Superbug Blues on Your Dream Cruise

You have saved and planned for your dream cruise. The last thing you want to encounter is a norovirus on your trip. Unfortunately, some cruises turn into bad vacations marred by gastrointestinal illness for its passengers. Keep in mind basic ship protocol when illness strikes and take steps to be one of the fortunate ones to stay well.
Sometimes these viruses spread from cruise to cruise. The problem can be in the turnaround time for many cruise ships at port. Delays are costly to the cruise lines, so time spent disinfecting is time the ship is not at sea generating income for the company. However, if germs linger into the next cruise, a sick crew and passengers may be the result.

Staying Well
The important thing is to be vigilant with hand washing. Hand sanitizers are good but not as effective as a thorough washing. Keep your hands away from your face, particularly after handling public items such as doorknobs and shared utensils at the buffet. It also is important to avoid crowds if people are starting to show signs of illness. Your best bet may be to stay in your cabin if an outbreak occurs and minimize contact with staff or passengers as much as possible.

What Happens if Illness Strikes
If you do get sick, you will want to follow a similar protocol. Avoid contact with others to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Alert staff that you are sick so that precautions are put in place to reduce the risk of infecting other passengers or staff members on the ship. If the outbreak spreads, you may find that staff will cease operation of different services on board, such as the Jacuzzi, sauna and ca****, which can be dangerous breeding grounds for the transfer of viruses.

Plan Ahead and Be Realistic
If you have a compromised immune system, a cruise may not be the best type of vacation for you. Even if you consider yourself in good shape, be sure and pack your own supply of sanitary disposable wipes that you can use for handling things such as doorknobs or buffet utensils in case of an outbreak. If you see someone sick and skipping good hygiene practices, alert the staff.

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Make sure you get plenty of fresh air on deck and plenty of rest each night. Lack of sleep lowers your body’

s ability to fight off germs. You also will want to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, which is another boost to your immune system. Be careful that you do not become dehydrated drinking too much alcohol or caffeinated beverages. Use your own cabin toilet and avoid the public accommodations. Finally, pack enough clothes so that you do not have to use the public laundry facility during your cruise.

Chances are good that your cruise will go without a hitch. Staying informed and following smart hygiene habits can help insulate you from any germs that may be floating around. With the right preparation, you could be among the lucky ones to have a hassle-free trip even if a superbug strikes.

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