Top Tips to Deal with Sea Sickness while on a Cruise

Planning to cruise the high seas but worried about sea sickness? Best to prepare before you go and gear up for your time on the water.

Sea-sickness occurs when your brain doesn’t necessarily match up with what the rest of what your body is feeling. According to scientists, most of this happens inside your inner ear, especially when you’re at sea, where the solid ground and the swaying of the ocean confuses your brain and gives it something weird to think about (more than usual) that it just quite can’t comprehend for a day or two.

Sea sickness can affect anyone when there is enough motion, however there are different levels of motion, and its impact may vary. The same person who gets motion sick when riding horses or, say… camels (I know random, but if you’ve ever spent time on the back on a camel, you know what I mean! Back to the story…), they may have better tolerance when riding in a car, onboard a ship or when flying – after all its all relative.

Naturally, since we deal with a LOT of cruises, we’ve dealt with lots of questions about sea-sickness. Here are our top tips when dealing with seasickness on your cruise, to ensure you have the best holiday possible if you do find yourself swaying with the motion of the ocean. Read on!

Before The Cruise

Get Plenty of Rest

Like any kind of illness, you’ll want plenty of rest. In the case of sea-sickness, if you are susceptible, you’ll want to rest properly before your cruise. This should dramatically decrease your chances of getting motion sickness when you’re on the ship.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to rest up before a holiday, right? It’s like double the holiday!
We also recommend booking our Cruise Solutions Specialist, as they’ll help minimize much of your holiday stress, so you get the most out of your busy schedule.
…Oh, and by the way! Don’t forget to eat! Have a healthy, solid meal before boarding (but not TOO much), and drink plenty of fluids! An empty stomach will double your chances of getting seasick!

Choose the Right Destination

If you’re new to cruising, we suggest that you wouldn’t want to go on an expedition to the Arctic or Antarctica right away. Ease yourself in to cruising. Opt in for a taste-tester cruise first – 2 to 3 days sailing the beautiful blue ocean will giving you a glimpse of what you can expect on a floating hotel. Then venture further afield (or is that a-sea??) to the South Pacific, Asia, maybe even a river-cruise (perfect if you do have sea-sickness, primarily because there’s NO sea!!).
You can also check the weather forecasts about potential weather issues that might bring windy or rough seas during your trip.

Ask for a Cabin Near the Centre of the Ship

According to several ship captains and our own cruise solutions specialists, lower floors and the center of the ship is where any potential rocking and rolling will be less amplified. Easy – just let your cruise consultant know that you prefer this area of the ship upon booking.

Sea Sickness During The Cruise

Get some fresh air

Staying inside can increase the chances of you being seasick. If you feel that your stomach is starting to churn, an easy remedy is to go out and get a breath of fresh sea air. Not only does this help to relieve your motion sickness, it can also lift your spirits and give you a new perspective, rather than staying in the confines of your cabin.

Look at the Horizon

Focusing on the horizon helps your eyes correct the signals that are sent to the brain. Doing this assists with the miscommunication process that concerns your vision and your brain – hence a little queasiness. You could also head to front of the ship and pretend to “drive” it, thus adjusting your perception.

Eat, Drink, Snack.

Yep. It’s that simple. Try having a light, non-greasy sandwich or some cookies and biscuits every couple of hours. If you drink, try Coca-Cola, which contains phosphoric acid and sugars, which are used in anti-nausea drugs – this will help settle your tummy. Try to avoid alcohol, it has the potential to make you even more nauseous.
You could also try eating or drinking ginger, which is a common herbal remedy that has been used by sailors for centuries. Crystallized ginger, ginger tea, ginger lollipops, or even ginger beer works!

Try a Pressure-Point Wristband

If you want to try something a little bit unorthodox, you can get what’s called a “sea band” (My dad swears by them!). It isn’t exactly rocket science (or anything magical for that matter), it simply creates pressure on a specific point about an inch and a half above the wrist. This little trick keeps you from being disoriented. They say you’ll instantly feel better. Still on the fence about wearing it – you can always consult your doctor.
Readily available from marine stores, travel stores, as well as online or onboard ship.

Take some over-the-counter meds

If you really can’t take it, then you might have to succumb to anti-nausea medicines such as Benadryl, Bonine, or Dramamine, or other over the counter medication, that could offer you protection from sea-sickness. There are a motion sickness patches and ginger tablets. Many of our members swear by these, however we believe you should consider these methods as a last resort, as there may be potential side effects from any medication.

Tough it out

Buck up and tough it out. Sea-sickness will often last for only a couple of days, until your brain figures out that yes you are on something solid and stable, but hey, wait a minute, what’s going on, it’s still moving. Once your brain comes to a compromise, your body will follow and, according to surveys, more than 75% of people will eventually become acclimatized to the gentle sway of the sea.

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