Information for passengers traveling by ship
During your cruise or ferry voyage, you may be exposed to possible health risks, though it is rare that an illness will occur. Following simple guidelines, however, can help you enjoy your voyage while at the same time create a healthy environment for both yourself and other passengers.
For swimming pool users on board
You are advised to visit a doctor, ideally, 4-6 weeks prior to your scheduled travel plans. Make sure you receive any additional vaccinations, medications or other precautions you may need to stay healthy throughout your trip.
• Travellers in the European Union waters are not obliged to have specific vaccinations before travelling. However, as mentioned above, it is recommended to advise your health professionals regarding obligatory vaccinations (included in the national vaccination schedule). In particular, when travelling outside the European Union or if the voyage includes destinations other than EU ports, you must seek advice from an approved public health travel advisory service to identify any specific vaccinations or health precautions required for each port of call. e.g. World Health Organisation (www.who.org).
• Passengers who take regular medication should ensure that they have sufficient supplies to last the entire length of the voyage.
• If you are concerned about sea sickness, it is recommended that you take the appropriate medication just before sailing to prevent the illness.
• You should always comply with recommendations, tips and guidelines given by designated crew members. This is for your safety and those around you!
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses on board. You should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly in order to prevent the spread of disease. It should also be noted that children tend to spread infections more readily. Therefore, please try to teach your children the proper way to wash their hands.
So when are the best times to wash your hands?
- Before and after eating
- Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- Before, during, and after preparing food (make sure you also wash in between handling meat or fish and moving on to other food items)
- After using the restroom
- After changing a diaper
- After touching plants or soil
- After visiting the ship hospital
- After coming into contact with any body fluids or touching items that may have come in contact with body fluids (i.e runny nose, watery eyes, saliva, blood, urine)
- After touching pets or other animals
- After touching high-hand contact surfaces, such as door knobs or railings
- After returning to your cabin
Hand washing technique:
1. Wet your hands with warm water.
2. Scrub your hands for 20 to 30 seconds with regular soap and water.
3. Rinse your hands.
4. Dry your hands with a paper towel.
5. Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.
Please click here to view the illustrated hand washing guide.
Symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, skin rash, persistent cough, sore throat, malaise, myalgia and chest pain should always be reported to the medical staff or other designated crew members on board. If you are not sure what symptoms to address and are experiencing discomfort, consult with the medical staff.
• The best way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure. Exposure to the sun should be avoided from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. Even on cloudy days, it is important to protect the skin because UVB radiation can pass through the clouds and cause significant sunburn. If you will bask in the sun, however, the use of proper SPF sunscreen and protective clothing (i.e. wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants) can guard against sunburns.
Guidelines for swimming pool users on board
Practicing healthy swimming behaviors is vital for the normal operation of a pool. Rules and regulations are set so that everyone in the pool will know and follow them. Remember that you share the water with everyone else in the pool. If someone with diarrhea, for example, contaminates the water and you, in turn, swallow it, the possibilities of getting sick are high. Although chlorine kills such germs, it takes time and without individual precautions disease may spread way before they have the chance to be eliminated.
Your health is also your responsibility
Don’t rely on the best maintained pool
Think healthy - Behave healthy
Five Requests for Your Safety:
You are kindly REQUESTED:
1. To read the pool safety signs. The rules are there to protect you and keep the pools sanitary.
2. To walk and not run near the water. Pools, by nature, are slippery places, so please do not run around the edges of a pool. Use the rails provided to get in and out of the pool.
3.To never dive into water of unknown depth. It is possible to get injured or drown. Dive in designated areas only.
4. To avoid swimming when you have recently consumed food or alcohol. It is possible to get injured or drown.
5. To avoid suction pipes in pools and hot tubs. Suction pipes can suck in your hair, arm or leg perhaps holding you under water and causing you to drown.
Eight Requests pertain to all bathers:
You are kindly REQUESTED:
1. Not to swim when you have a health problem that could make other people sick. Don’t swim when you have skin infections, cuts or upper respiratory infections. Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is particularly important for children in diapers.
2. To use the toilet and take a shower every time before you enter the pool.
3. To wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet. You can protect others by being aware that germs on your body end up in the water.
4. To avoid swallowing pool water. In fact, try your best to avoid letting water get in your mouth.
5. To keep bathrooms, change rooms and showers clean.
6. To wear appropriate shoes when you walk around the pool or the showers. You will be protected from the contamination on the floor.
7. To follow the regulations implemented by the pool manager and staff.
8. To inform the pool manager if something goes wrong with the pool’s operation.
Five Requests for those Supervising Children:
You are kindly REQUESTED:
1. Τo keep an eye on your children. Kids can drown in seconds and in silence.
2. Νot to use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water rings”) in place of life jackets or life preservers.
3. Τo take children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go...” may mean that it’s too late.
4. Τo change diapers in a bathroom and not poolside. Germs can easily spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool, consequently spreading illness.
5. Τo wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before getting into the pool.