Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed August 05 2015

7 Tips For Staying Healthy on A Cruise

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | August 05, 2015

7 Tips For Staying Healthy on A Cruise

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Every time there is another outbreak of the “dreaded” norovirus on a cruise ship, everyone is up in arms about how they are never going to go on one of those “dirty” cruise ships ever, or ever again.  The truth of the matter is that gastrointestinal viruses are as common on land as they are at sea, but the cruise industry is just more visible than the three people at your work that are out with the same thing. 

There are a few things you can do, however, to help keep yourself in tiptop shape while you are on your cruise.  Here are a few tips to remember.

Wash Your Hands 

Remember when mom and dad used to tell you to, “scrub those hands until you have sung happy birthday twice?" They weren’t wrong. It may seem like common sense, but one of the best things you can do while you are onboard is to wash your hands often and at length. 

The reasons that they put hand sanitizer all over the place on cruise ships is so you can use it. Get the kids to think of it like a game; every time they see one of those dispensers, they need to use it. This simple prevention can do you and your family wonders.

Drink Lots of (Bottled/Filtered) Water

I know you bought the unlimited soda refill, but make sure you are drinking plenty of water, too. Keeping your body hydrated will replenish the much-needed fluids you have sweat out up there on the pool deck or out on an excursion. The water onboard is already filtered, but if you are unsure if you are going to like the taste and don’t want to hike to the buffet, bring a water filter pitcher from home and filter your water right there in the cabin.

When you go on excursions, try to keep to the bottled waters as some of the stops may have bacteria in their water that will not agree with your digestive system. 

Get More R and R

This is why you came on a cruise to begin with: to rest, relax and rejuvenate.  Make sure that you are giving your body enough down time each day to recover from the late nights, copious amounts of adult beverages and strenuous activities.  This is the time to sleep in, take naps and just do nothing in a poolside chair.  The buffet, bar and beach will still be there when you wake up.

Eat Intelligently

Notice we didn’t say, “Eat Healthy.” Obviously, you get out what you put in, and sure the choices of healthy food are going to do your body better in the long run, but this is a vacation. You can splurge; you just have to be smart about it. 

If you know you are going out to the steak house tonight, put lots of fruits and veggies in your body at breakfast and lunch that day.  And maybe forgo the second plate of prime rib and just have it again tomorrow instead. Your body will thank you in the morning.

Take the Long Way Home

One of the best ways to make sure you are working off those extra lobster tails that you had at dinner or that late night pizza binge you had after hitting the casino is to take the stairs. Walking everywhere will make up for some of those extra calories. Figure out where you can walk when you get to your destination for the day instead of paying for a cab. You will save yourself some moolah and work off those margaritas. 

Watch your P’s and Q’s (Pints and Quarts)

Speaking of those margaritas, a word to the wise — you can totally bring down your immune system by over-consuming alcohol. And as mentioned above, you are dehydrating yourself pretty well when you drink so don’t forget to space out your beverages with some water every once in a while. Also, and this would be in the extreme cases (let’s be honest, most of us have been there once in our lives), you could forget your sanitation in the restroom; walk into a wall with the rocking of the ship, or worse.

Plan Ahead

This is probably the best advice you can receive.  If you know that you are prone to getting seasick, go see about a patch or grab some pills and take them before you get onboard. If you are feeling a little drained a couple of days before, go see the doctor and have him or her put you on a level one antibiotic so that you are already on the mend before it gets worse. Pack the extra vitamin B and C and Airborne/Emergen-C. If you are going to cruise overseas, arrive a day in advance to give your body some time to shed the jet lag. 

So there you have a few tips to keep up your health and get the most out of your cruise.  What do you do to stay healthy?  Let me know in the comments below.


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