Cruise Ship And Resort Mistakes That Can Make You Sick

August 16, 2018  |  
1 of 15

Gettyimages.com/people in a pool

Cruise ships and resorts can be wonderlands for adults—a place where they don’t need to worry about clocks or appointments or bills. They can just put everything on their room tab and the only decisions to be made are when to nap or eat, or which show to attend. But once just one person contracts a dangerous illness like the norovirus or legionnaires disease, cruises and resorts can become the site of rapid transmission. Between the buffets, saunas, and mist machines, there are a lot of avenues that bacteria can use to travel quickly. Cruises are some of the scariest places for disease to spread since the passengers are just stuck inside together until the ship can dock. But, resorts are also still dangerous, since it can take a long time for anyone to realize there is illness on the property. If you’re headed to a cruise or resort this summer, here are mistakes that can leave you very ill.

Gettyimages.com/Two beautiful young Malagasy women drinking cocktails in the swimming pool bar

Standing under mist machines

Those misters spraying little water droplets around the pool bar are refreshing, but they can also be carriers of diseases like Legionnaires. If you inhale water droplets carrying the bacteria, you could contract the disease. Don’t dwell under these.

Gettyimages.com/pastries

Buffet sections without utensils

Some parts of the buffet don’t really lend themselves to utensils, like a pastry tray. Nobody wants to use a large prong to awkwardly grab a croissant, so they pick one up with their hands, touching the neighboring pastries along the way. If people aren’t using utensils on a certain self-serve station, stay away.

Gettyimages.com/woman drinking water

Failing to stay hydrated

It’s easy to become dehydrated without even realizing it, until it’s too late. Remember that you’ll be out in the sun, possibly drinking alcohol, and doing other things that require you to drink much more water than you normally would. If you become terribly dehydrated, you may have to spend a couple of days in the medic’s office.

Gettyimages.com/Two Pina Colada Cocktail Drinks

Leaving creamy drinks in the sun

Those blended drinks with whipped cream on top are just the thing to drink pool or beachside. But if your drink has a dairy base, or the whipped cream contains dairy, don’t let these sit in the hot sun for a half hour. Bacteria can grow rapidly on warm dairy products. Take your drinks under an umbrella if you’d like to sip slowly.

Gettyimages.com/multiple drinks

Sharing big blue drinks

There can be a lot of drink sharing that goes on at a resort or on a cruise. Between the big fish bowl drinks designed for four people, and simply losing track of which water cup was yours, it’s easy to swap germs with a stranger. Mark your cups, and don’t share large, four-straw beverages with friends.

Gettyimages.com/Couple holding hands on beach

Venturing off without research

If you do plan to leave the resort or get off the cruise, just make sure to do your research. Get information on safe and clean areas to visit. Don’t go anywhere that guest services cannot vouch for. Cleanliness standards may not be up to most standards, depending on where you go.

Gettyimages.com/Close up of fruit tray with strawberries, grapes and pineapple at a party buffet

Eating off circling trays of food

Someone may circle around the pool, passing out cubes of watermelon. But people rarely wash their hands much during a pool day, and touch several pieces of fruit before choosing their piece. Avoid the community trays of snacks.

Gettyimages.com/Running faucet, shallow depth of field

Drinking the tap water

Do not, under any condition, drink the tap water. Even a little gulp to help you take a pill could have devastating results. Always drink bottled water on cruises and at resorts.

gettyimages.com/Variety of sushi on a tray with chopsticks and soy sauce on stone background

Touching the raw stuff

It’s best to avoid raw or unpasteurized food on cruise ships or at buffets. Since these foods usually sit on large trays together, each piece touching the other, if just one batch carries bacteria it can quickly contaminate the others.

Gettyimages.com/Young African American woman feeling ill and lying down on the bed

Not reporting illness

You don’t want to ruin anyone’s vacation, so maybe you don’t say anything when you see someone displaying severe symptoms. But if they’re truly ill, their trip is already about to be ruined. By not saying anything—like telling the staff or asking the person to see a medic—you could ruin many more people’s trips.

Gettyimages.com/hand sanitizer

Skipping hand sanitizer at the pool

Bring hand sanitizer to the pool. Think about it: you touch the rails, the chairs, the kickboards, and all sorts of surfaces. But you likely don’t go to the bathroom to wash your hands each time you do that.

Gettyimages.com/A ‘Wet Floor’ sign as seen from above.

Ignoring Caution signs

If there is a big yellow sign asking you not to enter a sauna, restroom, or other public areas, respect it. It’s possible that someone vomited or had another health incident in that area, and there could be a lot of germs in the air.

Gettyimages.com/Woman Eating an Apple nauseous

Ignoring symptoms

If you, yourself, experience any symptoms, see the medic right away. Some contagious diseases can become fatal if not caught and treated within a short time frame.

Gettyimages.com/floaties

Not wiping down kickboards

If you use shared items at the pool like kickboards or noodles, just make sure they’re clean before hopping on. Children have a habit of wiping their noses directly onto items like these, and they can carry tons of bacteria.

Gettyimages.com/towels

Sharing towels

Keep track of your towel. Most towels at resorts and cruises look identical, and it’s too easy to pick one up that belongs to somebody else and put it on your face—one of the most vulnerable areas of your body when it comes to contracting illness.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN