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Hi all, This might be a weird question, but I wanted opinions on the hygiene/sanitary rating of the pools on board.

My partner is going in to surgery shortly, and will be 7 weeks post op when we go on our cruise. His incision site will likely be well closed at this point, however he will possibly have a temporary drainage implant type thing, so he wont be fully closed up. He is unsure as yet whether he'll be comfortable swimming while he has this (though the nurse said swimming shouldn't be an issue) but I was just curious about the hygiene aspect of things.

Any feedback would be appreciated! 

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The pools on many ships are salt water coming from the sea the ship is sailing in.  I’d suggest asking the question to your health care providers again making sure they understand the swimming will not only be in public pools but also sea water.  
 

Generally speaking open wounds and swimming don’t mix well but your health care team can better advise.  

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Saline is sterile, sea water is not.

Although most bacteria don’t do well in salt water, certain types (such as Staphylococcus aureus) thrive in salt water.

Dollar to donuts your DH will himself have some bacterial hitchhikers that he will have picked up in the hospital setting, and the pools will have some bacteria that will have come in with the salt water and brought in by other swimmers.
Either way, yuck and double-yuck.

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Gotta agree with everyone above, if he were in his own pool I would not worry but knowing that you have an open way for bacteria to get into a wound and cause possible sepsis while out at sea is a great way to ruin a vacation.  I assume what he would be going onboard with would be a JP drain and I still would not risk at ALL there are still sutures and still areas for bacteria to go in and get inside of a moist, hot environment and spread into his bloodstream.  Definitely NOT worth it at all!  Please just say no!  

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47 minutes ago, MikeSD said:

Sorry to be blunt, why on earth would you get into a public pool with an unhealed wound. Its not all about him what about everyone else who will be using the pools?

If you must know, it’s not an ‘unhealed wound’ it’s a stoma bag. I was simply trying to be delicate about it. And as most people in the world do not own their own private pool, the majority of people who swim with this condition (and as mentioned, the nurse has said it is perfectly ok to do so) will be swimming in public pools. 
 

@twangster & @GrandmaAirplane thanks for the advice on the type of water in the pools. Is this for 100% of the fleet, or do some have chlorinated water? 

There is about 50/50 chance he’ll end up with this, so just want to be prepared for questions to ask the nurses and doctors if/when the time comes. 

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38 minutes ago, Vanessa77 said:

If you must know, it’s not an ‘unhealed wound’ it’s a stoma bag. I was simply trying to be delicate about it. And as most people in the world do not own their own private pool, the majority of people who swim with this condition (and as mentioned, the nurse has said it is perfectly ok to do so) will be swimming in public pools. 
 

@twangster & @GrandmaAirplane thanks for the advice on the type of water in the pools. Is this for 100% of the fleet, or do some have chlorinated water? 

There is about 50/50 chance he’ll end up with this, so just want to be prepared for questions to ask the nurses and doctors if/when the time comes. 

Very few use fresh water.  Fresh water is a precious commodity on board and pool water is changed frequently.  Pools are big so if they used fresh water they would consume a large amount of available resources.  
 

A couple of ships are reported to use fresh but that may be short lived.  There ideal is sea water  because the source is plentiful.  

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I'm a nurse who works with ostomy patients.  If you're saying he'll have an ostomy of some kind, then he should be ok. Your nurse, hopefully an ostomy experienced nurse, is correct. Swimming shouldn't be an issue. This is info from Convatec, an ostomy company you should become familiar with. Check their website for more info. Hollister and Coloplast are others.

Good luck with your partners surgery.

Having an ostomy should not prevent you from swimming. Below are some helpful tips to get you feeling confident in the water, whether it’s in your own backyard pool, the beach or on a cruise.

You can swim or be in the water while wearing your pouching system. Remember, your pouching system is water resistant and is designed not to leak with the proper seal.  Water will not harm or enter your stoma.1

Check your pouch seal. Prior to swimming, make sure your seal is secure.

