Stay Healthy on a Cruise Ship with These 7 Tips

How do you stay healthy on a cruise ship? Staying healthy is always important, but it’s even more important while cruising. Even the cleanest cruise ship sees hundreds of thousands of passengers pass through every room on the ship over the course of a year. That’s a lot of opportunity for germs and bacteria to spread. In addition to that, you’ll find new foods, and you’ll be tempted to overextend yourself in other ways in an effort to maximize your fun.

While it’s your vacation and a great time to do all the things and try all the foods, you need to remember to temper that with some common sense. Overindulging in anything means you will pay a price later. If staying healthy is important to you every other week of the year then it should also be important when cruising. You won’t have much fun if you’re stuck in your room sick. Here are a few ways we try to embrace being healthy even when cruising.


Staying Healthy is Easier Than You Think

You don’t have to walk around your cruise ship with a bottle of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on hand. In fact, avoiding germs is only part of the equation when it comes to ensuring your good health while cruising, or on any trip, for that matter. If you follow these simple practices, you’ll more than likely have a ton of fun on your cruise and you won’t regret it either.

Wash Your Hands

This one should be a no-brainer, but it would be a terrible list for staying healthy indeed if I didn’t add it. It is so important to wash your hands. Between excursions; crew members cleaning your room, serving your food, and making your drinks; and hanging enjoying the common areas of the ship, you’re open to all sorts of bacteria. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

I love our family cruises because they are affordable and there’s always a lot to do and see, but when loads of people gather in any common area there are bound to be germs. So wash your hands! That’s tip number one in order to stay healthy on a cruise ship. Actually it’s tip number one all year round when we travel anywhere!




People often forget how important hydration is for good health. The human body is made up of over 70% water. With that much of our bodies being composed of water, it only makes sense that you should hydrate yourself to ensure good health. Dehydration can lead to suppressed immune function, lethargy, crankiness, headaches, and more. Do yourself a favour and pound that water!

Selectively Hydrate

While we’re talking about drinking water, let’s talk about what kind of water. On the ship, the water should be safe to drink, but when you’re out on excursions, take bottled water. Any tropical climate could have pathogens in the water that your body can’t handle. This especially true if you’re cruising in Mexico or Egypt.


Exercising is one of the best ways to stay healthy on a cruise ship or in general. When you exercise, it releases a cascade of hormones into your body that does everything from improving your mood to repairing your body on a cellular level. If your cruise ship has a fitness center, take advantage of it. If not, a brisk walk around the deck can do wonders, as well. Many of the cruise ships we have been on have amazing fitness centres and massive walking tracks. There’s no end to the potential for physical activity on board. Move often and make the most of it.

Even on fun ships like Harmony of the Seas when you travel with a family in tow get them all involved. Racing up and down water slides for hours can be exercise enough to tire everyone out. Which brings me to my next point about sleep. Everyone sleeps better when they’ve had adequate exercise.


Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is the body’s way of repairing itself, so if you want to stay healthy on your cruise, get plenty of sleep. Better sleep matters for so many reasons in daily life and when you travel too. Ensure you get your solid 8 hours whenever possible to keep your body in tip-top shape and ready to fight off any bugs you might come into contact with.

Common Sense with Food and Drink

I know, I know. You’re on vacation. You’re on a cruise. It’s time to let your hair down! While that is true, be smart about it. Maybe just let your hair down a little. If you have any GI issues, stay away from what aggravates them, no matter how tasty it may look. If you drink, don’t drink to excess. It may seem like fun in the moment, but the exhaustion, dehydration, and subsequent hangover will have you wishing you’d stopped at that second mimosa.

Be Honest About Symptoms

This last tip concerns both you and your fellow cruisers. When you arrive for your cruise, you’ll be asked to fill out forms. One of those forms will ask you about certain symptoms you may have been experiencing the week or two prior. Be honest. You won’t necessarily get kicked off the cruise, and you’ll also ensure that you won’t get others sick. Along those same lines, if you start feeling poorly while on your cruise, report it immediately so that you can receive medical attention and the crew can handle whatever is happening.


Staying Healthy Matters Even When You Travel

There’s nothing worse than being on a cruise and coming down with some sort of sickness. Or even getting sick on any trip. On one of our cruises I had extremely bad eye inflammation that did not want to go away. It started as soon as we got on board and finally after two days of a really sore eye I went down to the medical centre and got treatment for it. I like to remember that one as my pink eye cruise.

To make matters worse, if you get sick on vacation your family will also worry about you rather than enjoy their trip. That’s why staying healthy is so important. It makes your time on board so much richer and more memorable. So follow these tips and ensure good health on all your cruises.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.