The Most Dangerous Diseases Found on Cruises and How to Avoid Getting Sick

When you board a cruise, the only thing on your mind should be relaxing in an exotic location with a drink (or two) and grazing the unlimited buffet. While cruises provide everything you need for an indulgent vacation, they also provide the perfect breeding ground for disease.

Choose your cruise line wisely and learn how to prevent these diseases from destroying your perfect cruise experience.

Norovirus: The king of the cruise ship diseases

A man holds his stomach while in a robe.

The last thing you want to deal with while on a cruise. | Jivko/iStock/Getty Images

Norwalk virus, or norovirus, can be transmitted through human contact, as well as contaminated food or water. Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S. Symptoms are similar to those of food poisoning.

In reality, norovirus is not exclusively a sea-vessel disease. The GI illness fosters and prevails on ships due to large amounts of people being in close proximity to each other. In 2017, Princess Cruise’s “Coral Princess” and Holland America’s “Volendam” reported the only known cases of norovirus.

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