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I am not a germaphobe.  In fact, I believe that exposure to germs helps develop my immune system.  However, my attitude changes when I travel.  I use my arm for support on escalators and stairs.  I use antiseptic wipes on my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle, etc. on airplanes.  Once on the ship, I use my knuckle on elevator buttons.  I use the sanitizer dispensers at the dining venues both before and after meals.  I avoid using the public restrooms.  I wash my hands with soap and water upon returning to the stateroom.  Despite these precautions, I have managed to catch a cold on several of our cruises. 

 

When I was a child, we were taught to cough into our hands to avoid spreading germs.  And then the germs on our hands were transferred to everything that we touched.  Now the protocol is to cough into our elbow.  However, there are still people who cough into their hands.

 

One area where I cannot control what my hands are touching is on excursions--and not going on excursions is not an option.  For safety reasons, I use the railings on the stairs to and from the tenders.  If we are seated at the rear of the bus, I have to use the rails at the stairs at the back door.  The people who are coughing into their hands on the bus are spreading their cold germs to everyone who uses the railings after they use them.

 

With cold and flu season coming up, let's all help everyone stay well!  We'll all enjoy our cruises more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t know if you are into essential oils, but since we started using them, we never get sick when we travel. Like you, we travel with Clorox wipes and wipe down our surroundings on the plane and ask our seat mates if they would like to do the same...they always do. We also put a tiny bit of bacitracin under our nose when flying...we think it traps germs...maybe does, maybe doesn’t. We start putting Purify essential oil from Ananda Apothecary on the bottoms of our feet one week before we leave and continue the practice until we get home(also do it all winter long..haven’t gotten sick since we started doing this, maybe 5 years). Also never, and I mean never, get use the elevator with other people. I usually walk the stairs, but husband will occasionally use the elevator, but not if someone else is in there...elbows for buttons are a must. I also do not use handrails...use my elbow to steady myself. Travel with hand sanitizer in my purse/pocket. We are in our 70’s, so we have tried our best to keep flu and cold germs at bay and I think we do pretty good. I wouldn’t classify us as germaphobes. I am a retired OR nurse, so infection control is always in the back of my mind

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47 minutes ago, Hope to sail soon said:

I am not a germaphobe.  In fact, I believe that exposure to germs helps develop my immune system.  However, my attitude changes when I travel.  I use my arm for support on escalators and stairs.  I use antiseptic wipes on my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle, etc. on airplanes.  Once on the ship, I use my knuckle on elevator buttons.  I use the sanitizer dispensers at the dining venues both before and after meals.  I avoid using the public restrooms.  I wash my hands with soap and water upon returning to the stateroom.  Despite these precautions, I have managed to catch a cold on several of our cruises. 

 

When I was a child, we were taught to cough into our hands to avoid spreading germs.  And then the germs on our hands were transferred to everything that we touched.  Now the protocol is to cough into our elbow.  However, there are still people who cough into their hands.

 

One area where I cannot control what my hands are touching is on excursions--and not going on excursions is not an option.  For safety reasons, I use the railings on the stairs to and from the tenders.  If we are seated at the rear of the bus, I have to use the rails at the stairs at the back door.  The people who are coughing into their hands on the bus are spreading their cold germs to everyone who uses the railings after they use them.

 

With cold and flu season coming up, let's all help everyone stay well!  We'll all enjoy our cruises more!

This should be fun as this topic has been discussed more than once on the HAL forum! We agree with you totally and do many of the things you suggest other than maybe ride the elevators. But when it comes right down to it, all you can control is how you protect yourself when you're on vacation. 

 

But, here's an interesting observation we've noticed over the years. It usually takes about 7 days for cold symptoms to start to appear. So if you're on a 7 day cruise, you won't notice much of a change other than you might start showing symptoms on the way home. However, if you're on a 10 day or longer cruise, you'll probably start to notice some of those symptoms showing up around the ship on day 6-8 (and days 13-15 for those that for exposed to those folks displaying symptoms on days 6-8). There's nothing you can do about it other than to try to avoid those folks and, if possible, the things they have touched.

