So you’ve finally booked that long-awaited vacation aboard a cruise ship; classy entertainment, delicious cuisine, and foreign lands await you. You’ve got your bags packed and are ready to experience some rest and relaxation – not to mention fun!
But wait a second, you can’t ride a ferry without getting queasy. You never try to read while traveling in a car and you’re that person who gets sick on an airplane. How will you manage on a cruise ship? Will your vacation be irrevocably ruined?
Have no fear, because as annoying as seasickness can be, it is not entirely unavoidable. Read our tips to get rid of seasickness, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying your cruise worry-free.
Get to a window and look out at the sea
According to Medical News Today, motion sickness (which is the same as seasickness) is caused when your brain gets conflicting signals about your body’s movement. For example, if you’re in the dining room on your cruise boat and start to feel the rocking sensation of waves, your body feels this movement and sends those signals to the brain. However, your eyes tell the brain that you’re sitting perfectly still, watching your wife eat her spaghetti.
It’s these conflicting messages that confuse your brain and lead to symptoms like nausea, sweats, and vomiting.
This is why it can be helpful, if you are feeling the onset of motion sickness, to head to a window or balcony where you can look out at the water. Watching the horizon and seeing the waves can help coordinate your eye’s messages with your body’s messages, and get your brain back to normal.
The fresh ocean air can help ease the sickness, too.
Plan your trip accordingly
If you know you’re a chronic victim of seasickness, keep this fact in mind when picking out a cruise. Choose the one with the biggest possible ship that sails through the calmest possible waters.
Everyday Health suggests routes through the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea, for example, as they posit less risk for choppy waters. They also suggest requesting a cabin located in the middle of the boat, as this is where the rocking motion of the sea is felt the least.
A little thinking ahead can make a world of difference in your experience.
Take care of your general health
Factors like exhaustion, dehydration, and hunger can make nausea symptoms worse, so don’t neglect your body’s needs. This shouldn’t be so hard on a cruise ship, right? After all, you’re there to rest and unwind.
Well, don’t be too trusting, as vacations can often bring their own set of stressors. Sometimes people want to take advantage of their time, so they go to sleep late only to wake up early. Often they will treat themselves to the greasy, fatty, delicious foods and neglect their fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget the alcohol they consume!
All of these things are fine to participate in, to an extent. You are on vacation, and it’s a time to let loose a little bit and allow yourself to indulge. Just keep in mind that these things can worsen your seasickness symptoms, so maybe sleep in for a few extra hours, eat the rice and broccoli once in a while, and choose the water over wine some nights. You will thank yourself!
Stock up on antiemetic pills
Sometimes we need a little help from medications. If your seasickness is bad enough, the above tips may not be sufficient to keep your cruise vacation nausea-free.
In that case, try out some over-the-counter medications that are proven to keep motion sickness at bay. Dramamine is a popular one, used for plane and car trips as well. They’ve got several different formulas depending on your needs, and a non-drowsy option so you can stay alert and feeling your best all day.
Just be sure to test out a couple of different medications before you depart on your trip. This way you can see which ones work best for you, and if any cause unwanted side-effects. You don’t want to take along one brand only to find that it gives you searing headaches.
If it does give you headaches, however, just talk to a crew member. They are sure to have other medication on hand for you, as you are definitely not the only one who suffers from this affliction!
Use acupressure bands
If you are not a fan of taking medication, this could be the perfect alternative for you. These wristbands, worn on each wrist, contain a small plastic stub that applies gentle pressure on the “Nei Kuan” point of your wrist.
This is said to relieve nausea and prevent seasickness or vomiting, all without needing medication. They are also worn by pregnant women and cancer patients, apparently with very successful results. If this sounds like the product for you, go ahead and check out the Sea Band.
As you can see, there are plenty of strategies for coping with seasickness aboard a cruise. It’s a common problem, so take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone, and that workers aboard the ship will be eager to help in any way they can.
With some extra planning ahead, help from medications, and awareness of your body’s needs, you’ll forget all about seasickness and spend your time creating wonderful new memories instead. Time to set sail!