As we reach the end of the year, many people will already be planning their holidays for 2023, and cruise holidays are an increasingly popular method of holiday. Travelling by cruise, be it through domestic cruises or international ones, can increase the risk of several health problems. It is vital to take necessary measures to avoid any kind of medical problems and to ensure a fun-filled cruise journey. To help you, we’ve put together this blog of travel health advice for cruise ship passengers…
Outbreaks of infectious diseases
Travelling on a cruise ship may increase the chance of getting respiratory illnesses (eg Covid-19 and influenza) or acute gastroenteritis (Norovirus or Rotavirus etc).
It is possible for travellers to bring influenza viruses from different parts of the world where seasonal influenza is prevalent. Crew members who serve passengers run the risk of becoming reservoirs for influenza infection and may spread the disease to passengers on subsequent cruises.
Precautions before departure
It is highly advisable for travellers to consult their doctor or travel medical professionals, before leaving for a trip by sea. During that consultation the duration of travel, the nation’s being visited, and the likely activities while on shore will be discussed. It is particularly important for travellers with existing medical conditions or high-risk groups to do a medical check and carry the required medications to cover their entire trip.
A medical check-up would be helpful to be aware of any prevention measures and vaccinations that need to be taken.
Medications to pack
Consult your doctor and be sure to carry all the prescribed medications in the original packet or container along with a doctor’s letter. Especially, if you are or think you are prone to motion sickness, talk to your doctor about medicine to decrease your symptoms. Also, it’s crucial to note that many common medications like antidepressants, painkillers, and birth control pills can have an adverse effect on seasickness.
In order to be protective against Covid-19 and other viruses, it’s best to carry your masks and hand sanitiser for the trip.
Whether it’s a short or longer sea journey, it’s best to be up to date on routine vaccines such as measles/mumps/rubella, varicella, seasonal flu, and Covid-19. Also, check for immunization and other recommendations (e.g., malaria) that may apply to each country on the itinerary. Depending on where you’ll stop and what you’ll do there, you may require additional vaccinations.
It’s also highly important to check for the Covid-19 measures of the country that you are visiting. Don’t forget to check with your cruise operator or travel agent for more information on pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirements.
It is advisable to take the booster shot for Covid-19 before travelling to protect yourself from any Covid-19 outbreak, as viruses transmit easily and quickly between people interacting closely together, particularly in indoor areas. It’s also recommended to take an Antigen Test before travelling to avoid the risk of you infecting your co-passengers while at sea.
Necessary precautions whilst on board
While on the cruise, access to healthcare may be both limited or expensive. For instance comprehensive medical supplies may not be enough to meet demand, and immediate medical evacuation to a hospital on land may not always be feasible. For those with underlying serious conditions, it is best to check about the medical facilities on the cruise before booking your tickets.
Furthermore, it’s essential to carry your required medications in more quantity than usual just in case you end up staying longer than expected.
To prevent yourself from getting sick, basic measures such as frequent handwashing and coughing or sneezing into a tissue and not your hand can be effective. Moreover, it’s also a good idea to avoid touching your face.
Thank you for reading our blog ‘Travel Health Advice for Cruise Passengers’. Book your travel vaccinations today at www.tmb.ie