Cruise expert explains why cruise passengers should always ‘avoid the buffet’

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Although cruise lines work hard to keep hygiene at a high level onboard, it can be easy for germs to spread. With so many passengers onboard, a bug can easily be passed between guests.

Yasmin Pekel, owner of Blue Cruise, shared her top tips to avoid getting sick onboard a cruise ship.

She said: “Many diseases are transmitted by an individual touching a contaminated surface. To combat this, you should always wash your hands before you touch your mouth, eyes or nose.

“You should do so for 20 seconds, washing with soap and warm water. Another great way to ensure your hands are clean is to bring some hand sanitiser on your trip.

“Convenient, affordable and helping to kill viruses, hand sanitiser is a great backup when you don’t have access to a sink.

READ MORE: ‘Won’t be ready’ Cruise guests issued first day warning

“Washing your hands is better, as this cleans your hands, rather than killing germs, but many ships offer sanitiser stations for good reason!”

The majority of cruise ships will have sanitiser stations around the ship, particularly by the restaurant areas.

Guests should be able to regularly sanitise their hands to avoid passing around germs when they touch things.

However, Yasmin warned that there’s one area of a cruise ship that might be best avoided altogether.

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She said: “Avoid the buffet. While the rules say not to pick up food with bare hands, and buffets provide many tools, there is no guarantee that people will follow them.

“Many cruise buffets will often have staff standing by to ensure no slip-ups happen, but they will not always catch culprits.

“Instead, giving the buffet a miss and choosing to eat at one of the ship’s restaurants, wherein you know the staff will be following food hygiene standards, may be best.”

Buffets can be a hotbed for germs as many different passengers will touch each of the utensils at each meal.

READ MORE: UK’s prettiest staycation destination has been named

Unfortunately, some passengers may even touch the food with their hands which could quickly spread germs.

Crew will be on hand to monitor the buffet but may not be able to keep an eye on everyone at once.

The majority of cruise ships will also have specialty restaurants where passengers can choose to eat.

At these outlets, only staff will serve the food which may put passengers minds’ at rest when it comes to germs.

During the pandemic, many cruise lines used crew to serve the buffet food to minimise the risk of spreading Covid.

However, since restrictions were relaxed, the majority of ships have reinstated the buffet to its normal level.

Recently, a Cunard cruise ship was unable to dock in Bali as scheduled due to the number of passengers onboard with Covid.

Carnival Cruise Line decided to reinstate mandatory face masks on all its ships in the Australia region.



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