Keeping Your Hands Clean on a Cruise

Factsheet [PDF – 165 KB]

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To stay healthy and clean, wash your hands with warm water and soap.

person washing hands

 When to wash your hands:


  • Touching your hand to your mouth, including:
    • Eating and drinking,
    • Smoking, and
    • Brushing your teeth.
  • Helping a sick person.


  • Going to the bathroom.
  • Changing diapers.
  • Touching high-hand contact surfaces, such as:
    • Door knobs,
    • Elevator buttons, and
    • Railings.
  • Returning to your cabin.
  • Helping a sick person.
  • Blowing your nose.

How to wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water.
  2. Apply a generous amount of soap.
  3. Rub your hands together for 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands.
  5. Dry your hands with a paper towel.
  6. Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.

What about alcohol-based hand sanitizers?

  • CDC recommends that cruise ship passengers use warm water and soap to wash their hands. Washing is always best.
  • If water and soap are NOT available (perhaps on excursions), use an ethanol alcohol-based hand sanitizer, preferably in a gel form. The sanitizer should be at least 60% ethanol.