You’re on a different schedule, eating richer (and more) food than usual — it’s going to hit you sooner or later. I’ll call it “traveler’s tummy.” It can take the form of bloating, upset stomach, or just feeling queasy. You may not be able to avoid it entirely, but there are definitely some things you can do to head it off. Following these tips can make a big difference in your enjoyment during your Disney cruise.
The first thing to know is that there’s a difference between garden variety upset stomach and genuine gastric distress, which could be a sign of a virus. If your symptoms are severe, do yourself, the crew, and your fellow passengers a solid and check in with the ship’s medical staff. Yes, they take these things very seriously. And, yes, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be quarantined, but that’s for another article.
Tips for Avoiding or Getting Over an Upset Stomach on your Disney Cruise
1) Make good decisions your first day aboard. If you traveled from home the same day you boarded the ship, chances are you got up several hours before normal, packed yourself onto a plane or into a car, maybe ate something healthy, but probably didn’t, and headed to the cruise terminal. What are you going to do first? Head to the buffet, of course! It’s a cruise, and you want to start off with a bang. And that’s great. But maybe reconsider that second slice of prime rib or plate of crab legs. It’s a cruise and there’s not going to be a shortage of food. Try some fruit, and rehydrate after your morning of travel.
2) Stay hydrated! I like to bring a water bottle with me and fill it every time I pass a beverage station (which is on the pool deck, and really only convenient to, well, the pools). Fill it at night and keep it in your cabin’s beverage chiller for morning or any time.
3) If you have a coffee or three as soon as you wake up every morning, try to do the same onboard. If making your way to breakfast or the beverages stations isn’t in the cards for you as early as you need, order coffee from room service. If you’re not into the taste of the ship’s free coffee, there are specialty coffees available for a charge or take the time to start a hot tea habit.
4) Take a walk. Stretch your legs on the outside decks and enjoy the sea air. It may be just what you need.
5) Pack an antacid. Sometimes a cure works better than prevention.
6) Lay off the sodas. I know, they’re “free.” “Free” with cruise fare, that is. Bubbly drinks put air in your stomach, and anyone who’s ever fed a baby knows that’s not a good thing. Water is good. Add some lemon if the taste bothers you.
7) You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. This is super tough for anyone who has or had parents or grandparents who went through the Depression, even when you’re not on a cruise. But, remember, you can always find more food if you’re still hungry. You can also skip dessert, get two appetizers instead of an entree, or order from the kids’ menu. It’s up to you, not your tablemates, and not your servers, what you eat. See also, “you don’t have to eat every meal in the dining rooms.”
8) Pack some loose fitting clothes. Be sure to pack at least one dinner appropriate outfit that you know will fit no matter what’s going on in your gut. Maybe it’s a kaftan, a maxi-dress, or palazzo pants with a draw-string waist. Guys, you’re on your own here – but try to leave a few holes to spare on your belts and you should be OK.
9) Pack Spanx (or your choice of off-brand minimizing underwear – I like the ones at Target!). Sure, you’re going to regret it, but if you must wear that one cocktail dress to Palo for dinner and there’s 1 or 2 inches between you and getting it to zip, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. Eat your dinner, and change into your looser clothes as soon as you can afterward.
10) WASH YOUR HANDS. The disinfecting wipes handed out every time you come within 20 feet of food are only a start. The very best way to avoid major and minor bugs is to wash your hands at every opportunity.
So that’s what I have. How about you? Don’t tell me I’m the only traveler who has learned these tricks the hard way. Share your best advice in the comments.
And don’t be this guy: