Will I get seasick on a cruise?
The number one question for new cruisers: What happens if I get seasick?
It’s legitimate question! Seasickness is not fun. However, you’ll be happy to know that 90% of the time, it’s not a problem at all. Cruise ships are SO BIG that guests barely feel any movement on board during the day. It’s not like sailboats or ferries that you have ridden before. Other than safety, the comfort of passengers on board is the captain’s number one priority. Along with today’s technology, they are able to predict and prevent rough waters. Also, with the ship carrying thousands of people and weighing average over 180,000 tons — so again, the ship is really big so it can withstand some pretty big waves. Most passengers on-board are constantly roaming around, enjoying activities, and eating without noticing a thing.
Here are some tips to avoid letting seasickness ruin your trip:
- Pick your itinerary carefully: Not all itineraries are made equal. It does pay off to do some research on where your cruise ship is departing from and typical weather for that route at different times of the year. Weather is unpredictable, so there is never a guarantee, but there are trends to inclement weather. Ships departing from Florida during hurricane season, for example, would be more likely to experience bigger waves. River cruises and Alaska inside routes are more calm than routes in the open Atlantic ocean.
- Book a good room location: Mid-ship (both horizontally and vertically). The side-to-side sway and the up and down ‘seesaw’ pitch motion of the ship is minimized in the middle of the boat.
- Look outside often: Motion sickness is thought to be caused by conflicting signals in the inner ear, eyes, and sensory receptors. Basically, your eyes are telling your brain that you are not moving but your body (inner ear) is telling your brain that you are moving. When you look outside, your eyes will also see that you are indeed moving. This is where an oceanview or balcony room will come in handy. Balcony rooms are great for people who are prone to seasickness because it provides fresh air and perspective each time they step outside, which helps the body and brain to reprogram.
- Preventative Measures: Make sure you get enough rest and water as exhaustion and dehydration will allow you to be more prone to seasickness. There are some natural remedies you can try to alleviate the onset of seasickness, such as ginger, topical oil, and acupuncture points. Ginger can be taken in the form of chewing tablets, candy, liquid (ginger ale), or raw. Topical oil, such as Motioneaze, can be applied behind the ear or stomach. Putting pressure on certain parts of the body, such as right below your wrist, is known to alleviate seasickness. Wristbands, such as Seaband, work best when wore before any seasickness symptoms.
- Medications: Oh no, you are really feeling seasick!! Dramamine and Bonine are the two most popular seasickness drugs you can get over the counter. I highly recommend bringing some on the ship, but they are also available on-board from the ship doctor and stores. I think of this as last resort, since medications always have a side effect (non-drowsy is a lie). Although it does help with the unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, many people also report feeling lethargic and “not themselves” after taking the medication which prevents them for truly enjoying their vacation.