Cruise Trips With an Ostomy

Thinking about taking a cruise? Go ahead. With a little preparation, your voyage with a stoma will be easy and trouble-free. 

Cruise Trips with an Ostomy

Prepare for your cruise travel with a stoma

If you have an ostomy, being apprehensive about going on a cruise is natural. That’s because you may be in a small space, and away from the mainland for days. But don’t let that stop you from cruising if you have a stoma. All you have to do is follow a few guidelines:

  • Pack double the supplies (or more): Be smart about how you pack. You may want to pack double the number of supplies, possibly more, when going on a cruise. The ship’s pharmacy or clinic is not likely to have everything you need, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be suppliers at the ports you visit. Also, there’s always the possibility of unforeseen delays. 
  • Stop by the ship’s clinic: Although it’s not required, it’s a good idea to stop by the ship’s clinic and meet the staff and physician. Tell them about your ostomy, and ask about availability of supplies, and any pouch disposal protocols.
  • Manage pouch disposal: Many cruise lines provide sanitary bags. Simply place your normal disposal bags inside them and throw them in your bathroom waste bin. Trash is likely emptied once or twice a day. If you’re in a small cabin and worried about odors, pack scented disposal bags, or trash bags for an extra barrier. And ask your steward to have your trash emptied more often. 
  • Get ready to dive in: Don’t let your stoma keep you out of the ship’s pool, or off the beaches at ports of call.  Check out some tips for fun in the sun, including information about what to wear and specially-designed swimsuits for people with stomas.

View or print the full PDF booklet: Living with an Ostomy: Travel