Do you want to plan a cruise, but you’re worried about getting seasick? The excitement of embarking on a cruise to exotic destinations can quickly fade if you’re prone to seasickness. That queasy feeling can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.

Fortunately for you, we’ve got your ticket to smooth sailing!

What Causes Seasickness?

Seasickness, also known as motion sickness, is a common condition that occurs when your brain receives conflicting signals from various sensory systems in your body. It primarily arises when you’re on a moving vessel, such as a boat, ship, or cruise, and can result from the following factors:

Sensory Confusion: Your inner ear (vestibular system) plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and spatial orientation. When you’re on a moving ship, your inner ear detects the motion, while your eyes may see a relatively stable cabin or surroundings. This sensory mismatch between what your inner ear feels and what your eyes perceive can lead to motion sickness.

Inconsistent Signals: Seasickness can also be triggered by other senses, including touch and proprioception (the body’s sense of its position and movement). For example, feeling the motion of the ship beneath your feet while standing on a deck can be unsettling if your eyes see a stationary horizon.

Nausea and Vomiting Reflex: When your brain receives conflicting sensory signals, it may interpret this as a potential threat, leading to the activation of your body’s nausea and vomiting reflex as a protective mechanism.

Individual Susceptibility: Some people are more prone to motion sickness than others. Genetics may play a role, as susceptibility can run in families. Hormonal factors, such as those related to pregnancy, can also influence vulnerability to motion sickness.

Prolonged Exposure: The longer you are exposed to motion without relief, the more likely you are to experience motion sickness. This is why some people may feel fine initially but develop symptoms as the journey continues.

Environmental Factors: Weather conditions, such as rough seas or turbulent air for those on airplanes, can exacerbate the sensation of motion and increase the likelihood of seasickness.

It’s important to realize that seasickness can vary in severity from person to person. For some, it can be a minor discomfort, while for others, it can be severely debilitating. It’s also worth noting that you are much less likely to experience seasickness on a river cruise as opposed to an ocean cruise.

Fortunately, there are a handful of strategies and precautions you can take to prevent seasickness and ensure a pleasant time while on your cruise. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Choose Your Cabin Wisely

The location of your cabin can make a significant difference in your cruise experience. Cabins located in the middle of the ship, close to the waterline, tend to experience less motion. Aim for a mid-ship cabin if you’re worried about seasickness.

2. Medications and Remedies

Several over-the-counter and prescription medications can help prevent or alleviate seasickness. Consult with your healthcare provider before your cruise to discuss the best option for you. Common medications and natural treatments include:

Dramamine and Bonine: These are over-the-counter medications that are effective at preventing seasickness. Take them as directed, typically before boarding the ship.

Scopolamine patches: These prescription patches are applied behind the ear and can provide relief from seasickness for up to three days.

Ginger: Natural remedies like ginger candies, ginger tea, or ginger supplements can help alleviate nausea.

Acupressure wristbands: These wristbands target specific pressure points to reduce motion sickness symptoms.

3. Stay Hydrated and Eat Lightly

Dehydration can worsen symptoms, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your cruise. Additionally, opt for light, easily digestible meals and avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods, which can exacerbate nausea. And maybe take it easy on the complimentary alcohol as well.

4. Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon

When you’re on the deck, focus on the horizon. This helps your brain reconcile the conflicting signals it receives from your inner ear and your vision, reducing the sensation of motion sickness.

5. Avoid Activities That Worsen Symptoms

Reading, watching videos, or staring at screens can make seasickness worse. Instead, engage in activities that don’t require intense focus or visual attention. Listen to music, socialize with fellow passengers, or simply relax and take in the sea breeze.

6. Stay Well-Rested

Fatigue can increase the likelihood of seasickness, so ensure you get enough rest before and during your cruise. A well-rested body is better equipped to cope with motion.

7. Pre-Cruise Preparation

Start your preventive measures before you even board the ship. Take your chosen medication or remedy according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations well in advance of your cruise. This allows the medication to become effective and minimizes the risk of seasickness.

8. Trust the Crew

Crew members are well-versed in dealing with seasickness. If you’re feeling unwell, don’t hesitate to contact the ship’s medical staff. They can provide additional medications or treatments to help you feel better and enjoy your cruise.

With these preventive measures in place, you can hit the seas with confidence, knowing that seasickness won’t be a hindrance on your cruise vacation. By taking steps to prepare you can focus on the breathtaking scenery, incredible excursions, and unforgettable experiences that cruising has to offer. Bon voyage!