Save 15% on Ostomysecrets with promo code SPRING

Upcoming Cruise!!!!!

Good morning everyone!!! What a beautiful day.

My best friend, Kathy is taking me on a cruise in December for my birthday. What a gal she is!!!!! I am so lucky to have her in my life.

Anyone been "cruising" since having an ostomy? I am a bit concerned about odor and disposal of used bags. Thank goodness I have had no blowouts recently, but what if it happens at night? I would be so upset.

Any tips about things to anticipate, to do or not to do? We have been on a cruise before and loved it but that pre-ostomy.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Report post

24 replies. Join the discussion


I could probably help but first need to know whether you have a ileostomy or colostomy. Also, do you use drainable or closed-end bags. Let me know and I think I can help.

Report post

Dear Cb45, We went on a 7-night cruise approx 4 months after I got my ileostomy. The only things that I turned down were swimming and hot-tubbing, fearing the water would cause me to leak. I took some dark-colored disposable bags, put the used stuff in them, tied it, and put it in regular trash. No different than disposing of dirty diapers! Only thing I missed was "pigging out" on all that glorious food. (Don't change your eating habits while you're gone.) I even tried accupuncture for the first time, no big deal to the therapist. One caution: you probably WILL have to change more often, due to the humidity, esp in the Carribbean. We were on our last day, and I was on my last wafer/pouch, and was really nervous. I went to the ship's 'hospital', lowest deck, and talked to the nurse. She was sympathetic, but they do NOT carry ostomy supplies. Fortunately, it held up. Also, took 3-4 lg waterproof pads. to lay underneath me while sleeping, in case of leakage during the night. You will have a wonderful time, esp sitting out on deck in the sun, sipping a Corona with lime, or whatever floats your boat. DON'T be tempted by all that fresh pineapple:)

Report post

i'm a flight attendant and used to alot of travel. be sure to take more than enough supplies. and STOP WORRYING and enjoy your cruise! xo -steve

Report post

Bring lots of your supplies. For disposal, Zip loc freezer bags (quart size) or buy the black bags at If you cannot get hold of dark bags use the ziplock bag and place it in a doggy bag. Pet sections of stores. Blue or black, but not super strong if your output is liquidy. . Or bring some grocery top bags to put the zip lock in. There is a product called Ostofresh or M9 drops that when put in pouch really eliminates ordors. Several drops in each time you drain. Or change. Some people use Devrom tablets (Through amazon) and you can chew them and they eliminate odors. For me the Devrom makes things too thick. But I place them in the bag and they (also thicken) and eliminate odor. This company also has a new product called Devkot whih is a tablet to place in the bag. BUT, make sure you try any of these items prior to going away to see what works well for you. I do swim and sometimes use Nexcare waterproof tape around the wafer. But never had a problem. A few hours after swimming if the wafer dries, you might want to change it. I know others will have lots of suggestions too. Many frequent fliers on this site say that even going through airport security(if you are flying too) with the bag EMPTY (use restroom before security) poses no problems. We have had other cruise friends so check out maybe older discussions about cruising. You will be fine! And I bet you will feel very poud of yourself.

Report post

I have a colostomy and I use drainable bags.

Report post

And I love fresh pineapple!!!!!

Report post

Thanks for the comments. I plan to take ample supplies and I know I will have fun!!!!!!

Report post

All GREAT answers and suggestions!! Why not Fresh Pineapple AMT? I eat fresh pineapple all the time... It actually aides in digestion. As long as we chew..chew..chew and chew some more.. all should be well..

Cookielin... I've not heard of Devrom tablets.. Maybe I should try them to thicken up my output! Are they expensive? I'd hate to purchase them and find out I couldn't use them.

You are fortunate you live where you do.. you will not have to deal with airport security!! : )

Take twice as many supplies as you think you will need. Their infirmary could not keep a supply of ostomy products with the various styles and sizes to accomodate all of us. Better to have more than you need...... Also, because of the swimming, humidity and heat.. may be hotter than you are used to in FL.. so you will probably change more often.

My son brought his dog with a filled back pack, this weekend as I was dog sitting.. One of the items ..."poop bags".. They would be great for getting rid of ostomy pouches! Not too large.. they come in different colors/patterns and are opaque! I think I will choose to carry those with me next time I travel.

For sleeping.. I have a cloth chux pad that I take when I'm nervous about sleeping somewhere... but.. if anything happens, I still have to wash it out. You can order disposable ones online.. or ask your WOCN for several, I'm sure they would give you some for your trip.
While on vacation, at least for me.. I run myself ragged with doing all sorts of things so by night time.. I'm exhausted and pass out for the duration, unable to sense my pouch. I will set an alarm to wake me so I can empty the pouch before it becomes the football that deflates!! Two alarms in one night.. if I munched or drank into the evening later than I should have. I have never had a blow out in a hotel, airplane or on vacation in my 26 years!! " )

You have a GREAT friend, how wonderful!! I know you will have a FANTASTIC time!
I have not yet been on a cruise, but hope to do so one day!

Report post

You can also purchase waterproof disposable pads at Walgreen's & other dept. stores, next to the incontinent supplies. Mare, I envy you eating pineapple! I have very little sm intestine left. Anything that is "stringy" will 'ball up' and clog the stoma, ie. citrus, celery, cabbage, most lettuces, etc. My cruise days are over, because I now have to have IV nutrition (TPN) 14 hrs/day. But I get excited about others going! I will love hearing how it went; bon voyage.

Report post

Mare, I saw devrom tablets mentioned here on the site. Look up just "Devrom" . I paid 14.oo for 100 tabs. I tried chewing them (1 in morning, one in afternoon) They are supposed to be an internal deordorant. Which they are. Worked great for that purpose! And it thickened things a bit, so perhaps for others it would work great. The company (Parthenon) jsut started making Devkot, which are tabs to put in the bag. However since I had the Devrom I tried those IN THE BAG. It also worked for odor control. Very well. But one in each time I empty is a lot. Plus it also thickened things so draining was messier. As others pointed out, Insurance usually covers one of these products with each order. I am using them all, depending on the day. (ostofresh or devrom or M9.)

Report post

I went on a 5 day cruise about 4 months after mine a couple years ago. I irrigated twice a day and had no leaks, gas, or issues. I also ate small portions of anything I wanted... Even snorkled with my family and had no issues.

Relax and have a great time.

Report post

So sorry AMT that you are unable to eat pineapple.. : ( You have less small intestine than I do for sure. You do still eat food though, right? This may sound gross.. but when I've had active disease going one.. I would do this.. especially with celery.. I would chew it extremely well.. then I'd remove the the stringy food that was left.. after getting all the flavor and juice out of it. Works great for Pineapple too!!! I could not give up the flavor of pineapple.. just don't swallow.
I'm sure you have tried everything already!
What are you taking to slow your bowels down for your output?
I always appreciate life and what I have.. but today, I appreciate it even more.... Thank you for letting me see that today!! <3

Cookielin.. I will certainly check it out! Thank you for the information!!

Have a great Monday all!

Report post

Cb - how exciting for you! My advice is to get yourself some Silhouette Depends for Women. I wear one every night when I go to bed, over my underpants. On the couple or three times I had a blowout during the night, it was completely contained and I have never had to change any bed linen! I also wore it traveling on a recent 2700 car trip and stayed in 5 different hotels without fear of embarassing myself by soiling their beds. These new Silhouettes are slim, close fitting and a pretty peach color - and as long as I don't have a leak at night I can get 4 or 5 nights wear out of one before the elastic in the legs gets too stretched out. I don't wear them incontinence during the day - I have no trouble there - but purchased them just for this purpose - I go to sleep at night with no worry.

Have a wonderful time on your cruise!

Love and hugs from Marge

Report post

I have a colostomy and use a drainable pouch system.

