Seniors and Cruise Ship Travel: Staying Safe and Healthy

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 08/24/2018

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Cruise ships are a popular form of senior travel. A little planning ahead and smart habits can go a long way toward cruise ship safety.

Senior travel on a cruise ship – start by getting shots

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that you make sure you’re current on these vaccines:

  • Flu
  • Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR)
  • Any vaccine recommended for the area you’ll be visiting (see below)

If you’ll be visiting a foreign country, check with your doctor at least 6 weeks before you travel, the CDC advises. Ask whether you’ll need a shot to protect you from disease in that country.

If your senior travel will take you to Africa or South America, certain countries might require proof of a yellow fever vaccine if you’ve visited a country where the disease is present.

Also check with the cruise ship travel company about what shots it may recommend or require for your cruise.

Senior travel on a cruise ship – don’t catch a bug, or spread one

Don’t let something simple and avoidable like catching a common illness such as cold or flu ruin your senior travel cruise. Wash your hands frequently, recommends the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And don’t spread your germs, either – use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and again, wash your hands.

 Senior travel on a cruise ship – avoiding the norovirus

Vomiting and diarrhea may not be pleasant to talk about, but they can be a part of senior travel on a cruise ship in some cases. A virus called the norovirus can cause those unpleasant symptoms. Norovirus outbreaks have been reported on cruise ships, reports the CDC.

You may be able to avoid the norovirus during your senior travel on a cruise ship, according to the CDC. Avoid touching your face, and wash your hands:

  • Before eating
  • After using the restroom
  • After touching surfaces someone else may have touched, such as railings

Senior travel on a cruise ship – seasickness

Seasickness can be part of senior travel on a cruise ship, but you might be able to avoid it. You may want to ask your doctor about medications that can help prevent seasickness. If you’re already taking prescription drugs, the CDC notes that some medications can have nausea as a side effect, or make seasickness worse.

Senior travel on a cruise ship – other travel tips

If you take prescription drugs, don’t forget to bring them with you, the CDC advises. You may want to bring extra in case the cruise ship is delayed returning to port for any reason.

Another senior travel tip: if you have a health condition, such as a chronic illness, keep in mind that the changes in your routine while on a cruise ship might affect you. For example, some people don’t sleep as well while traveling as they do at home. You may be eating different food than you do at home. The weather may be hotter, colder, more humid, or drier than at home. These factors could affect you if you have a chronic illness, notes the CDC. So, you may want to talk to your doctor about monitoring your symptoms and doing anything else possible to prepare for your senior travel trip.

Medicare or Medicare Supplement coverage during senior travel

Take a look at these articles to learn about coverage when you’re outside the U.S.:

If you want to know more Medicare coverage choices, whether you’re a traveler or not, I can answer your questions. You may use the links below to arrange a phone call with me or ask me to send you customized information. Want to compare some of the Medicare plans? Just click the Compare Plans or Find Plans buttons on this page.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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