Going on a cruise? Here's how to avoid any nasty surprises

Picture yourself sailing across the open water… there’s nothing but clear blue sea and sunny skies for miles around you. But oh no, what’s that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach? Is it sea-sickness, or worse, have you caught a bug from one of the other passengers?

Illness on cruises seems to have become more common lately with numerous stories popping up in the news. In effect, as more and more people jump on board the destination holiday, the chances of contracting a virus or bug increase.

For the most part, cruises are a fun and safe way to travel. You get the fun and relaxation that comes with on-board activities, and you are often able to stop over at exotic locations and enjoy the culture and atmosphere of a new country.

One of the easiest ways to make the most of your cruise and enjoy your holiday is to stay healthy. Take a look at the tips below and tell us: will you try them on your next cruise?

Get vaccinated

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If you’re going on a cruise to an exotic location, be sure to head to your doctor first to make sure you have all the required vaccinations. Take along a list of the places you’re stopping off at to show your doctor; they’ll be able to tell you which vaccines you need and which ones you can do without. Having the correct vaccinations will help protect you from a number of diseases, meaning you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about any nasty conditions.

Report sick passengers

Yes, we know it’s naughty to dob on people, but in this case it’s in everyone’s best interest! Just one sick person on a boat is all it takes for illness to spread. If you see someone vomiting or displaying obvious signs of illness report it to a member of staff immediately. They can take the necessary steps to quarantine the passenger or prevent them from infecting other travellers.

Use your own toilet

If your room has its own toilet try to use it instead of the public facilities on board. Public bathrooms can be a breeding ground for germs and sticking to your own private ‘throne’ is just one more way you can stay healthy. If you do have to use the public bathroom, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and use sanitiser for good measure.

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Stick to bottled drinks and cooked food

If you’re lucky enough to stop over at an exotic location it pays to take a bit of caution with what you eat and drink. Experts recommend you stick to cooked food and only consume drinks from sealed bottles. Of course there are many reputable restaurants where you can eat fresh food and drink fresh juices, but there is always the slight risk you could be exposing yourself to bacteria.

Wash your hands 

Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important things you can do to prevent illness and spreading germs. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for around 30 seconds before and after you eat, and of course after using the toilet! Top it off with a sanitiser containing 60 per cent alcohol – you can use this regularly throughout the day to keep your hands clean. Be careful not to touch your face too as bacteria can easily make its way into your body through the mouth and eyes.

Travel insurance

In the event that you do get sick, it pays to have travel insurance. Most comprehensive insurance will cover your medical costs and any accommodation or flight changes you have to make due to your illness. You can purchase travel insurance through your travel agent or online.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Have you ever been sick on a cruise?