Stay on board with these 12 strategies and chances are you’ll be healthy and happy your whole time at sea.
One of the biggest misconceptions about cruise ships is that they’re germ incubators—that you can’t escape. But the likelihood of catching a stomach bug on a seven-day voyage is less than 1 percent—which is about a third the risk of getting infected in your day-to-day life back home, says Dr. Carter Hill, a Seattle-area emergency-room physician who specializes in cruise-ship medicine. Here’s the catch: If someone onboard does succumb to a nasty virus, it can spread quickly across the ship because it’s a closed environment where many people share many things. When a sick passenger with poor hygiene touches a water pitcher, doorknob, or poker chips, other passengers may fall ill, too. To avoid the flu virus, stomach bug, or any other infectious condition, stick with the following strategies: