How to stay healthy on cruise ship?

Apr 05, 2023

We often struggled to maintain our physical and mental health during long contracts on the cruise ship. Physical health could be maintained much easier than our mental health. Indeed, both are extremely important for keeping our sanity and healthy state of mind. Our physical and mental health mainly depends on hours of sleep, the amount of stress we are exposed to, how often we exercise, and our preferred diet. 

Most crew members would probably say that the variety of food on the cruise ship is not great, but I'm afraid I have to disagree. Regardless of the chefs and the food selection in the crew mess that crew mess, you can always eat healthily. Regardless of the ship or port of call, there is always some chicken, fruit, vegetables, and rice. Choose your proper diet and you will get instant results and benefits.

You will feel stronger and more energized throughout your day at work. Mental strength maintenance is the hardest part when you work on a cruise ship. Inconsistent sleep, untrained, often biased managers, and being far from our families for a long time make it difficult. Sometimes you feel like you are in the shoe box, squeezed from all sides, and you must find extra energy to perform your work above the expectation. Go outside of the ship, at least for a 30-minute walk in the fresh air. 

Go on the open deck and breathe. Find time to go to the gym, which will help you to improve your energy levels and to maintain your sanity. If you're trying to eat healthier but are struggling, it's okay to take the process one step at a time and start eating healthier foods gradually. A good place to start improving your diet is with your snacks. While many may feel it's easier to grab a packaged snack as they head out the door, the truth is that many healthier options are just as easy to grab. Instead of grabbing a granola bar high in sugars, for example, getting a banana or apple can be just as quick and much healthier for you as well. 

Also, while you are swapping out unhealthy foods for healthier ones, adding a supplement to your diet may also help boost your health. Don't let those hiccups throw you off track. If you're working hard every day toward personal or professional growth, you have every right to indulge once in a while. Stay positive, eat your veggies, and try again. Another essential part of staying healthy while you're busy is staying hydrated. Some don't realize that dehydration can have a range of negative side effects, not just feeling a little thirsty or parched. Many experiencing dehydration may attribute what they're feeling to something else. One top symptom of dehydration is headaches. It can also cause grogginess and irritability, and it may even cause feelings of hunger, as your body can sometimes confuse signals. 

This means that when you are thirsty, your body may cause you to feel as if you are hungry instead, which can lead to overeating. No one set amount will work for everyone when it comes to staying hydrated. Another tip for staying hydrated is to ensure you drink your water slowly and in small increments. If you chug water or drink it quickly, it will tend to go right through you and may not have the same hydrating effects that it would have if you drank it at a slower pace. Taking time out for exercise may feel difficult when you have a hectic schedule, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Even though some may think you need to put in hours at the gym to see results, the reality is that you can see significant changes when you work out as little as 15 to 20 minutes a day. Sticking to a specific working schedule on the ship can make it easier to carve out a little time each day for some exercise, whether it's walking on the open deck, a short yoga routine, or some cardio. 

Realistically, squeezing in even 30 minutes of exercise every day is nearly impossible for many. However, remembering that fitness is accomplished with little effort—the 10 minutes before your morning shower or the sliver of time before bed, will help you achieve those health and fitness goals. Prioritize yourself. Carve out 10 minutes in the day for slow stretching, take a power nap, or go for a relaxing walk on your lunch break.

Personal wellness is critical to productivity, and a happier you is a more productive you. Getting sick from the ship's air conditioning Living without appropriate ventilation and air conditioning systems is impossible on a cruise ship. It's not like on the land; on the ship, there is not much fresh air around. It happened to me many times during my cruise ship career. One of the easiest ways to get sick on a cruise ship is because of the AC inside the cabins. Often, it's really cold or the opposite-humid without enough air to breathe. Depending on the class of the ship, AC made me sick many times while I was on the ship. I especially remember when I came back to my cabin from my work on the open deck, with all wet hair and shirt, and there was that freezing cold air coming through the cabin seeling. That was the perfect recipe to get sick, and on more than one occasion, I caught some cold symptoms. And, of course, if you catch a cold, that is not a strong enough reason to give you medical off, so you will feel working despite your symptoms of shivers, weakness, and headache. 

They will give you some painkillers and send you back to work, so take a precaution and always adjust the room temperature. On some ships, there is a little clip where you can control the levels of the AC, but if you don't have it, it's better to change cabins and avoid getting sick. On the opposite occasion, I used to get sick from not having any AC in the room, which made it hard to sleep, with a lot of sweating and breathing difficulties. I remember I once requested a cabin change because the AC in that cabin did not work. It was humid, and I could not breathe at all. It turned out to be such a struggle because I was waiting 21 days until they finally approved my cabin change request. Little things like that could make a difference when working on a cruise ship. It's important to give timely notice to the MSA on board the ship and follow up on your request to change that cabin. 


Rest in our time off is critically important to maintain sleep quality and physical and mental health. That is foundational to remaining healthy and strong while working on the cruise ship. Eat healthy food, always give your body enough rest, drink after a lot of fluid, and, depending on your working schedule, try to have frequent but smaller size meals to allow your body proper digestion and optimum functionality levels. take care of yourself; nobody will if you don't do it. Companies only take care of their financial goals and targets; it's your responsibility to put your own health as the highest priority. Stay fit, stay healthy, and stay focused on your goals!