 

But again when it comes right down to it, all you can do is continue to strive to practice quality hygiene practices.

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Keep you hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes, keep a positive attitude, and you should be fine.  Good 'ol hot water and soap is the best medicine right before you eat, and don't forget to sing slowly the Happy Birthday song twice while you do it.  I'm a bit of a germaphobe, myself, but there's only so much you can do.  Enjoy that cruise!!

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Well, I just wash my hands and that stuff.

 

I don’t bring wipes and wipe down everyihing.  We have good hygiene but don’t go overboard (so to speak 😉

 

I don’t fuss over a lot of wiping down.  But, we do take oregano at least a week before we go (it helps build up the immune system) and take it while we are cruising.

 

Since we have done that, we’ve been fine.  Fingers crossed it continues that way.

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1 hour ago, Hope to sail soon said:

I am not a germaphobe.  In fact, I believe that exposure to germs helps develop my immune system.  However, my attitude changes when I travel.  I use my arm for support on escalators and stairs.  I use antiseptic wipes on my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle, etc. on airplanes.  Once on the ship, I use my knuckle on elevator buttons.  I use the sanitizer dispensers at the dining venues both before and after meals.  I avoid using the public restrooms.  I wash my hands with soap and water upon returning to the stateroom.  Despite these precautions, I have managed to catch a cold on several of our cruises. 

 

When I was a child, we were taught to cough into our hands to avoid spreading germs.  And then the germs on our hands were transferred to everything that we touched.  Now the protocol is to cough into our elbow.  However, there are still people who cough into their hands.

 

One area where I cannot control what my hands are touching is on excursions--and not going on excursions is not an option.  For safety reasons, I use the railings on the stairs to and from the tenders.  If we are seated at the rear of the bus, I have to use the rails at the stairs at the back door.  The people who are coughing into their hands on the bus are spreading their cold germs to everyone who uses the railings after they use them.

 

With cold and flu season coming up, let's all help everyone stay well!  We'll all enjoy our cruises more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you touch after you sanitize on the way into the buffet or MDR? Serving tongs? Ladels? The bottom of your chair as you pulled it in? The menu? The salt and paper shakers?  Do you unwrap your silverware burrito and lay your utensils on the table?

 

We not only sanitize our hand on the way into the  buffet or MDR, but also after we are seated with our own little bottle of sanitizer.  Also, if you lay your silverware on the table, take a few moments to observe how the staff are "cleaning" the tables.  I have observed them wiping off tables in the buffet with a used napkin.  

 

You have to protect yourself.

 

And don't get me started on those plastic gloves. Well, ok. Watch how many surfaces the food people touch while wearing those gloves.  The only thing those gloves do is give customers a false sense of food safety and keep the wearer's hands clean

 

Eeewwww.

Edited by SargassoPirate

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This week I am completing my annual USPH refresher Course.

One of the major topics of discussion by the inspectors was the spread of viruses by mobile telephones.

How many of you have personal mobile telephones? Just about everyone.

When you are travelling, where do you keep them? In the two dirtiest places on a human; trouser pockets and purses.

Now tell me how often you properly sanitize that mobile telephone. 

- After taking it out of your pocket or purse?

- Before pressing it to your face?

- After pressing it to your face?

- After someone else handles it, looking at photos, videos, or making a call?

-After dropping it onto the floor?

 

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The incubation period for the common cold is 72 hours (not 7 days).  You are contagious, though, the day before you develop symptoms (in other words, on day 2, when you don't know you have it).  You remain contagious for a week or so.

Transmission is almost entirely person-to-person, not person-to some surface-to other person.  The second is of course possible, but you're most likely to catch a cold directly from the person who has it.  All the hand wiping/surface wiping on earth won't stop those airborne droplets.

This means that the most risky place to be on a cruise ship is the elevator. Everything else pales in comparison.

A cold is no big deal except when it leads to a more serious respiratory situation (bronchitis, for example).  However, even if it doesn't, I don't want one on a cruise.

