Taking a cruise is a fun, relaxing way to visit multiple places without hopping on several planes or driving. Enjoying the pools, eating, drinking, and dancing the night away are all great ways to spend a vacation. But staying physically and mentally healthy while on board is also important. Here are nine easy ways to stay healthy on a Princess cruise.
Wash Your Hands
It’s something taught from the time we’re young. The best way to help prevent illness is to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important and a cruise ship where norovirus can run rampant. A lot of people use hand sanitizer instead of washing their hands, which is okay when water isn’t available. But did you know that norovirus cannot be killed with most hand sanitizers? Which makes visiting the ship’s buffet risky.
We were pleasantly surprised on our cruise on the Sky Princess to see multiple handwashing stations at each entrance of the buffet. There was also often a crew member there asking people to wash their hands. Unfortunately, a lot of people skipped hand washing and just took hand sanitizer. Because, as my daughter says, “people are people.” Also, unfortunately, norovirus can shut a ship down very quickly. So when onboard, make sure you’re washing your hands often to help stay healthy on a cruise. It won’t completely prevent catching norovirus, but the more people who do it, the greater chance of helping to contain it, if it does pop up.
Get Some Excercise
Cruise ships have plenty of opportunities to get exercise on vacation. One easy and inexpensive way to stay healthy on a cruise is to get moving and get some exercise. It’s said that the average person gains one pound per day on a cruise. That’s a lot of weight to pack on in a short amount of time. Moving your body can help combat weight gain and also give a better lay of the ship. Instead of waiting for an elevator, take the stairs a couple of levels. Walk or jog on the track towards the top of the ship. There will be signs that tell how many laps equal a mile. You’ll also get some great views while up there. The fitness center offers bikes, treadmills, and weights for those looking for a more vigorous workout. There are even fitness classes onboard Princess Cruises, including yoga. With the recently updated Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages, paid fitness classes are included.
Drink A Lot of Water
One of the most important ways to stay healthy on a Princess cruise is to drink plenty of water all day long. No matter if you’re headed to the Caribbean, Europe or Alaska, having enough water in your system will help your body adjust to changes it may be experiencing due to travel. Some locations may be hotter or dryer than you’re normally used to. Water will help with that. Drinking water in very hot climates will help your body regulate its temperature and is one step in helping prevent heat exhaustion. And if you’re getting to know the bartenders very well, be sure you have a glass or bottle of water with every one or two drinks you consume. This can help cut back on consuming too many empty calories and may help ward off that morning hangover.
Visit The Spa to Stay Healthy on a Princess Cruise
Every luxury vacation spot has a luxury spa onsite for guests to enjoy. Princess Cruises are no exception. But how can a visit to the Lotus Spa® help passengers stay healthy on a Princess cruise? According to the Mayo Clinic, getting a massage can reduce stress, help your immune system work better and increase relaxation. Now I’m sure many people think they’ll be completely relaxed on vacation and don’t need any more relaxation. I was one of those people. But the hot stone massage I received on the Sky Princess was amazing. After the past few years, my stress level has risen like everyone else’s. And I kept a lot of it in my shoulders. I felt even more relaxed after getting off the table. There are a variety of different treatments you can get on the ship. And if you have onboard credits to use, the spa is a good place to put them to use.
If you don’t feel like getting a massage, don’t miss an opportunity to visit The Enclave. Located within the spa, The Enclave offers different types of saunas, showers, heated tiled chairs and a hydrotherapy whirlpool to use. There are also lockers to use along with robes to wear over your swimsuit. Passes to The Enclave are available to purchase by the day or for the entire cruise. Insider tip: Head to the spa as soon as possible after boarding to book your slot. A limited amount of passes are available, and they go quickly.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
One very important way to stay healthy on a cruise is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This includes on and off the ship. Make sure that you’re walking carefully in the mornings on deck. Mist from the air can make it slippery and early mornings are often when the crew is out cleaning the deck areas. Never climb onto, sit on, or lean over railings. Cruises are for meeting new people, but never give out too much information about yourself or your room location. While off the ship, carry a money belt and leave the flashy jewelry on board. Before getting into a taxi, make sure to agree on a price for all passengers. The cruise directors on the Sky Princess did an excellent job every day helping you know how much to spend on a taxi. They would appear on the morning talk show that shows on your cabin tv and give tips for every port of call, including pricing to expect.
Eat Well Balanced Meals to Stay Healthy on a Cruise
There is so much food on cruise ships that many overindulge and don’t eat balanced meals because “we’re on vacation!” Being on vacation doesn’t mean you have to skip vegetables the entire time. Making healthier food choices will make you feel fuller, help reduce that weight gain and overall make you feel better. So how do you eat healthier on a Princess cruise?
- When in the main dining rooms, ask for a plate of steamed vegetables as a side dish. It may not be on the menu, but they’ll prepare it for you.
- In the buffet, there is a vegetarian area that has steamed and grilled vegetables. I tried steamed purple cauliflower for the first time there and had it at least three other times on the trip.
- Even if you need a sweet treat, Princess offers plenty of options that have no sugar or no wheat. When we went to afternoon tea, the family next to us asked for gluten-free treats that hadn’t been handled next to items with gluten. They were accommodated quickly.
- Some of the menu items are very large – consider sharing with a trip mate.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
No matter what destination you’re headed to, protecting yourself from the sun is important. Even on partially cloudy days where you think it won’t matter, the sun’s UVA rays are coming through and damaging your skin. Always put sunscreen on before leaving the cabin and reapply it regularly. Bring a hat with you everywhere in your bag. I made the mistake of one day not packing a hat with me and regretted it as the day when on and the sun came out full blast. Sunglasses always come in handy as well.
Get Your Rest
Cruises are a lot of fun! Sometimes too much fun. There’s always something taking place and you might feel like you have to experience everything to get your money’s worth. That mentality will wear you out pretty quickly. Don’t feel bad about taking downtime and relaxing quietly in a lounge area or heading back to your cabin to take a nap every day. You’ll have a much better time if everyone isn’t cranky by dinner because you’ve been doing so much. And get to bed on time. Maybe you’ll be staying up a little later than you do at home, but there’s no reason to stay up until 2am every night hanging out at the club or the bar. Your body will definitely tell you it wasn’t a good idea the next morning.
Take Excursions That Keep You Active
Excursions are a great way to get off the ship and explore the local areas where the ship docks. A good way to keep healthy on a cruise is to take an excursion that keeps you moving for at least part of the day. We took an excursion to see the Mayan ruins in Honduras, where we climbed the ruins. The excursion description advised that there was strenuous exercise involved so be sure to read those descriptions before signing up. Everyone didn’t venture up, but those of us that did got our steps in that day! There are plenty of other things to do at port stops, including snorkeling, taking walking tours or kayaking adventures that will get your body in motion.
A Note About Face Masks
Princess Cruises no longer has a requirement for passengers or crew to wear a face mask while onboard. But it’s not a bad idea to carry a few with you in case you or someone in your party feels sick or catches coronavirus. Our family choose to wear them while on a 2-hour bus ride to an excursion, and we saw multiple people on the ship wearing them. I’ve gotten a few questions after our trip about it and while we were onboard, no one made any comments pro and con about wearing one. So do what you feel is best for you. But please – WASH YOUR HANDS!
As you can see, there are things you can do to stay healthy on a Princess cruise that don’t take a lot of effort. Doing a little something every day will help you recuperate once back at home and not regret the choices you made during your vacation.
With these simple steps, you’ll be able to eat some great food, meet new friends and still stay healthy on a Princess Cruise!
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