Better Safe Than Sorry

I have this fear … a fear of water, which for those of you who know me — how can a person who is always cruising have a fear of water? It’s not that kind of fear, and it’s actually BECAUSE I enjoy cruising that this “fear” came about.

I’m sure everyone has heard horror stories about cruise-ships having issues at sea … (i) stalling without power and being adrift for days, (ii) running out of supplies while at sea, (iii) improper filtration systems making people sick — THESE are all reasons behind my fear of not having water to drink.

When we decide to take a cruise, one of the VERY FIRST PACKAGES I purchase is a case (or two, depending on the length of the cruise) of BOTTLED WATER which is delivered to our suite before departure. It’s always comforting to know that when we walk into our suite, that case of H2O is sitting there waiting. Of course, people say it sounds expensive for 12 1L bottles, but in all actuality … it works out to $2.75/bottle — and it’s typically Evian. Most retail outlets charge that (or more) for a 500ml bottle, so paying that and having my water close by keeps peace in my mind.

Before leaving the bottled water behind … another thing I like to do is drink out of a glass. Two reasons — (i) I like cold water, so I can always have some ice with my water, and (ii) if I am carrying my water bottle around all day, twisting and untwisting the cap to take a drink … what am I transferring from my hands to the cap/neck of that bottle? Yes, there are times when I “think” about squeezing some hand sanitizer on my hands before taking a drink, but I guarantee you its only 5% of the time at most.

… yes, it’s potable

Yes, on most cruise lines, the water coming out of the bathroom taps IS POTABLE (filtrated so you can drink it) .. but at the same time, IT IS RECYCLED. It’s not like a cruise ship is constantly sucking water from the ocean into its bowels to filtrate, or that they have holding tanks big enough to keep a fresh supply for thousands of people. The balance of intake and refused water (ships cannot just “dump” on demand) would not balance out, so simply put – they recycle. Laundry water, cleaning water, bathing water — its ALL recycled in the belly of the ships and then pushed back up into your bathroom sinks.

Yes, cruise ships DO take apart and clean the filtration systems constantly when in ports to insure all parts are working properly to maintain a “safe” water situation.

… the days of water fountains

Water fountains are still around, and they are still breeding grounds for numerous germs and bacteria. CAUTION MUST BE OBSERVED when using these.

  • NEVER touch the spigot with your cheek or lips.
  • TRY NOT touching the button to turn it on. Yes, this may seem a little impossible since that’s the only way you are going get water to flow … but use a napkin or kleenex to press this button. The number one method of transfer for germs comes from touching things.

More recently, with everyone carrying re-fillable water bottles, most facilities including airports, hospitals, cruise ships, and even hotels are installing stations (usually right next to the water fountain) where you can refill your water bottle at no charge (for now). Most are very easy to operate – simply put bottle under nozzle and press button — again, using a kleenex or napkin to turn it on. ■

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