Health care officials have some advice for anyone planning on soaking up some rays on a cruise this summer.
Though escaping the daily routine of everyday life may seem like the perfect getaway, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that, without proper planning and attention to health before and during a fun vacation, a high-seas adventure can quickly turn into a nightmare.
“Although cruising has many obvious pleasures, potential health hazards are also a risk with cruise ship travel,” according to the CDC’s website. “Regardless of your itinerary, you should be up-to-date on routine vaccines, such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and seasonal flu.”
“Crew members and fellow travelers often come from countries where these diseases are more common than in the United States and where vaccination is not routine,” the organization warned. “Consequently, outbreaks of chickenpox and rubella, German measles, have been reported on cruise ships.” Depending on the destination, some places such as Africa and South America, require certain vaccination records before entry.
In addition to making sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date before departing, travelers should also give their health insurance policies a thorough review. Not all health insurance covers needs that could come up, such as an injury that requires air evacuation, which the CDC says could cost anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000.
While aboard a vessel, health officials also recommend repeat hand-washings to avoid becoming a part of norovirus outbreaks which have reportedly caused diarrhea and vomiting.
Travelers are encouraged to only eat cuisine fully cooked and served hot, avoid drinking water from anything except a sealed bottle, and avoid ice cubes. Those currently on medications for chronic conditions are also reminded to bring enough of their medication to last the duration of their excursion.