’t let unexpected trips to the bathroom ruin your cruise and bring medications to treat diarrhea and upset stomach. 

Fight Jet Lag

If you’re flying into a port city to go on a cruise, you may want to consider arriving a day or two in advance so you can recover from your flight before sailing off to sea.

As with any flight, reduce the drag of jet lag by staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and adjusting your sleep schedule right before your trip, if necessary.

Be Honest About Your Symptoms

For the health and safety of everyone on board, many cruises ask passengers to fill out a form indicating whether or not they’ve exhibited any symptoms over the last week. 

If you’re not feeling well, answer honestly. Unless you’re severely ill, you won’t be prohibited from boarding. You’ll meet with one of the cruise’s health team members, who will determine the next course of action.

You’ll be given a treatment plan and, depending on your situation, you may be asked to stay in your cabin for a day or two. Although being quarantined isn’t a blast, you’ll be doing yourself and everyone else a favor by regaining your health and not spreading illness on the ship. 

Remain in Your Cabin if You’re not Feeling Well

Likewise, if you suddenly don’t feel well on your cruise, seek medical treatment and remain in your cabin until you feel better. You won’t enjoy the rest of your cruise being sick, and neither will anyone else who contracts your illness. 

Report Sick Passengers 

If you see someone who’s visibly ill, notify a crew member so proper action can be taken. You may feel bad for “snitching” on someone, but you can also be helping prevent an outbreak. 

Stay Hydrated and Drink Bottled Water

It’s important to stay hydrated on your cruise, but it’s also important to make sure you’re drinking clean water. To be safe, drink only bottled water during your cruise and don’t drink the water in other countries.

Wash or Sanitize Your Hands Often

One of the easiest ways to not get sick on a cruise is to regularly clean your hands, especially before you eat and after you use the restroom.

You may not always have quick access to a bathroom, so be sure to carry hand sanitizer just in case or use the hand sanitizer that’s provided throughout the ship. 

Limit Contact with Common Surfaces

Although you should be regularly cleaning your hands, it’s best not to touch things like tables, door handles, and stair rails, which harbor the germs from many other cruisers. 

Avoid Touching Your Face

Avoid touching your face if you can because you’ll encounter some germs on your cruise and don’t want them to enter your body through your eyes, nose, mouth, or pores. 

Skip the Buffet, Go to a Restaurant

Buffets are known to harbor bacteria and other contaminants whether they’re from other passengers serving themselves or from unregulated food temperatures.

Opt to eat at restaurants instead because traditional restaurant food comes in contact far with less people and is made-to-order, so it’s fresh.

Avoid Certain Foods

To reduce your chances of getting sick, stay away from foods that are more likely to contain food poisoning: hamburgers, steak, grilled chicken, ribs, melons, salad greens, potato salad, tuna salad, macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and berries.

Limit Alcohol

Alcohol is known to cause dehydration and stomach issues, so limit your alcohol intake on your cruise. The effects of alcohol are exacerbated in hot climates, making it doubly important to stay well-hydrated and balance time between indoor and outdoor activities.

Get Plenty of Sleep

With full days of activities and fun in the sun, it’s especially important to get plenty of sleep on your cruise. Not getting enough rest will not only make you feel groggy and compromise your immune system.

Limit Time Off-Board

Unless you have your heart set on exploring port cities, it’s best to stay on board to avoid foreign illnesses and possibly contaminated food and drinks. 

If you do decide to disembark, sanitize your hands regularly and use your best judgment while navigating the new landscape as well as practice food safety. 

You have to be a little more diligent than usual when it comes to not getting sick on a cruise, but, when it comes to your parking situation, Parkway Parking has got you covered! Call (888)399-9267, and a parking specialist will help you make a parking reservation. You can also self-book by visiting Parkway Parking online.

Related content: Frequently Asked Questions & Tips for Cruises out of Port of Tampa

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