Seasickness is one of the most common concerns of those considering a cruise vacation. While neither one of us has ever had adverse effects from being on a ship, we have sailed with some travelers who take precautions to ensure they do not get seasick. Even when the seas are relatively calm, some individuals are simply more sensitive to the ship’s movements. This motion sensitivity should not stop you from cruising though because there are plenty of simple steps you can take to avoid seasickness on a cruise.
7 Ways to Avoid Seasickness on a Cruise
Seasickness occurs from an imbalance in your inner ear, or vestibular system, in response to the motion of the ship. Eventually, your body will become accustomed to the sensation, but why spend half of your trip feeling miserable? The symptoms of seasickness can be treated or even completely avoided if you plan ahead.
Pick the Right Cruise and Ship
Before you even set foot on your cruise vacation, you can help reduce the possibility of seasickness. For first time cruisers worried about getting ill during the trip, we suggest booking a newer, larger ship. Travelers are less likely to feel the motion on these larger ships. Newer vessels are also designed with stabilizers that decrease the ships “roll” . By decreasing this form of movement, your balance system is less likely to be affected alleviating seasickness!
You Can Avoid Seasickness by Cruising on Larger Ships
Those worried about the possible ill effects of cruising might want to opt for port intensive cruises. Southern Caribbean cruises or Mediterranean cruises usually feature only a few sea days, and the time spent traveling between ports is usually shorter. These cruises might be a good option for those who are prone to motion sickness as you will be spending more time on land.
Choose the Right Cabin
While you will probably spend little time in your cabin during the cruise, your cabin’s location can help reduce seasickness. It is best to get an outside cabin, with either a window or a balcony. That way, you can set sight on the stationary horizon in hopes that your body will reset its equilibrium. Getting a cabin in the middle of the ship will also help as this area tends to have the least amount of movement.
Take Some Precautions on Embarkation Day
The first few hours of your voyage are crucial to helping your body get accustomed to the movement of the ship. It is best to spend some time outdoors with the fresh air. Using the horizon as a reference point, your body can become better adjusted to the ship’s movements. You should also try to avoid staring at stable objects, like reading the cruise planner or staring at a computer or smartphone screen. By training your body to properly anticipate motion, you can gain your “sea legs”.
Enjoy the Outdoors on Embarkation Day
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Drinking plenty of water during the cruise will help ease any symptoms of seasickness. You will probably also want to avoid over consumption of alcohol as this will further impair your balance system and can exacerbate the symptoms of seasickness.
Certain foods can also upset your stomach. You might want to skip deep fried foods or overly spicy foods on the first dinner or two until your body is adjusted. Cruisers also swear by eating green apples as a home remedy to help ward off seasickness on a cruise. Not sure if this is scientifically proven, but you should be able to find plenty of fruit in the buffet.
Watch What You Eat and Drink on Your Cruise
Pack Some Accessories
We know many people do not like to take medications or supplements for a variety of reasons. One of the more effective (and less intrusive) remedies for seasickness is Sea Band. These accessories work by providing slight pressure to acupressure points in your wrist which will help reduce the sensation of nausea and vomiting from motion sickness. The bands work best if you place them on both wrists and do so before getting on the cruise.
Over the Counter Aids
There are several medications that you can purchase at a local drug store to help reduce seasickness. Two of the most popular are Dramamine and Bonine. Both drugs work better if you begin taking them the day before, so your body can build up a tolerance. Before taking any medication, you should first consult your doctor to determine if these aids are right for you.
For a more natural approach, herbal remedies can help. The most popular supplement recommended by cruisers is ginger, which is often used to calm an upset stomach. You can find the root in pill form at health food stores, or look for teas, candies, or gum which you can pack in your carry-on if you begin to feel some ill effects.
If you know that you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to talk to your doctor about additional medical treatments prior to your cruise. One popular treatment is Scopolamine patches. These small patches are placed behind your ear and help to reduce nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. Like other approaches, it is best to place these patches on before getting on the ship. Again, you should consult your doctor to discuss whether this medication is right for you.
Now that you know our 7 Ways to Avoid Seasickness on a Cruise, you can finally take that dream cruise without worrying about the motion of the ocean. Some pre-planning can help to avoid seasickness on a cruise and allow you to see the world one port at a time.
Are you motion sensitive on a cruise? What are some of your secrets to avoid seasickness? Drop us an anchor below with your suggestions for smooth sailing on a cruise vacation.