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3 hours ago, Hope to sail soon said:

I am not a germaphobe.  In fact, I believe that exposure to germs helps develop my immune system.  However, my attitude changes when I travel.  I use my arm for support on escalators and stairs.  I use antiseptic wipes on my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle, etc. on airplanes.  Once on the ship, I use my knuckle on elevator buttons.  I use the sanitizer dispensers at the dining venues both before and after meals.  I avoid using the public restrooms.  I wash my hands with soap and water upon returning to the stateroom.  Despite these precautions, I have managed to catch a cold on several of our cruises. 

 

When I was a child, we were taught to cough into our hands to avoid spreading germs.  And then the germs on our hands were transferred to everything that we touched.  Now the protocol is to cough into our elbow.  However, there are still people who cough into their hands.

 

One area where I cannot control what my hands are touching is on excursions--and not going on excursions is not an option.  For safety reasons, I use the railings on the stairs to and from the tenders.  If we are seated at the rear of the bus, I have to use the rails at the stairs at the back door.  The people who are coughing into their hands on the bus are spreading their cold germs to everyone who uses the railings after they use them.

 

With cold and flu season coming up, let's all help everyone stay well!  We'll all enjoy our cruises more!

 

3 hours ago, Hope to sail soon said:

As soon as we start to feel like we are getting a cold or flu, we nasal rinse with salt water, we just make our own with salt from the ship and we also gargle with salt water.  We do wipe down the cabin on arrival with clorox wipes, (especially things like the t.v. remote, the toilet flusher and the light switches).  We bring about five or six wipes.  Sometimes you can see the "dirt" on the wipes.  In life I am not OCD, but on the ship I am, we use the ships sanitizers every time we pass one, even if we are not eating. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

The incubation period for the common cold is 72 hours (not 7 days).  You are contagious, though, the day before you develop symptoms (in other words, on day 2, when you don't know you have it).  You remain contagious for a week or so.

I'm sure you're right about the incubation period. OTOH after that 3 day period, you then might have a scratchy throat for a day or two. Then a couple days of the sniffles where you are hoping it's a mild cold and go away. Then a light cough shows up. That was my point with regards to the 7 day cycle where you might start noticing an increase in coughing around the ship between day 6-8. 

 

But, we agree, we avoid the elevators if at all possible!.

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I personally don’t go in for antibacterial wipes etc ( think of the environment please ) but I wash  my hands regularly with soap and hot water and always before I eat. I do use the handrails if I need and press buttons etc ... what I don’t do is use the air con. Every time I’m in an air conditioned environment I start to get ill. I get outside in the fresh air a lot too. My other big tip for avoiding catching colds ... avoid kids and school teachers 😉

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For us, plastic gloves are essential when eating in the lido. Have you noticed how many people taste their food while on line? Then maybe to get water or ice? One lady looked at meet crazily staring at my gloved hand. As she was staring, she licked her fingers before touching a tong to serve herself something. I just smiled and said , that is the reason I have this glove on. It does not give me a false sense of security and of course, nothing wrong in keeping my hands clean. I wish more people would wear them, not less.

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6 minutes ago, Lovely other said:

I personally don’t go in for antibacterial wipes etc ( think of the environment please ) but I wash  my hands regularly with soap and hot water and always before I eat. I do use the handrails if I need and press buttons etc ... what I don’t do is use the air con. Every time I’m in an air conditioned environment I start to get ill. I get outside in the fresh air a lot too. My other big tip for avoiding catching colds ... avoid kids and school teachers 😉

 

 

Haha.  I had to laugh at your comment.  I am high school history teacher and I regularly catch a cold or two every school year.  I almost always catch a cold within the first month of school and a second one in the middle of winter. The kids are frequently coughing, sneezing, and touching each other (and me). It drives me crazy.  Anyway, I am scheduled for a cruise in February.  Stay away from me.  There is a good chance that I be at least a little sick. 

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ITA about the cell phones.

 

I had to use a cane on our last cruise -- hip replacement surgery was scheduled a few weeks after the cruise.  Our boat had a noro outbreak.  We stayed healthy but I washed the handle of that cane with soap and water regularly and removed the cell phone case and washed it regularly.

