Tips for Healthy Cruising

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Illness Prevention Infographic

Each year millions of U.S. citizens enjoy cruise vacations. In 2016, approximately 11.5 million passengers embarked from North American ports for their cruise vacation (from Cruise Lines International Association). Traveling on cruise ships exposes people to new environments and high volumes of people, including other travelers. This exposure can create the risk for illness from contaminated food, or water or, more commonly, through person-to-person contact.

Follow these tips for healthy cruising.

If you’re sick, report your illness.

Before your voyage:
– Ask your cruise line if there are alternative cruising options.
– Consult a doctor to find out whether it is safe for you to sail.

During your voyage, call the ship’s medical facility and follow the medical staff’s recommendations.

Wash your hands often!

Why: Avoid exposing yourself and others to anything that may cause illnesses and spread germs.

When: Wash your hands often but especially after using the toilet and before eating or smoking.

Take care of yourself.

Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water.

Why: Resting helps rebuild your immune system. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration.

Leave the area if you see someone get sick (vomiting or diarrhea).

Report it to cruise staff if they are not already aware.

CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program helps the cruise industry control and prevent the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses aboard cruise ships and assists them by monitoring ships if they have an outbreak. Learn more about CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.