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No matter what scare tactic headlines you may have seen, getting sick on a cruise is rare. Particularly on a Disney cruise, which has the highest standards of any cruise line out there. However, it does sometimes happen.
Fortunately there are lots of steps that you can take to minimize your risk that you will get sick on a cruise.
Stuff happens on a ship – just as it does anywhere. No one can say that you won’t get sick on a cruise or any other type of vacation you go on. However, these simple precautions will help you enjoy a happy and healthy cruise.
Get Your Sea Legs!
We have spent months at sea and never suffered from sea sickness. The Disney ships are the best in the industry and are very stable. We have sailed through hurricanes and felt fine. However, for some, sea sickness can be an unpleasant reality of cruising.
There are many things you can do to help. Your choice of Disney cruise stateroom can have a huge influence on whether or not you get sea sick. Motion is felt very differently in different parts of the ship. The general rule is that the higher you are in the ship, the more motion that you will feel. Also there is a lot more movement in the aft (the back) of the ship.
By selecting a Disney cruise stateroom in the middle of the ship on a lower deck you can reduce your chances of sea sickness. You can read our guide for more information:
There are lots of natural remedies to help. We always pack sea bands just in case.
You may also want to pack Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals with Natural Ginger as this is very highly rated. Remedies are sold on board all Disney ships, but of course they are more expensive than if you buy them before you travel.
Ginger works really well for sea sickness too. These Sailors’ Secret Premium Ginger Remedy can help alleviate the symptoms.
Wash Your Hands
We really can’t say enough how important it is to wash your hands. Always wash your hands before and after eating, and after you use the bathroom. Think about avoiding surfaces that others will touch frequently such as hand rails and bathroom door handles.
In every Disney cruise bathroom there is a disposable hand towel and trash can by the door. Use the hand towel to open the door so that your hand is not touching the surface.
Wash your hands before and after going to the buffet and the restaurants. There will always be a Disney crew member at the entrance to the restaurant giving out hand sanitizing wipes. Make sure you use them! Most of the Disney ships now also have sinks outside the buffet areas. Hand washing is better than hand sanitizing wipes. Make sure that you teach your kids about the importance of hand washing too.
Dealing With Jet Lag and Flying
If you are flying over several time zones to get to your Disney cruise, it may be that you need to do your best to combat jet lag. Even if you just travel from California to Florida that is a 3 hour time difference. We have done this many times and it takes adjustment. Nothing like the 8 hour time difference over the Atlantic, but it still has an effect.
If you can, arrive early at your port destination and take some time to get used to the time change. Then you will not be dealing with the time adjustment and having this affect you on the cruise.
There are some simple things you can do to help minimize jet lag. When you reach your destination you should try and get on the new schedule as soon as possible. Go to bed at your usual time in the new time zone. It can be difficult staying awake, but it pays off.
We also think that this Homeopathic Jet Lag Remedy makes a difference.
Even without jet lag, flying can have health consequences. It is easier to pick up air borne illnesses. We are not suggesting you become a germophone, but some simple precautions will help to cut down your risk. We always take these Hand Sanitizing Wipes. You can use them to refresh your hands as well as to wipe down surfaces such as tray tables and arm rests on the plane.
Water is Everywhere
Staying hydrated is always important. The water on a Disney cruise is safe to drink. Yes, even out of the stateroom bathroom faucet. It isn’t that great of a taste though. We always have a Water Bottle and fill it up with iced water from the pool deck.
Be careful when you get off the ship in port. There are some areas, for example in Mexico, where the local water is not safe to drink. Always choose bottled water. Remember too that fruit and vegetables may be washed in local water, so sticking to cooked food is best. If you do eat raw fruit and vegetables pick ones that have been peeled so that you don’t eat the skin.
You should be sure to always stay hydrated on a flight too. However, there is a reason why flight attendants never drink the water on the plane, unless it comes from a bottled source. EPA testing has shown that 1 in 8 planes fails the water standards safety test. Flight attendants don’t think it is worth taking the risk and neither do we. Coffee and tea is made from water from the plane. Bottled water and drinks are a much safer option.
You may be having fun in the sun, but you need to make sure that you stay well protected from the sun. Sun burn is not only painful, it can have very serious health consequences for the future. Make sure that you limit your time in the sun. Falling asleep pool side is tempting. However, it is not so great if you wake up to a serious case of sun burn.
Always wear Sun Screen and keep reapplying it.
If you do get too much sun you can try this to soothe your skin.
If you are lucky enough to be sailing to Disney’s Castaway Cay you will want to make sure that you take your sun screen with you. There is plenty of shade available, but it is tempting to spend a lot of time in the sun. Use your common sense.
Be Honest When You Board Your Disney Cruise
When you arrive at the Disney Cruise Terminal you will be asked to fill in a form detailing whether or not you have experienced any symptoms of sickness. Out of consideration for your fellow passengers please be honest.
If you answer yes to any of these questions it does not mean that you will be confined to your stateroom for the duration of the cruise. You will meet with one of the Disney cruise medical staff who will assess your symptoms. Yes, they may determine that you are not fit to cruise or should be confined to your stateroom for a period of time. However, you are doing the other passengers and crew a great service with your honesty.
Be Careful Not to Over Indulge
You are on vacation and everyone wants to have a good time. However, think twice before having that extra dessert or another drink of the day. There is so much great food on board a Disney ship it can be very tempting to over eat.
However, if you take this a little too far your health and your waist line is not going to thank you! Enjoy your Palo Brunch, the buffet and the restaurants, but maybe say no to that second helping of chocolate dessert.
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What tips do you have for staying healthy on a Disney cruise?
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