Immunocompromised on a Disney Cruise?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by disneyfan'08, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. disneyfan'08

    disneyfan'08 Mouseketeer

    Dec 22, 2008
    I'm not sure if I should have posted here or on the cruise board so I decided to post here. I was wondering if anybody has any experience with being immunocompromised on a Disney cruise? Did certain things work for you or did anything not work for you?

    I was diagnosed with Lupus a year and a half ago. Right now I'm on three different immunosuppressants as that's the only thing "sort-of" keeping my illness under control. In mid December, I had shingles for the first time ever. For Christmas/New Years, we went to Disney and I ended up with a virus. That turned into a full blown sinus infection. I get monthly infusions and I had my infusion last Friday. My infusion nurse was sick and ended up giving me the flu (and I did get a flu shot in Septemeber).

    I've never been sick this often before so this being immunocompromised thing is kind of new to me. My doctors are fine with me traveling and I have no restrictions. I'm sailing on the Fantasy in 6 weeks. I want to do everything to have the best experience possible while avoiding catching anything onboard. I should probably mention that I'm only 22.

    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated! :flower3:
  2. jmartinez1895

    jmartinez1895 DIS Veteran

    Nov 18, 2008
    Our son has immuno issues, but his doctor has forbidden us from cruising so I don;t have any first hand info to give you. I would just recommend to do what ever you normally do to protect yourself. Bring along disinfecting wipes for had surfaces in your room and for dinning tables and chairs, plenty of hand sanitizer and washing. I hope that some others can ofer more help and I hope that you have a great trip.
  3. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

    Oct 27, 2011
    I agree with PP - you might want to speak with your doctor about whether a cruise is really something that you can do, and if so what recommendations they have to help you protect yourself.

    Cruising is a lot different than most "travel" because it's soo many people in a relatively small space for a period of time. While DCL does a terrific job of cleaning and trying to prevent spread of germs, cruise ships are often referred to as "petri dishes" because they literally are thousands of people in a relatively small space. It's not like you'd feel crowded, but there is limited ability to "get away." And this has been an unusually bad year for the "flu" even among those who have been vaccinated - and the cruise ships aren't immune to any of the regular illnesses floating around the general population. You'll want to take precautions.

    That said, DCL does clean - you'll see cleaning people everywhere - staterooms, outdoor decks, public spaces/restrooms, etc. They hand out wipes at the entrance to every restaurant, and in the event of a suspected NoroVirus outbreak (or other illness) they will serve from buffets and the 24-hour drink station to further prevent guests sharing any more germs.

    I suggest you contact DCL - they have a form for "special needs" and while it's mainly related to more physical disabilities, I think you would/should note your diagnosis and request a thorough cleaning of the stateroom. Also bring along your own wipes, hand wipes or gel, and anything else you would use to protect yourself (maybe a mask, even if you don't plan to use it).

    Good luck and enjoy your cruise!
  4. Lisa71

    Lisa71 Adoption Rocks!

    Aug 7, 2011
    I would suggest eating more from the dking room and less from buffets as the contamination from one surface to the next is easier and it only takes a bad handwasher with a bug using the tongs and you can get sick. What the pp said should help and do what you can as far as getting enough sleep, etc to keep what you have of your immune system firing. Board early and avoid the crowds as much as you can.
  5. Jaya

    Jaya DIS Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    I cruised the Disney Magic about five years ago in January during a flu epidemic. I hadn't had a cold/flu/anything else for years and a few days after getting off the ship, I had the flu so bad I missed 10 days of work and almost ended up in the hospital. I saw so many kids on board with runny noses, got immensely sneezed on by the kid behind me at one of the shows, changed seats and darned if the little darling sitting behind me in THAT seat sneezed all over the back of my neck. As someone earlier said, a ship is a germ incubator.....a Disney cruise could be even worse, as there are more children on board and anyone who works with children knows they are little walking germ bombs (now, before I get flamed, I'm a mother, grandmother many times over, plus an aunt, great-aunt and great-great aunt to more than 100.......I love kids as much as the next person but let's face it, they're GERMY...). If I had a compromised immune system and considering the current flu epidemic, I would think twice about any cruise and wouldn't even consider a Disney cruise. I know ship personnel are diligent about cleaning, but there's only so much that can be done.

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