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Cruising Concerns - CruiseHabit Podcast Episode 7

Cruising can be habit forming, but among those who've not yet taken their first cruise, there are some common concerns, ranging from sea-sickness and boredom, to safety and weather.  On this episode we take a look at some of these concerns and provide information to clear up fact from fiction, and offer tips along the way.


Link Related to This Episode

First Time Cruise Series (a whole collection of articles for first timers) 

Cruise Safety (articles focusing on safety at sea, including life boat and muster drill info)

Want to avoid Norovirus? Take a cruise! (the real facts about Norovirus and cruising)

Cruising with Dietary Restrictions

Cruising During Hurricane Season (how cruise lines handle hurricanes, what to consider, and more)

"I'm worried I'll get seasick. Do you feel the ship move?" How to avoid motion sickness on cruise ships.

View Episode Transcript (Machine Transcription - May Contain Errors)

We hang out with a lot of veteran cruisers people who know what they like about cruising and what to do want to ship to make sure they have a good time frequently however we need people in other parts of our lives who haven't cruised and often the reasons they give for not sailing are things that can easily be addressed I'm Billy Hirsch And I'm Rick Ross we're addressing cruise and concerns on this episode of the cruise have a podcast. You are about to set sail on the cruise have a poet cost and it will be a voyage through the will of ship's pullets and beyond welcome. There are 2 reasons more common than any others for why some people are reluctant to book their 1st cruise the very 1st is that people think they'll get seasick and it's an understandable concern but the reality is that the overwhelming majority of people who take cruises special on modern ships don't get seasick and those who do experience some discomfort generally don't experience anything so bad that it keeps them from enjoying their cruise but this is an important topic so we brought in cruise habits resident pharmacist Dr Rick Ross Applause applause applause all around Oh thank you OK So. For those of you who don't know what I'm not recording podcasts out on cruise ships and writing articles my day job is I'm I'm a community pharmacist so I can talk generally about medications that might help I am a pharmacist I'm not your pharmacist so if you do have questions please go ahead and direct them to whoever dispenses your drugs or to your physician nurse practitioner so over the counter let's start with Dramamine I think that's the one everybody's heard of it's pretty popular one of the side effects though is that can make you a little bit drowsy so a newer drug is meclizine. That's sold as boning or Dramamine less drowsy this is not one I recommend buying ahead of time because if you get on the ship and you do find out that you need it you can always ask for it at the gas service counter or walk down to the health center I think when I was on the Disney Dream with you really. I was just that's when I was in pharmacy school and I walked down and checked out the health center and they had a plastic box full of single dose Michaels in there so yeah and some chips even get services and it's funny because if you go to the gift shop they'll have Dramamine in meclizine and they will also charge you like 9 times as much as your local pharmacy even though ask Medical Center guess services they'll take care of it for free for free it costs them almost nothing and they want you to have to go to absolutely So there are some other not over the counter but herbal supplements so some of these are gender or green apples if you're having like a moment of kind of what you think might be motion sickness ask for some candy ginger garnish and kind of nibble on that that's got sugar a little flutter stomach and gender those are good for you too the other one would be what's going on to see banned and this is an acupressure wristband this is the one I do recommend if you think you want to buy it ahead of time because they are extremely expensive on board. Where could somebody get a C. Bush I'm so glad you asked shameless plug you can actually get seabeds over at the cruise HAVE IT shop there's links a cruise have a dot com but make sure you read the descriptions we put in a coupon code right there for you but seriously I know a lot of people that's where by these I have ever relative who gets motion sick in the car and actually wears these anytime she's driving so check it out it's a good you know non non-medicinal way there's no no side effects or anything like that so what are you buying from Cruise have not it is a good thing to have on hand if this is a concern of yours. Yeah and again so again I am a pharmacist but not your pharmacist so please talk to your pharmacist they'll know more about what medications you're on and if you have any other questions talk to your physician or prescribe or there's one other that is the SCA Pola mean patch and you might have seen people with the patch behind their ear it's pretty simple but if that is something that requires a prescription and I'll jump in as the not resident pharmacy pharmacist and point out don't just go on the Internet and search motion sick patch because there are all sorts of people selling just at hese of sticker things that go behind your ear that aren't actually medicine and I don't know what they put on him so yeah definitely talk to a medical professional before you go taking any medication to hear hear. The other concern that we hear all the time is people think that they'll be bored they'll think that there's not stuff to do on a ship or that it's. Food and Sonnen That's believe that's not the case that is not the case in fact if you book a transatlantic sailing at the edge of season you won't even see the sun. No it's not it's an understandable concern it's hard for me to imagine sometimes because you know I've been cruising since I was a little kid so I've seen all the different options there are and I'm also in fairness the type person that I don't need a lot to be entertained special and some out of cruising very peaceful I'm happy sitting staring at the ocean but that's not everyone and I get that So the 1st the most important part to making sure that you're not bored is take the right kind of cruise for you there are there are a lot of different types of cruises a lot of different cruise lines and they're not all the same when I hear people