Empty your pouch before swimming. Also, ensure your wafer has been on for at least an hour prior to getting wet. If you are nervous about output, eat a few hours before jumping in.

Use a filtered pouch? Use a filter cover sticker on your deodorizing filter to prevent water from entering the pouch. You can remove the cover once you are dry.

What to wear? Wear what makes you feel the most comfortable. Swimming with an ostomy should be fun and worry-free regardless of what you're wearing. Shop with confidence knowing there are so many options that could work for you. Ostomy swimwear and accessories are available here.

Always carry extra supplies in case you are somewhere where supplies may not be available. 

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48 minutes ago, RWDW1204 said:

Check your pouch seal. Prior to swimming, make sure your seal is secure.

 

My mother's nurse told me that to make a good seal, while wearing disposable gloves to rub them together and then place them around the seal. Something about the heat helps it seal better. 

Can't help with the swimming aspect, as my mother does not swim at all. 

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Registered Nurse here, and I agree with @RWDW1204. I work with vets who swim in pools for rehab, and many of them have an ostomy. I would encourage you to discuss this concern with your partner's healthcare team since they can provide specific recommendations for the situation. 7 weeks is a lot of time for post surgical healing and should be more than enough, but your partner's provider should be the one to give the 'ok'. 

There are numerous ostomy societies out there, but the link below has some great resources I found helpful. Ostomy device companies make tons of different types of products that can be tried; I encourage y'all to buy some different types and brands to see what works best. (and test them out at home in the shower/bath before cruising to build confidence) I would personally recommend an ostomy support belt since they provide an additional securement element which should help alleviate most concern. 

 

https://www.ostomy.org/swimming-pool-discrimination/

 

 

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So. This is tricky. We got into a sparkling clean, gloriously refreshing pool on Enchantment at about 10 am on the first sea day. We came back at 4pm, and OH MAN - between sunscreen, spilled drinks, and let's be real - urine - it was pretty cloudy and scummy. It was emptied and refilled over night. Again, gloriously clean water, and by the afternoon, eh, not so much. If I was post op, I wouldn't go anywhere near that pool after about 11am.

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A number of the ships (if not all) also have an area within the pool that is only a few inches deep that he could sit and cool off, and possibly not directly expose the area to the water. This of course doesn't account for ship rocking or splashing when someone walks by...

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3 hours ago, Momof4crazytocruise said:

So. This is tricky. We got into a sparkling clean, gloriously refreshing pool on Enchantment at about 10 am on the first sea day. We came back at 4pm, and OH MAN - between sunscreen, spilled drinks, and let's be real - urine - it was pretty cloudy and scummy. It was emptied and refilled over night. Again, gloriously clean water, and by the afternoon, eh, not so much. If I was post op, I wouldn't go anywhere near that pool after about 11am.

Exactly what I was going to say ... I don't notice 'cloudy and scummy' and it always seems clean to me, which I assume to be great filtration systems... Humans are leaky (not just on purpose) and disgusting. People forget to put footwear back on while outside of the pool entering bathrooms, standing at bar lines, and other areas where no shoes is allowed. That's in addition to some who might not shower before entering the pool in the AM or after a day sweating on an island.

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@RWDW1204 & @S0nny thanks, that is all awesome information! He’s had a brief chat with a stoma nurse, but it was not very in depth as it’ wasn’t certain that he had to have one. He came out of surgery yesterday and it did end up going that way, so these are all great points to bring up with the nurse. We’re in Australia, so I doubt we’ll have much to do with the stoma companies directly, it will all be through the hospital, but this is certainly a great source of information. 
 

@Momof4crazytocruise Thank you! This is exactly the sort of feedback and opinions I was looking for! Looks like I’ve got several questions and tips to follow up on, firstly whether salt water is ok, how often the ship refills the pools, and perhaps sticking to morning swims in the cleaner water if swimming is desired. 

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there are qualified stoma nurses available at most major hospitals in Australia. If there is not one at your particular one get a referral to one from your Dr ,even if you cannot see them in person I am sure they can give you advice online or over the phone ....I hope you both have a wonderful holiday

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