 

I often wonder about how nasty the steering wheels of our cars must be and always use hand sanitizer after pumping gas.

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I am not nearly as careful as most of you. I use the hand sanitizer before entering the Lido, but I have never taken wipes with me when traveling. I almost always use the stairs but, I do use the railing. I wash my hands throughout the day,  use the public rest rooms, go to the casino, etc. I take a multi vitamin and try to eat healthy. In all our years of cruising I have only gotten a cold once. Not saying you’re wrong, my DH and I just don’t get colds easily, I guess.

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4 hours ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

 

Haha.  I had to laugh at your comment.  I am high school history teacher and I regularly catch a cold or two every school year.  I almost always catch a cold within the first month of school and a second one in the middle of winter. The kids are frequently coughing, sneezing, and touching each other (and me). It drives me crazy.  Anyway, I am scheduled for a cruise in February.  Stay away from me.  There is a good chance that I be at least a little sick. 

I teach as well, though in an enclosed environment at Juvenile Detention.  None of us teachers are ever sick because our students have little to no contact with the outside world.  In the 10 years I have been teaching at JD, I had one student who was absent due to illness.  He was out for two days.  None of my other kids caught his cold, since our students may not touch any other student.  On the other hand, some of my friends who teach in the "regular" schools in our district are constantly sick with colds, flu, or Noro.  

 

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There often are people with horrible coughs on ship excursions.  With the recirculating air on buses, everyone else is exposed.   

 

If HAL would allow people to cancel an excursion if they are sick, with a refund or credit, this would lessen the exposure for everyone else.

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7 minutes ago, sandyss said:

There often are people with horrible coughs on ship excursions.  With the recirculating air on buses, everyone else is exposed.   

 

If HAL would allow people to cancel an excursion if they are sick, with a refund or credit, this would lessen the exposure for everyone else.

They can. All they need to do is go to the ship's doctor and take the form to the excursion desk. Travel insurance will also usually pay for the visit.

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10 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

They can. All they need to do is go to the ship's doctor and take the form to the excursion desk. Travel insurance will also usually pay for the visit.

On the ship tour that we took at Reykjavik, there were several people on the bus with terrible hacking coughs.  They either didn't want to pay for a visit to the ship doctor, or didn't have trip insurance, or most likely, didn't care if they infected other people.

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Just now, sandyss said:

On the ship tour that we took at Reykjavik, there were several people on the bus with terrible hacking coughs.  They either didn't want to pay for a visit to the ship doctor, or didn't have trip insurance, or most likely, didn't care if they infected other people.

I know. We've been on a variety of cruise line excursions and have had the same experience. Not much you can do about it, though, except shake your head and stay clear of them.

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What you’re already doing is all great! Add to those things...take Airborne every day the week before the cruise and throughout the cruise, hold a Kleenex or your clothing material in your hand as a barrier between you and the railing, hold your breath if you have to walk through a cough, try to avoid the elevators, and remember to sanitize your hands after going through the buffet, too. Hope you stay well! I’m a germaphobe, take all these precautions and more, and have still managed to get sick a few times. 😏 I have mostly stayed well though. 

 

Oh, one interesting theory shared with me is that the dining room may actually be a hot bed for germs because the waiters don’t wash their hands at all (seemingly) during dinner service. They take dirty dishes, napkins, and silverware and then replace it all with clean, using the same hands. 

Edited by cruisequeen4ever

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We have always done most of the above. Took lots of airborn this last cruise and came home healthy. The main time we got sick was when our room steward was very sick and even took a sick say during our cruise. How do you cope with a sick room steward when they make your bed, change your glasses, and cleans off the faucets in your room? That was a hard one. Almost everyone in our hallway was sick after the first fourteen days and by the end everyone had at least the symptoms. 

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29 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

Oh, one interesting theory shared with me is that the dining room may actually be a hot bed for germs because the waiters don’t wash their hands at all (seemingly) during dinner service. They take dirty dishes, napkins, and silverware and then replace it all with clean, using the same hands. 

It does bother me to see them clear a table picking up the dirty dishes and then turn around and bring me a new dish of food without any wiping or cleaning of their hands. 

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