say that cruising is X.Y.Z.. You know or I don't like cruises I think restaurants hotels they're not all the same would someone say Well I don't like restaurants like no that's that's a big category to dismiss right because there are so many different experiences and cruising is is really the same way so you have to ask yourself what do you want to get out of your cruise vacation if you're looking for you know almost no other people and for silence and for a butler that is a different kind of cruise then you know when you see ads for Royal Caribbean N.C.L. carnival these lines that their emphasis is on having an action packed vacation and of course there's a lot of there's a lot of room in between those extremes as well those lines the contemporary lines like I mentioned like Carnival and Caribbean they tend to be especially good for families doesn't mean that if you don't have kids you're not going to join these lines Rick nor I have have kids and we enjoy these lines you know that they tend to offer the widest range of high. Energy activities as I often say but again there are there are middle grounds and even some of the premium lines out there celebrity princess stuff like that they they're not inherently bad for families they have kids programs that offer all sorts of things and some of the activities it's easy for us say how Don't worry there's lots to do but let's let's talk about briefly some of those activities so kids for example kids have 2 different kind of types of activities with a massive variety on a lot of these ships and they're organized activities you know where it could be spaces private spaces where they're there playing games or having contests scavenger hunts things like that and then there are activities with less organization rooms with video games or puzzles or watching films and you know I don't have kids as I mentioned it's hard for me to speak to this but what I can say is I cruised a lot as a kid never bored and I was I was as needy as as most children I'm sure probably more. And then for adults in addition to a lot of those similar activities that adults can enjoy because there are plenty of adults that want to go and play games and participate in organized activities and things like that as well they're also depending on the cruise on their lectures shows you know ranging from smaller musical acts to big production shows contests gambling for for those who unlike me haven't found enough ways to throw away their money. You know so adults and kids across a wide variety of lines there are plenty of options and you know you should feel OK about choosing the cruise that's right for you even if not one that you've seen advertisements of the big 3 contemporary lines are where we see most of the ads and it makes sense because most people that are looking takers most people that are most that are encouraged to cruise right now are our folks with families and those big lines yeah they are you believe do the best job of that but there are plenty of really great lines out there just because you haven't seen a contest just because it isn't the biggest ship in the world. Whatever the case may be doesn't mean there's not a great experience to be had there I think a wise man a wise and wise pharmacist once said to me there's no wrong way to cruise and I think that's true you know there's dirge it's just what's best for you for that particular cruise I've yet to meet someone who said not doing that again for the whole time. So just some things to keep in mind there and we've said this statistic a couple of times but that 9 out of every 10 people who cruise go on to cruise again so clearly there's these things are reasonable to ask about but they don't turn out to be an overwhelming problem and they turn out to be really no problem at all you're got remedies for sea sickness plenty of stuff to do on the ship one of the other questions that we get and kind of some other concerns that people express are is it just going to be old people well a believe that some demographics there that you know of yeah so according to the cruise line industry associate Cruise Line International says he agency's me it's a big organization that they do a lot of the research for cruise lines for travel agents and they're very great presence in the cruise world in North America the average cruiser is actually in their forty's and that's when you consider all of the different lines and there are plenty of lines that yeah certainly cater to to Retired Persons and remember to even if you decide you really like one of those lines you may be thinking oh Holland America that sounds my speed but I hear it's all older folks what who cares who I've I've sailed with people that younger than me older than me by by a lot and had a great time but yeah so average is in the average cruisers in their forty's North America but it really runs the gamut and varies a lot by cruise line things like that I always remind people I 10 or is that can have a huge effect on demographics you know a a 12 night cruise in the Baltic that's a very different subset of people that have time and funds to cruise compared to like a 3 night in the Caribbean. Yet that's the great counter-example is the 3 night in the Caribbean is kind of the one that is going to be a lot of families because they can go on that week and kids are out of school and you mentioned time of year I mean some of my favorite times to cruise are right when the kids go back into school because that's when it gets cheap because the families aren't. Families aren't available to schedule occurs. Cruise prices go down it's a crowd I like to be around another question we get is about norovirus people think that they're going to be exposed to something on the ship or that maybe they even go so far as to say a cruise ship is a dirty place and manhood and that never it could that not be further from the truth I've never seen so much cleaning go on as on a cruise ship I have a special pair of shoes that I wear when I go on a cruise because the floors are so clean I don't want to get them dirty from the shoes that I am bringing on from out of from off from off of the cruise ship so I have my special crew shoes that are spotless but you've got some you've written an article about this for the cruise have it dot com blog tell us about what you found for norovirus Yes so you can find we'll put this in the show notes but if you get a cruise have a dot com slash Noro you can find it as well I took a bunch of C.D.C. data centers for disease control obviously