I have spent the last 2 weeks sick with a bad cough that often sounded quite dangerous to everyone’s health. It was apparently caused by allergies and is not contagious, although I am fairly certain my roommate has been following me with disinfecting wipes just in case. So here are a few general rules to surviving being sick when working on a cruise ship, from real time experience!!
DON’T GET SICK!!!!!
If this fails…
Drink lots of tea with honey and lemon.
Get plenty of rest…
‘Cause there is lots of time to rest while working on a cruise ship…NOT!
Try whiskey and hot water.
Try brandy and hot water.
If these fail…
Go see the ship Doctor and get to know him and his nurse on a first name basis.
Diagnosis: Minor lung infection due to allergies and ship’s air conditioning
Ask the fabulous server in the staff mess to save you yoghurt for dinner, discover he starts saving 2 for you for every meal!
Explain till you are hoarse that you are NOT contagious, you just sound like you are.
Discover there are 2 main reactions to you coughing up a lung: looking at you like you have the plague or suggesting you drink more whiskey.
Become the butt of staff jokes due to your coughing…
Warning this will involve laughter, that makes you cough more!
Start greeting other crew members, who are also suffering from a cough, with fake and not so fake coughing sounds, since we are all part of the same team…
Soon you will meet guests of all medical professions, including a South African Pharmacist and an Egyptian Surgeon.
Just as you start to wonder if you will need new lungs, you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t be fooled and don’t go towards it!
You have an ominous discussion with the doctor that goes something like this:
Me – Do you have something to stop the coughing??
Doc – Yes
Me – May I add it to my medication list
Doc – No
Me – ummm why (sounding fairly pathetic I might add)
Doc – maybe tomorrow, I have a plan for you!!!
Finally be given the legendary stop coughing syrup that contains the good stuff and make you pass out in the drool on the pillow type of sleep…
Start feeling better, but I still don’t recommend laughing as it still causes coughing!
Refer to tip #1 and DON’T GET SICK!!!!