The thought of being trapped on a ship while plagued with gastrointestinal issues is enough to keep many of us on land-based vacations. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps are nobody’s idea of a good time, but being stuck on a rocking boat in the middle of the sea certainly adds to the distress. The close quarters inherent on a ship make rapidly-spreading outbreaks all the more concerning. Even if you’re not afflicted yourself (yet!), the knowledge that this virus might be lurking amongst the staff, passengers, food prep areas and touchable surfaces of the vessel is unsettling. However, there is a lot of hype and misinformation surrounding this particular plague. Here are some perspectives, prevention strategies and important things to know about norovirus on a cruise that might convince you to forgo the mental hazmat suit and enjoy a shipboard holiday after all.
1. Don’t Cruise if You Know You’re Sick
It seems like a “duh” piece of advice that everyone should respect, but most of the highly publicized norovirus outbreaks have been sparked by a passenger who consciously got on board despite their tummy troubles. No one wants to miss out on an anticipated vacay, and so they convince themselves that it’s just a minor bug and they’ll be fine once they relax and get some fresh air. Flash forward a few days, and a boatload of people are exploding from multiple orifices and the CDC is mandating quarantine strategies. It can spread that fast and furious. So, please, for the love of humanity and your fellow passengers who so deserve a happy holiday on the high seas, don’t be that “patient zero” who ruins things for the rest of us, not to mention taints the cruise industry in general. Do not, repeat, do not come aboard if you’re unwell.
2. Buy Cruise Insurance Just In Case
Despite headlines that make it seem like every ship is a floating Petri dish, odds are you won’t be afflicted by norovirus on a cruise. But on the off-chance you are, having cruise insurance gives you piece of mind that you won’t be financially penalized should you have to cancel a sail, interrupt a trip or seek emergency medical help. It helps you make better, more courteous decisions when it comes to your health and the health of the crew and other passengers. If more cruisers would opt for this sensible add-on, we probably wouldn’t have as many contagious people spreading this virus for fear of missing out on their costly trip.