they're that they're in the business of keeping track of these things and it's an understandable thing to keep track of because the logic behind thinking that a cruise ship is a dirty place is is sound logic you have a large number of people in a confined space you know I get it right however cruise lines especially those participating in the C.D.C. vessel sanitation program which is really any cruise line sailing out of North America and others as well they are they go so above and beyond scrubbing things and just all sorts of things that you'd never even think of in terms of where there are salt and pepper shakers and how they position sinks in different venues all these different things to to make this a non issue that when we took that data from the C.D.C. We found out that you're actually 35 times more likely to get norovirus on land than on a cruise ship participating in the C.D.C. vessel sanitation program that is that's a crazy stat I I had to send my math and all that data around to several people including Rick to make. Sure that I wasn't misunderstanding that that's incredible so don't let that be a concern people get sick everywhere you know but Norovirus is not a cruise ship disease for one it's actually the most common most common stomach illness in the world. At any given point there are millions of people that have norovirus and the overall majority those folks aren't on a cruise ship well to that point when there is norovirus on a cruise ship didn't come from the cruise ship it came right passenger who brought it on and then touched something and then you touched something and then somehow touched your face so one of the key things to do when you're on a cruise ship is wash your hands if you've ever been on a Royal Caribbean you you know the jangle I'm not going to say but you can ask you because I love it. I sung in class all the time. But really wash your hands pay attention to your own hand hygiene that way if you have happen to touch something that has something on it norovirus or any other thing a flu virus a cold virus you've washed your hands and you're protecting yourself I would say that that's good advice land and sea vacation or work all the time I worked in health care Rick is a pharmacist and I think we would probably both give the same answer land or see any country any time of year so he said what's the number one thing I can do to make sure I stay healthy water hands. So the 3rd thing that we get asked about because we live in Florida and a lot of cruise ships leave out of Florida is the threat of a hurricane there out there and the Atlantic and they are unpredictable so people want to know well what is going to happen if I'm on a cruise ship and a hurricane comes well I'll say we have an article about that too and when there are hurricanes in the Atlantic in the Gulf we track those and Billy will let you know if there have been I 10 or it changes but one of the thing that's important to know about being on a cruise ship when you're out in the Atlantic and there's a hurricane is the ship can move so wherever the hurricane is the ship can make sure it is not there my city does not have that option but the cruise ship I'm on does and Billy you've seen it where the cruise industry when they we had a hurricane headed to Florida they kind of leveraged the portability of the ship oh yeah I mean that you'll see eye to enter is adjusted sometimes whether it's from the embarkation port or from ports of call but they'll want to move the ship and the people out of the path of the hurricane cruise lines have no interest in sending a ship into a storm also keep in mind ships handle so much more than you will ever find on You Tube It may look scary sometimes but that you know 99 percent of the time they're staying far away from even stuff that looks scary as Rick said cruise ships can go around storms and really where we're both Rick and I live we can't so you know my biggest concern is with cruising during hurricane season I'm scared that a storm is going to come and at my house while I'm on the ship and you know yeah that's a very Florida problem's not a bad problem to have you know that live in Florida terrible thing but but it's very true in fact I reckon I will both be cruising in the next couple days on separate cruises because we don't want to be around each other that much not too much and and yet one of my concerns is there's a depression out there right now that if it turns into. Something could be heading towards where I live I'm not worried about being on the ship I'm worried about what's going to happen in my house so you know the cruise ships not only do they have really advanced equipment stabilize ships they have weather they have meteorologist working for the cruise lines D. the navigational officers are extremely familiar with various types of weather phenomena that they're in touch via satellite via radio with they have all the best information possible and there are plans there are are absolutely plans in place so that I get why people are concerned there but it's it's really not something to worry about except with your pre or post cruise plans what I mean by that well if you're going to fly into the port the same day as your cruise or even just one day before and a hurricane comes what happens if your flight is unable to make it in that's a whole that's a whole different thing for another pod cast someone would talk about insurance but we've got articles about Cruise insurance also over on Cruise have a dot com So just you know think about how you're getting to and from and whether that could be impacted by a storm but your cruise will be fine and if you've heard all this new still think Well I'm I'm really not convinced I'm not sure a cruise ship is the safest place to be in a storm where you know who thinks that they are cruise lines because when we had a hurricane heading towards Florida the cruise lines put their headquarters on to the cruise ship and set out to sea that is true so that they would not be in the path of the up the potential path of the hurricane Yeah in fact that expression at any any port in a storm is a cute expression however it's not really accurate at all you want to you want to just not be where the storm is an import is actually not a good place for a ship in that we now know. So that oh go ahead well I was going to introduce the next stop because I think you've got more to say about it than I do yeah and Matt would say that I have so much to say about kale so. Well I'm a guy who eats pretty much