400-Plus Passengers Get Sick on Cruise

First and foremost, Cruise Critic recommends washing your hands often with hot water and soap. Wash up every time you eat, smoke, touch your face, use the bathroom or just have dirty hands.

Avoid uncooked food as much as possible, stick to bottled water and don't share drinking glasses and eating utensils. And limit your physical contact with other passengers.

"We're not saying you absolutely must refuse the captain a handshake at his cocktail party … just use your judgment throughout the cruise," the Cruise Critic Web site states.

Pack Extra Soap, Sanitizer

If you do get sick on the cruise, visit the ship's doctor and drink plenty of water as dehydration is a common side-effect. Passengers are typically quarantined to their cabins to prevent spreading the illness to others. It's not ideal to spend your tropical vacation inside, but it does stop the spread of the virus.

It can take one to three days for the symptoms to appear and then another 24 to 48 hours to recover.

Cruise Critic advises packing extra soap, a supply of Lysol, alcohol-based sanitizers like Purell and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, just in case.

Stewart Chiron, president of CruiseGuy.com, a travel marketing group specializing in the cruise industry, echoed the other cruise experts saying that the virus is typically spread by previously sick passengers bringing the virus onboard and not following best hygiene practices.

His tip: "Use hand-sanitizers located throughout the ship. They're not part of the décor nor sculptures."

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