When on vacation, the last you’d want to be is sick. There’s just so much to do, so many activities to get involved in, so many sights to see, that acquiring even the simplest cruise sickness can take so much away from your grand escape on a cruise ship.
Cruise Sickness Explained
But sometimes, no matter how you try to avoid those diseases, your body just gives up on you and succumbs to one of them. Do you let it ruin your most-anticipated cruise vacation? You shouldn’t! Awareness and preparedness are the keys to battling these three cruise fun-busters:
The Common Cold
The common cold is an illness you encounter way too often than you want onshore. It’s no surprise that the all-too-common cold can touch you even when you’re in the middle of the great, big ocean! With all kinds of people from different places, the temperature shifts, and your daily activities (that can get really tiring), catching a cold is definitely something you can view as a ‘possibility’.
How to avoid it: Colds attack a weak immune system – keep yours in fighting form by getting enough rest, and taking your daily dose of Vitamin C. Always carry around and use a hand sanitizer to steer clear of the virus!
How to deal with it: A stuffy nose can ruin a beautiful sunny day out on the deck – grab some nasal drops and work on the congestion before it totally turns the mood around from excited to miserable. Make sure to avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks for the meantime, and choose water or lemon water instead.
More common than the common cold, in terms of cruise illnesses that is, seasickness tends to start wreaking havoc on your vacay upon boarding. Once the ship gets moving, a handful of passengers would start feeling a little queasy on the stomach – and things can escalate fast from there.
You can get stomach cramps, experience vomiting, and other symptoms that can easily destroy the positive vibes you had at the start of the trip. While most cruise ships are designed to prevent seasickness as much as possible, some people are just most likely to experience it.
How to avoid it: Book a cabin in the middle of the ship, where there is less ‘rocking’. Make sure to be well rested for embarkation day. If you feel the onset of seasickness at the start of your journey, do away with the gadgets for the first few hours of your travel – let your ‘sea legs’ settle first.
How to deal with it: The easiest way would be to pop some anti-motion sickness medicines. The effect is felt faster, and makes it possible for you to enjoy your journey earlier. Some also swear by sea-sickness bands, which are said to apply pressure on particular acupressure points. You might also want to tame your tummy by eating a small amount of bland food like crackers or biscuits.
And a favorite remedy – spend some time on the beautiful, spacious deck and look at the horizon. It will enable you to achieve a sense of ‘balance’ that helps you deal with seasickness.
The Dreaded Norovirus
You might have read about the so-called Norwalk virus or norovirus – a sickness common on cruise ships, that causes gastroenteritis. The latter can be mild to severe – either way, it can quickly disrupt a cruise passenger’s schedule.
It’s also highly-transmittable, so one case can lead to another, and another, and another. It can be passed either through physical contact, or through the objects an infected person handles.
How to avoid it: Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating, and also after you do activities onboard. If your immune system is already no longer at its best, then try to avoid people-congested areas on the ship.
Steer clear of raw food too, and make sure that the utensils you use are properly washed. Don’t share plates and utensils either, to avoid spreading the virus.
How to deal with it: If you already feel the onset of symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps – then make sure to stay hydrated and have plenty of rest. The symptoms are flu-like, and can be managed the same way you handle the flu too. Plain or bland-tasting food are best – avoid oily, salty, and spicy food to prevent further agitating your stomach.
Most importantly, visit the ship’s doctor for advice if your sickness gets worse. Also, do avoid being in close physical contact with others while you’re suffering from the illness, to help prevent further spreading the virus around.