anything so I can walk into a restaurant and there's something on the menu that I'm going to find that I'm willing to eat but something not everybody is like that some people have restricted diets for any number of reasons including up to and including personal choice ability how do you take care of that when you're on a cruise ship so whether the concern is food allergies or. Disease or being being vegetarian vegan or keeping kosher know that you are not alone there are many people with dietary restrictions and Cruise Lines want to make sure that everyone is one safe and 2 Fed because Fed people are happy people and he We've got another article over on Cruise have a dot com all about dietary searches and how to kind of make sure that you get the best experience possible but I'll tell you a lot of the tips that we have are really just things to go that extra mile for the most part you're going to find the cruise lines will just by asking bend over backwards to make sure you have what you need and the most important thing with any dietary restriction whether it's a preference or a medical thing is ask to talk to people who are not getting the answer that you think is right or that you want to talk to somebody else that it's OK I you know I've traveled on multiple cruise lines with begins who can be some of the most really you know difficult people in terms of making sure that they have a variety of things he has no one wants to see just a salad every day. And you know you communicate get creative suggest foods that you like if they don't have something on the menu you know that that's just man I there are times that I've stepped on a scale after being on a cruise that I've wished it was harder to eat well with dietary restrictions on a cruise has been a problem for me trust the number. Well if you've ever watched a television special where they show the loading up of the ship or the unloading of the ship or the look at the loading of the ship right before it's going to go out you'll see they pretty much have a farmer's market loaded into the ship there are choices there are options Polani of vegetables plenty of non-meat proteins by asking I think as you said and well you know make sure your reservation is entertained it's a great reason to use a good travel agent and you can you can take it even further and talk about what you would like to see the next day in general you can have you know within reason whatever you want prepared for you or whatever you need prepared for you because the They've got any ingredient within reason that any place on land is going to have so don't don't let that concern you the next next item up is one that I've heard people ask and. Golly we're not always good about doing the right thing but usually when it comes to safety when something bad happens we may make things safe again so so people frequently as are there enough lifeboats and there are more than enough lifeboats far more than enough lifeboats there are required to be more than enough lifeboats not just for guests but as as we're drawing up some notes before the shows Rick pointed out also the crew Yeah that's good they probably they probably like that they'd like to be saved also so you can you can go to cruise have dot com We have a number of articles about safety and one of them actually I link out to an article of around the world Caribbean blog people specially wonder about this type of thing with massive ships like the Oasis class ships and. And men overall Caribbean blog has an article just about the Oasis class life boats because they're massive They're made to be more stable they can deploy even faster they can load faster they can carry more people have more provisions so yeah that that is why we've talked about muster drill in things like that before there are safety drills both the guests do but also that just crude the crew takes part in sometimes you're completely unaware they're going through firefighting drills other things like that sometimes you see I'm on port days and it's nonstop preparing for for anything that could possibly go wrong so that I think that will oh I was to say about the lifeboats I think the genesis of that question is people look at the number of boats attached to the hull of the ship OK but that couldn't fit everybody is on the ship and that's true there are if you look around there are usually like huge white P.V.C. canisters like big larger than a 50 gallon oil drum and those contain inflatable life essence Yeah and they actually they're made to if they're not manually deployed they're made to deploy on their own. They they have motors they prevented have. Visions all sorts of things and those are primarily for crew so don't worry you get the you get the comfier accommodations and they're often lifeboats even rigid ones that you don't see just because of where you're walking on the ship you're just you're never going to see it especially some modern ships like on sea side you don't see the lifeboats interesting design just while you're on the ship you can obviously layer. While you're in port then they're the pride orange the pretty obvious yeah well as we draw to a close here I think we've got a couple of people who have left reviews for us on on i Tunes so I would like to thank send his list and Campo 16 for their reviews where we're glad that you like the podcast more you're hearing now however you're listening to our podcast do us a favor and search crews have it in i Tunes or Apple pod cast and leave us a review there that seems to be the biggest venue and where we get the biggest bang for the in the review box if you have questions for us please go ahead and e-mail those to pod casting crews have a dot com and we'll see if we can get to it on a future episode we'd like to do some kind of like listener questions up so the future so please any cruise question you've got that be fantastic we appreciate you listening we hope you we hope you subscribe We hope you tune in we hope you check out the show notes for links to more information on some of the topics we discussed and we look forward to talking shop with a real soon take care. Mate this is Nick the tinier Cruise aholic from Orlando Florida and I love talking ship with Cruise habit dot com You can follow them on Twitter Facebook and Instagram also they do weekly podcast so make sure you check them out on i Tunes and Google Play finally they do a live broadcast on periscope so search for Cruise habit dot com on the periscope app that's Cruise habit dot com where they love to talk ship.