Watch out for these common dangers.
1. Other passengers
The problem with being surrounded by (potentially) thousands of other people is that they bring with them plenty of germs. Respiratory illnesses or stomach bugs can quickly spread throughout the ship, so you’ll need to take extra precautions.
Buffets are notorious sites for food poisoning, so you’ll want to choose your meals carefully. Avoid uncooked things like salads or fruit (if you really want these, go to the a la carte restaurants instead) and stay away from rare meats. You should also use common sense and skip anything that looks less than fresh or that has been touched by other passengers.
It’s amazing how much of an impact water has on your body. Away from our normal routine we tend to consume less than we should. Add to that excess alcohol, sunshine and rich foods, and you’re headed for disaster. Try to drink at least two litres a day.
4. Poor hygiene
The bugs are out there, so you need to do everything you can to protect yourself. Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, use hand sanitiser when necessary and practice good food hygiene. If you do get sick, do the right thing and quarantine yourself in your cabin until you recover.
When you’re on a cruise, endless food and drink are available 24 hours a day. One day you’re eating Cornflakes for breakfast, the next it’s a full fry up every day – followed by half a dozen creamy cocktails. Your body isn't going to react well to a change like this, so remember to eat a vegetable every now and then.
What could be stressful about a cruise? The problem here starts before you board. Very often, you will have been very stressed before sailing day trying to organise last minute details, finalise any work commitments and get your group to the dock on time. Remember to relax, get as much sleep as you can before departure and arrive in tip top shape.
7. The ocean
Seasickness can bring you to your knees and make for a really miserable cruise. If it's your first time, there’s no real way to tell if you will be susceptible but you can prepare. Look into over the counter medications or gadgets like seasickness bands. Keep an eye on the horizon, take it easy on the booze and try to get your sea legs in the early days.
Do you know of anything else to watch out for? Let us know in the comments.
This article was written in partnership with Over60.