Essential Steps to Good Health During an International Cruise


We all know it can be easy to get a little carried away and over-indulge on a cruise holiday. In between well-stocked buffets, all-inclusive drinks deals and some of the finest entertainment on the planet – sometimes we can forget to continue our exercise routines, or even exercise a little caution when it comes to health and wellbeing. So, to ensure you don’t fall foul of poor health habits on the high seas during a long cruise, we’ve enlisted the help of an expert.

To help you enjoy an amazing cruise in rude health, Dr Danielle Esler of Bubs on the Move is sharing her expertise for a happy and healthy holiday.

Exploring the world via cruising has plenty of advantages –  the journey becomes integral to the experience, not least because of the lavish cruise ships on our oceans. The ability to experience more than one destination on the same journey, an all-inclusive holiday experience and avoidance of long flights add to the appeal. A downside to cruising is the mindset that can occur among cruise passengers that due to the contained nature of the travel, the health risks of international travel are absent.  

medication in bag with headphones and suncream

Packing Medicines and Alerting Your GP

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when cruising is thinking that when they go on holiday, their chronic illnesses go on holiday too. Medications are forgotten (either accidentally or deliberately) and passengers indulge to excess in ways they know can cause illness flares at home, but somehow when in ‘cruise mode’ this is forgotten. This is one of the reasons that I recommend all people planning an international cruise visit their GP at least six weeks before their departure date. As well as giving the GP a chance to assess the risk of communicable diseases in your destination ports and to plan accordingly (e.g. travel vaccinations), a chronic disease check should also occur. Ensuring you have enough of your regular prescription medications to last the journey is part of this.  

health tips cruise trip

The confines onboard mean that outbreaks of certain illnesses sometimes occur. While this shouldn’t put you off cruising, being aware and taking appropriate steps to minimise your own risk is sensible. As well as having your GP administer appropriate travel vaccinations, ensure your standard vaccines are up to date including influenza vaccination.  Make the most of risk reduction strategies on board such as hand sanitiser as well to minimise the risk of influenza and gastrointestinal infections.

Cruise ships charge a premium for all medications, over the counter and prescription. I advise people taking a cruise to pack a small medical kit of prescription and non-prescription medications including paracetamol, bandages, anti-seasickness remedies (ask your doctor for a prescription seasickness medication if you are prone to this), and cold and flu tablets. If travelling to malaria, Zika, or dengue fever area make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellant.  

Sun Care and Protection Against the Elements

Sunburn is uncomfortable at best and carries a risk of skin cancer at worse. Ensure you pack appropriate sun protection including hats and sunscreen for all family members to avoid the cost of these onboard.

woman on the beach using suncream

The Importance of Insurance

Finally, as with all international travel, don’t forget to get travel insurance that covers you for the duration of your journey. Ensuring you have cover for all pre-existing conditions is essential.

We’d like to thank Dr Danielle Esler for sharing her wisdom with us, and hope you have enjoyed her top tips.

If you’re keen to put this new-found knowledge into practice and want to book your place on an international cruise, head over to our homepage for a great selection of deals, or call our friendly sales team on 1300 857 345.



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