This winter cannot be a more critical time for the travel industry. The cruising industry, particularly, has been hit the hardest. The Coronavirus has forced cruise lines to halt sailing operations until the end of April. While ships are tied up at ports, not entertaining the thousands upon thousands of guests, there’s much to learn during this time. Yes, Coronavirus has instilled much fear around the world. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not the time to regroup and refocus. Hundreds of thousands of cruisers are looking forward to cruising come May, and in the months to follow. On board cruise ships, preventing an on-board illness is taken seriously. In the midst of the Coronavirus scare, the prevention of an on-board illness can’t be more crucial. While the Coronavirus is being contended with, here are a handful of crucial tips to preventing on-board any on-board illness.
Starting at #5, is washing hands thoroughly. This takes only twenty (20) seconds. Washing hands is a major habit all guests must get into the habit of, since on-board illnesses are known to occur. Many ships have retrofitted their buffets and dining rooms with washing stations, with liquid soap and paper towels. Before and after meals, guests are instructed to washing hands thoroughly. Before going to the main dining room, guests should into the habit of washing hands in their stateroom bathrooms. Washing hands a second time as a once over is well-encouraged. Repeating this routine each and every time throughout the cruise goes a long way, and speaks volumes. After all, who wants to shake hands with the captain without washing hands?
The #4 hint on the list is refraining from touching food with bare hands. This is a no-no! The moment any guest picks up an apple, and then puts it back, his/her germs are already on it. Another guest may pick up that same apple, eat it, with that guest’s germs already on it. Suddenly, bingo! The germs have been spread. Moral of the story-you pick it up, you eat it! If any food station is equipped with a pair of tongs, the tongs must be used. Guests practicing sanitary habits and exercising their due diligence in this matter goes a long way. The well-fare of all guests on board depends on it.
Guests should not forget #3. Using the hand sanitizing gel is a must. Before and after exciting all public places on board, guests are to use the sanitizing gel. Guests should apply enough sanitizing gel to cover the palms, fingers, webbing, and wrists. Whatever touches food or the plate, must be coated. Sanitizing gel stations are located all around the cruise terminal and in all public places. Note: Using the sanitizing gel DOES NOT replace washing hands.
Guests of all ages love going to the pool deck. Who doesn’t? This is where tip #2 comes in. #2 is using the rinsing showers. The rinsing showers are located all around the pool deck. They are there for a reason. Before and after entering the swimming pools and hot tubs, guests are to rinse themselves thoroughly. The swimming pools and hot tubs on cruise ships are heated. Germs spread quickly in heated water. Just like washing hands, using the rinsing showers for 20 seconds is a must. In addition to using the rinsing showers, it is paramount that all guests NOT share pool towels. Guests who share pool towels are sharing germs. Each and every day of the cruise, all guests must use a different towel. Guests must remember-new day, new towel. Using the rinsing showers and using fresh towels on the pool deck is sure to promote the fun and health for all fellow guests.
Coming in at #1 is the tip which many cruisers don’t pay much attention to, and are greatly passive about. The #1 tip to preventing an on-board illness is being honest when filling out the health questionnaire. During the check-in process in the cruise terminal, each and every guest at age eighteen and older are given a health questionnaire. On the health questionnaire, additional blanks are provided for guests under the age of eighteen. The questions pertain to diarrhea, vomiting, chills, and pregnancy. Further, the health questionnaire may ask whether guests have been to Corona-stricken countries such as China, Korea, Japan, and Italy. Similiar questions were asked on the health questionnaire during the Ebola virus scare in 2014. If a guest should be experiencing any flu-like symptom, such as diarrhea, chills, or vomiting, the guests must answer “yes”. The check-in agent and a pier supervisor will take it from there. Immediately afterward, the ship’s doctor will address the guest before being cleared to check in. As they say, “Better safe than sorry!”.