How to stay healthy while cruising

Turning Points 3 min read

While taking a tropical cruise is certainly a bucket-list item for most people, spending a long amount of time on a cruise ship can also have its drawbacks. Cruise ships can be very crowded, which leads to all passengers coming into contact with one another. This leaves people vulnerable to germ exposure that can ultimately lead to sickness. If there’s one thing we all want to avoid while taking a cruise, it’s being bed-ridden with a cold while we’re at sea.

For instance, the Norovirus has been known to make its way through cruise ships due to physical contact passengers make with each other. When one person on the cruise has some sort of virus, it can easily be spread due to a lot of people in such tight quarters. If you have a cruise planned for the near future or think you may be interested in setting sail at any point, you should consider the following tips for staying healthy on a cruise ship:

Diligently Wash Your Hands

Making sure to wash your hands seems to be an obvious piece of advice, as habitual hand-washing is a major aspect of staying healthy in everyday life. But, when you’re on a cruise, it’s essential to ramp up your routine by making a point to wash your hands several times per day. Be sure to wash your hands before and after each meal, as germs are spread from your hands and onto the foods that you ingest.

Also, after returning to the ship after an excursion, you should wash your hands to get rid of any germs that you may have contracted while in the exotic location. Lastly, you must wash your hands after making ANY contact with other passengers. Between handshakes, bathrooms, and stairway railings, it is so easy for germs to be spread among the travelers. If you do not always have access to a sink, keep a bottle of hand-sanitizer with you at all times so you can maintain cleanliness.


Before you set sail, make sure that you are up to date with vaccines, no matter where you are going on your cruise. The routine vaccines to stay up on are for measles, varicella, and the seasonal flu. When a few passengers are not up to date with their vaccines, they can spread germs and/or viruses around the entire ship. Make sure you go over your travel itinerary with your doctor before boarding the cruise ship to discuss any further precautions you should take.

Crowded Areas

There are certain venues on cruise ships that attract large groups such as nightclubs, concerts, comedy shows, and restaurants. It’s going to be difficult to completely avoid these areas, but it is vital to understand that entering these specific locations comes with some risk. Many passengers on a ship can be found at these locations, making them more likely to initiate the spreading of germs.

Get Some Sleep

This is another tough piece of advice to act upon for most cruisers. But, in order to maintain a healthy immune system, get as much sleep as possible. It will be hard to get to bed early with the various nightlife options. However, when you have the chance to sleep late in the morning, take full advantage. Getting enough sleep is an easy way to stay healthy on a cruise ship, so try to avoid the combination of late nights and early mornings to keep both your health and your sanity intact.

The bottom line

Whether you’re taking a road trip or sailing the ocean blue, make sure to always stay protected with travel insurance from Progressive.

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