In recent weeks two ships were in the news for outbreaks of an unknown illness befalling some of the passengers and crew.

My guess is that it was norovirus. Last year there were nine reported incidents to the Centers for disease control (CDC) aboard cruise ships a majority was from norovirus.

The CDC administers the Vessel Sanitation Program which assists the cruise ship industry to prevent and control the introduction, transmission and spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on cruise ships.

Information on this program can be found at: On this page you will also find information to help you stay healthy on your cruise.

Here are some tips from the CDC:

When to wash your hands


  • Touching your hand to your mouth, including:

    • Eating and drinking,
    • Smoking, and
    • Brushing your teeth.
  • Helping a sick person.


  • Going to the bathroom.

  • Changing diapers.
  • Touching high-hand contact surfaces, such as:

    • Door knobs,
    • Elevator buttons, and
    • Railings.
  • Returning to your cabin.
  • Helping a sick person.
  • Blowing your nose.

Norovirus seems to be the most common cause of illness aboard ship. Good hygiene can and will make a difference in your cruise experience.

Ronnie and I always carry a waterless hand cleaner and use it often. My one tip is to use a hand sanitizer after you are done with the menu at dinner.

Till next time,
Smooth (and healthy) Sailing


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