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Definitive Guide To Norovirus: How To Avoid It & What To Do If It Hits Your Cruise

Definitive Guide To Norovirus: How To Avoid It & What To Do If It Hits Your Cruise

We’ve all heard of it. Norovirus is the dreaded bug no-one wants. But as long as you are prepared, you could know the simple tips that should help avoid it.

It is not a ‘cruise ship virus’ however! It is common in schools, hospitals and more so don’t worry; the answer to avoiding norovirus isn’t avoiding cruises altogether.

You’ll leave this article educated and ready to battle the bug!

The Prevention Period

Cruise ship precuations

The cruise lines are always on your side so remember every precaution they take, you should take notice of and do too!

-Use your cabin bathroom as much as you can as opposed to the public facilities


-Avoid touching banisters and hand rails as much as you can (we understand this can’t always be avoided but germs travel a long way). Even things like covering your finger as you press the lift button will help!

Always opt for the hand sanitizer you are offered every time you enter the dining rooms, even if you’ve just washed your hands. You’re about to enter a public area and you’ll be surrounded by food and shared utensils!


-Don’t shake the captain’s hand (or anyone’s). This is a sure-fire way to catch a bug so have a bit of fun and fist-bump your way round the ship. Azamara’s policy matches this so you can still be polite and stay on the healthy side!


Code Red

This is confirmation

The cruise lines will know straight away if the bug has spread onboard so you’ll be informed as early as possible.


‘Code Red’ is the not-so-secret term for when the ship is in lockdown and the following precautions will then be taken:

-Public doors will be left open so no passengers are forced to touch the handles

-All meals in the buffet will then be served instead of passengers needing to touch shared utensils etc

-Crew will start an intense cleaning and disinfecting regime across all public areas and corridors of the cruise ship


-All those affected by the bug will be informed to remain in their cabin with meals delivered to them personally


It’s Too Late- What Next?

The cure!

If you’ve been unlucky then don’t worry, there are known ways to tackle norovirus! And a cruise ship is well acquainted with those suffering with it by now so you’ll have all the help and advice you can get.

-Dehydration is a common side effect so drink plenty of water even if you feel that isn’t a strong enough solution.


-Drinking dioralyte will help to rehydrate you a lot quicker so opt for this too

-Remain in your cabin until further notice and- as stated above- do not head to the dining rooms or buffet as the crew will deliver meals to you

-Avoid direct contact with anyone else for the next 48 hours if possible, aswell as avoiding preparing food


-The virus can stay with surfaces you touch for several days so disenfect any surfaces you touch to avoid it spreading, aswell as avoiding sharing towels etc

-Make sure you rest as much as you can and keep up the good hygiene as it may be contagious for another two weeks after you feel you have recovered!


Does This Mean Compensation?

If you suffer from norovirus onboard your cruise ship, it won’t always mean a full refund or compensation however it can do in some instances.


For example, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was hit with the gastrointestinal illness and around 500 passengers were affected.

The itinerary was changed altogether and all passengers affected received a full refund due to the outbreak.

If you feel this is important to know before choosing which cruise line to book with, make sure you ask your consultant or do your research so you know.


Each line has different policies but you could well be entitled to a full refund, compensation or future cruise credit if this affected you.


That was your guide to norovirus: from how to avoid it to how to tackle it! Have you ever been affected by the virus on your cruise ship or elsewhere? Which tips did we not include that you find most useful? Let us know below!

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