Help a Ginger ;)

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#1
Thomasville, NC
38 Posts
Joined May 2007
I am a classic ginger with red hair, blue eyes, freckles, and VERY fair skin. Any tips on how to enjoy my cruise and not get burned? I typically don't spend more than 30 minutes outside at a time because I burn even with sunscreen. I know the basics, sunscreen, long sleeve rashguard, hat, and reapply the sunscreen often, but normally I stay indoors when the sun is at it's peak and limit my time in the sun as much as possible. I live in NC, so I know the Caribbean and Bahamas are much closer to the equator than I am used to.
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#2
Chicago
9,622 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
You got the basics down, I just use lots of sunscreen when in ports. Not much else you can do, I seek out shade wherever I can find it.
Enjoy yourself !!
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#3
Philly burbs, PA.
11,504 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Agree with Sauer-kraut in that there is not much more to recommend beyond that which you already have identified. But to be clear, the Bahamas for the most part are off the coast of Florida, so not that much different in terms of sun exposure than you already are.

But the Caribbean is getting further south and hotter, and the Southern Caribbean in particular does get more intense with the sun, but is still quite a distance above the equator. Just take the precautions you already have mentioned - really not much else you can do.
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#4
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,338 Posts
Joined May 2001
Sounds like you will be seeking shade during the heat of the day. Bring a hat to shade your face! You are right..the sun is quite intense!
#5
Cleveland
389 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I guess the only thing I would add is to try and bring enough sunscreen with you so you don't have to buy it on the ship. But if necessary, you can buy it on the ship or in Port. And I'm sure you know this but just in case you don't, I'll also add that it is possible to get sunburned even on cloudy days. Good luck, have a great cruise!
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#6
cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,615 Posts
Joined May 2012
No just sunscreen but sunblock SPF 50 or better. Some brands work better than others.

As well as the aforermentioned wide-brimmed hat, long sleeve cover top will help.
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#7
Franklin, MA USA
7,454 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Not only buy 50 spf or higher, but apply often, especially if you are swimming a lot.
Don't forget to apply it before going to pool or beach. It needs to start working.
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#8
Somewhere over the rainbow
364 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
In addition to the basics, try using an aloe vera gel after being out in the sun. It helps cool the skin and has great healing properties.
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#9
Thomasville, NC
38 Posts
Joined May 2007
I have seen other people mention getting sunburned even in the shade due to the reflection off the sand and water. Is this typically an issue?
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#10
Philly burbs, PA.
11,504 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by EmilyAnn86
I have seen other people mention getting sunburned even in the shade due to the reflection off the sand and water. Is this typically an issue?
I'm sure anything is possible if people are reporting it as occurring with them, but I've not experienced anything like that. (But I am also not at prone as you would be). I would think that same thing could occur on the Carolina coastal beaches - not sure it would be an issue specific to the Caribbean.

Again, I think all you can do to protect yourself is by doing that which you have described and others have offered. Or if you are overly concerned stay out of the sun as much as possible. Just understand the the sun is more intense in the Caribbean - and more so in the Southern Caribbean - than on the US coastal beaches and prepare accordingly. And again the Bahamas are not in the Caribbean but off the coast of Florida so the sun intensity would be similar to Florida.
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#11
California, SF east bay
864 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I have a similar problem to yours (OP). I've been through the "C" once and don't intend to do it again. Truth be told, I try hard to avoid Caribbean cruises because I am not a sun and beach guy.

I spend a lot of time on a small fishing boat in various lakes. I use massive amounts of high SPF sun block. Additionally I have good UV blocking sunglasses. Even better I have several long sleeve shirts that are UPF rated (UPF is the SPF equivalent for clothing). All of mine use some kind of moisture wicking fabric that makes them comfortable to wear in hot weather. Columbia might be one of the better known brands but there are many others. Even my hat has a UPF rating (not to mention a wide brim).

I'm old enough to remember the thick white zinc oxide paste our Mom forced us to put on our noses. I wonder if they still make that stuff.
#12
Connecticut
12,369 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Being fair and frequently overexposed as a child, have had my share of basal and squamous cell experiences. I get scanned twice a year. Most important I use a good sunblock my dermatologist swears by: Bullfrog SPF 36 or 50. There is little practical difference - as long as you use a good amount and re-apply frequently.

With care, I can enjoy beaches and sailing - and never get burned.

There are a number of effective sunblocks on the market - if you use them correctly, you can enjoy outdoors - even in the Caribbean.
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#13
California, SF east bay
864 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by EmilyAnn86
I have seen other people mention getting sunburned even in the shade due to the reflection off the sand and water. Is this typically an issue?
Glad you mention this as it is very much an issue, especially, IMO, on bodies of water.
#14
north carolina
59 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
I too am very fair skinned. I have found that applying a thorough coat of 50+ sunscreen at least 30 minutes before exposure helps. I gave seen people spaying themselves once they ate ashore! Too late. I wear a hate and a rash guard (lands end , thank you). And of course, stay in the shade when possible. I have done 13+ cruises and only gotten the back of my hand burned. Have fun!!

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#15
Franklin, MA USA
7,454 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
If you are planning to snorkel for a long time, stay in t-shirt.
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#16
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,729 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by EmilyAnn86
I have seen other people mention getting sunburned even in the shade due to the reflection off the sand and water. Is this typically an issue?
I'm afraid so- yes, I'm the same Celtic colouring; I was sitting reading at the back of the ship, in the shade- no sunscreen on- and the side of my face near the sea was burnt. I was once in Hawaii sitting under a shelter, with a cotton wrap round my legs, and still burnt my legs.
My husband uses that lotion which you apply once, called P20. He applies it in the cabin, then lets it dry for 20 mins; he snorkels all morning with no problems- he's quite fair skinned, but not as fair as me. I'm going to try using it in Norway, because the reflection from the fjords has caught me out before.
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#17
Washington
6,071 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
My husband is the same coloring and he has gotten burned in the shade - although I repeatedly mentioned that I thought he should apply sunscreen as it looked to me like he was getting red - he would not listen to me and told me he was just fine and he got a bad sunburn in under 30 minutes.

Nowadays, we do things like rent a cabana at the beach - the ones at Mahogany Bay are awesome as are the ones RCCL has on Labadee. Yes it is expensive, but it is way better than him getting a sunburn.
#18
South coast
197 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Totally agree with the rent a cabana, I know you pay enough to purchase it and only get it for a few hours but sunburn will ruin everything!
Also the comment about sunscreen manufacturer is vital. We spent Christmas in Florida and used our own from the uk and it worked great. Towards the end we purchased a pharmacy own brand - even though it was double the cost of the uk. We burnt within a couple of hours. Then had to buy more.



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#19
Western PA
1,087 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Sunburn is one more reason why we are choosing more and more northern cruises (Canada/New England, Alaska) rather than Caribbean or Bahamas. And we've found we enjoy them more overall, as well.
I noticed on our last cruise that crew had long-sleeve rashguards to wear when they had outside duty.