I have been sick to my stomach on a small fishing vessel that I paid a fortune to charter so when my brother suggested a cruise years ago I thought to myself that I may have more fun jumping off the Eiffel tower. At least it would end. I have since traveled on many cruises without the troublesome problem of sea sickness. I want to share what I have learned so that you too can enjoying cruising as much I do.
The easiest and most economical way to stop sea sickness is to walk. This is what is meant by getting your sea legs. When you walk around a moving ship the fluid in your inner ear learns the motion of the ship in a controlled way. When you feel sea sickness coming on walk,walk,walk. The worst thing you can do is take to your bed. Lying down will make your nausea worse. Once your body becomes accustomed to the motion you will no longer feel ill and will be able to sit and lie down when you want to.
Another drug free way to curb your motion sickness is by wearing a Sea Bands bracelet. The bracelet has a small bead on the inside that puts pressure on the inside of your wrist. This is a pressure point that will reduce nausea. Children and pregnant women can use Sea Bands as there are no side effects to this method. They are available at most drug stores. Buy these before you leave home and put it on before boarding the ship to be safe.
The use of ginger can help to reduce the nausea part of sea sickness but not the dizziness. Other herbal remedies have been tried but not scientifically proven to work. Staying above deck and getting fresh air will go a long way to normalizing your inner ear.
Cabin location can also be a factor in how much motion you feel while trying to sleep. Select a cabin that is in the middle of the ship both horizontally and vertically. If you pick a middle deck you will feel less motion from the sea and if you are close to the center of that deck you will feel less vibration from the engines and under workings of the ship.
Sail on a ship that has stabilizers. All of the newest mega liners have stabilizers that help minimize the rolling of the ship back and forth. Consider sailing on a ship that uses the Azipod propulsion system. All of the Carnival Cruise Lines ships have them. This system pushes rather than pulls the ship through the water which reduces motion and creates much less vibration. It also has the added benefit of allowing sharper turns for the ship without causing a lean.
Medications such as Dramamine or Gravol decrease nausea. You don’t have to buy these at home as they are available on the ship at the pursers desk where they are usually given out free of charge. Unfortunately these drugs can make some people drowsy which does not make for an exciting cruise experience.
Ear patches work wonders to get rid of sea sickness. The trans dermal scopolamine patch is about the size of a dime and is worn behind the ear. It’s effects last about 72 hours. This patch must be applied 8 hours before boarding the ship or you’ll be playing catch up later. The trans dermal patch does have side effects ranging from drowsiness to dry mouth.