10 ways to avoid cruise bugs

Getting floored by a stomach bug, or an equally nasty virus is unpleasant, even on terra firma, in the comfort of your own home. Getting these on a cruise ship with hundreds, if not thousands, of others is disastrous. Here are some things cruise conference delegates should keep in mind in order to stay as healthy as possible while mass travelling.


  1. Keep your hands clean: The best way to avoid a dreaded stomach bug or any other infectious disease on a cruise is to wash your hands well, and often. Make hand sanitiser readily available for delegates.


  1. Stay hydrated: It is imperative to be hydrated to stay healthy so water needs to be readily available. Experts suggest taking a reusable water bottle with you and filling up at reliably clean water points, such as the ship’s restaurant, or even in your cabin.
  2. Be water smart: In port, at certain destinations it is not considered safe to drink local water. If in any doubt, rather purchase sealed bottled water in order to avoid getting sick. Avoid ice, as well as raw fruit and vegetables.


  1. Avoid jet lag: In order not to miss out on much of the cruise due to jet lag, delegates should arrive at the port a day or two before the cruise departs to allow jet lag to settle. Experts suggest that other ways to fight jet lag include spending as much time as possible in natural light, not taking a nap on your first day and going to bed at a reasonable time, and taking a sleep aid like melatonin to help your body adjust to the different time zone.
  2. Lather on sunscreen: Getting sunburnt is easier than many people think, and often happens very quickly. To avoid missing out on any of the cruise due to painful sunburn or heatstroke, be sure to reapply SPF numerous times a day. Wearing a hat is also recommended.
  3. Don’t overeat: Large buffets and indulgent multicourse meals can make delegates feel bloated and sick. Keep the cuisine as light as possible.


  1. Beat seasickness: Try to avoid seasickness by chewing ginger candies or eating green apples. Alternatives like acupressure wristbands and over-the-counter medication are also good ways to keep the nausea at bay.
  2. Keep the itinerary active: Staying active on a cruise is another way to ward off unnecessary illness. Most cruise ships also have gyms and swimming pools.  
  3. It’s not really a booze cruise: Go easy on the alcohol. Hangovers will leave you feeling dreadful on the ship and could make you more susceptible to stomach and other ailments. Being inebriated also makes you vulnerable to other dangers such as falling overboard.
  4. Disclose any health concerns: Many of the illnesses on-board a ship come on board with passengers. Most cruise liners require passengers to complete a form that discloses any health concerns or symptoms the passenger might have experienced the week prior. It is imperative that delegates are honest on these forms in order to avoid getting sick during the cruise, and perhaps even causing a mass outbreak.

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