I actually love cruising because if I have a problem, my cabin is only steps away and I don't have to worry about ruining anyone else's good time. :)

I Frebreeze up a storm before I open the cabin's bathroom door. I put Kleenex in the Ziploc bag for camouflage what's really in there for the cabin steward. (They've seen everything, so no need to be embarrassed).

If you're nervous about sleeping, just put a bath towel under you on the bed or bring a soft fleece throw. There are laundry facilities for guests on most ships for passengers to use.

I bring enough supplies so I can change every day if I want to. Always carry supplies with you when you're off the ship. I carry a collapsible plastic bottle in my purse so I always have something to put water in.

I swim at my local YMCA each week day. I find the Convatec stomahesive or durahesive wafers stick the best. I change about every 3-4 days. I have gone in hot tubs...but for not very long, but I would change my wafer afterward just in case.

I always get nervous before I travel thinking I will have problems...but I have gone on 10 cruises since my surgery and had a great time, each time. I usually eat something I know will clean me out completely before I fly like ice cream.

BTW: My son works on a cruise ship as a youth counselor. I think he was inspired by all the cruises we took!

Best wishes, I hope all goes well.

Report post

Just came back from a River Cruise. I agree with all of the above suggestions. What I could add is that I used Hollister bags with filters. I had heard that when you are in a plane that the bags may swell. So to make sure this didn't happen I used the two piece Hollister with a filter bag and I had no problem. Also, Hollister comes with a dark disposal bag, so no problem on the cuise as said above. Lastly I have also suffered from loose stools so I now take an Immodium every day which is working well for me and just a reminder stick to your regular diet. All the food choices are very tempting but maybe not for you.

Have a blast


Report post

Lots of good advice here. Bring lot of supplies, black paper bags for garbage and some waterproof pads for the bed. And Most important: ENJOY THE CRUISE :-)

Report post

mare, you are so funny re the pineapple spit idea. I might be tempted to try this.LOL I, too LOVE Pineapple! . I find pineapple has given me minor blockge .Always passes though. Butt causes me stress of course. On a cruise I substitute a pina colada. LOL

Report post

Mare, Thanks for your concern. Yes, I eat but only for feeling of 'fullness' or pleasure. Usually one meal, one snack a day. We tried several times to wean from TPN, but even with Boost and 3 meals/day, I always ended up in hospital with malnutrition. Not enough sm intestine left to absorb nutrients. What I eat is in my pouch an hour later! Your idea of chewing/spitting out is great! I kinda do that now with tomatoes (can't have the skins). Must have low-to-no fiber, ie. white bread only, no beans, etc. I call it the "Twinkie Diet". Frustrating. So to control my ALL liquid output, I take 4 Lomotil a day, but not very effective. I am sure our insurance company has been praying for my demise, as the TPN is so expensive, going on two years!

Report post

I am new to this site - would like to go on a river cruise - I irrigate every other day - is this possible in the bathrooms? Thanks

Report post

Just take twice as many supplies as you normally need. I used doggie doo doo bags and then to be thoughtful to the housekeeping staff I doubled bag in a scent small size trash bag. You could have a leak any time and any place. Don't stress too much. On ships there are plenty of bathrooms. Just excuse yourself and go to the bathroom and handle things. No excuses needed. Anyone could be on a ship and suddenly become sick w/ diarrhea and need to run to the closest restroom. You are no different. As far as being off of the ship take a small backpack for your supplies. I take paper towels, some wet and some dry for clean up in baggies. Go ahead and add water to the wet ones so that is one less step to manage in what may be a not so nice restroom. I also would carry toilet wipes, Charmin has them. Good for clean up of hands or if you have leaked on other places. Just not where you place your wafer/pouch.

Hope you have the time of your life! What an awesome friend you have. You are blessed to have her in your life!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Free Ostomy Samples

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Live with confidence

Image of ostomy brochures

Learn about ostomy, stoma care, selecting a pouching system, and more in ConvaTec's guides to living with confidence after ostomy surgery:

Great Comebacks on YouTube

Ostomy resources

Learn about a free resource for your ostomy needs

Great Comebacks e-mail newsletter

Community leaders