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Cruise ships can, unfortunately, be a hot bed for nasty viruses, allowing bacteria to thrive in cabins and spread easily between passengers. To try and prevent viruses from spreading, some cruise lines are taking extreme steps, including banning Captains from shaking their passenger’s hands.
Most cruise ships will hold meet and greet events at the beginning of each voyage, to give passengers a chance to be introduced to the ships’ captain and crew, but some cruise lines are now encouraging their captains to ‘fist bump’ their passengers instead of shaking their hands.
Cruise companies hope this will stop horrible stomach bugs like the Norovirus from spreading, because outbreaks can be difficult to contain once out at sea. Symptoms of the Norovirus and Gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and cramps which usually last between one and four days – enough to ruin any holiday.
Symptoms usually start 24-48 hours after exposure to the virus, which is why Cruise lines are trying to stamp out any spread from the first moment passengers board. As well as avoiding person to person contact, some cruise lines are providing passengers with anti-bacterial hand wipes as they wait to board, and others remove their ‘self-service’ buffet for the first evening.
Captains are still allowed to pose for pictures, as long as passengers don’t get too close!
To protect yourself against a potential cruise holiday disaster, remember to invest in specialist travel insurance before you depart. Without cruise travel insurance, you may not be covered for on board medical treatment, or receive any refund for cabin confinement or missed excursions if you do get ill.
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