Don’t let Motion Sickness Prevent you From Enjoying a Cruise of a Lifetime.
Motion sickness takes place when there is a mismatch between the information that the brain receives from the inner ear balance mechanism and what the eyes ‘see’. Motion sickness varies in intensity from person to person whilst children aged between 2-12 years are more prone to it. Even if you are not prone to seasickness, things can change whilst you’re out on a cruise so we recommend that you bring along some preventative measures on board, just in case. Feeling miserable for 2-3 weeks is no fun for anyone. Here are 10 useful and practical tips for seasickness prevention:
Seasickness Prevention Tip #1
Size Matters. Much like less turbulence is felt on larger aeroplanes; the same theory applies on cruise ships. The larger the vessel, the less it is susceptible to unsettled waters due to its navigational technology to avoid storms as well as their stabiliser capabilities that suppresses the ship’s motion to provide for a smooth ride.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #2
Choose Route Wisely. Cruises that hug the coastline such as the Alaskan inside passage or are in more protected and sheltered areas are less choppy then being in the open water. Therefore if you are prone to motion sickness, crossing the likes of the Atlantic or Pacific may not be an ideal proposition. Examples of famously calm waters include the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean or inter-island cruises. Selecting cruises that are port intensive with less time out at sea may also be more suitable for you, especially if this is the first time you will embarking on one.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #3
Time of the Year. Make sure to check out the seasons. Cruising during hurricane season in the North Atlantic or during the time of the strong dry Meltemi winds on Greece’s Aegean Sea wouldn’t be wise. Winter months can also bring about storms and rough seas so they should be avoided.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #4
Cabin Selection. It is imperative to select the right cabin to help prevent seasickness. The greatest motion can be felt in the upper decks as well as the front of the ship so these are to be avoided. The least amount of movement is dead centre of the ship so select a cabin in the lower decks and right in the middle of both left to right of the vessel as well as front to back. The orientation of the bed may also be crucial for your balance as you may feel queasy if you are sleeping backwards.
The next part of the cabin selection is whether to get one with a window or porthole. If you are also prone to claustrophobia, the windowless inner cabins are not recommended despite being the best choice for the least amount of movement. Some cabins also come with a balcony which helps with seasickness. The only problem with that is that they are on outer parts of the ship. You will have to decide what you think you can live with or live without in order to give you the most comfortable journey.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #5
Night Sailing. Select a cruise which does most of its sailing at night so you’re hopefully able to sleep away the hardest part of the journey whilst you’re at port during the day. Summer is a popular time to go on a cruise but they are often subjected to strong winds and hurricanes so find one where you’re out on the water whilst you’re asleep.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #6
Horizon. If you’re feeling queasy, make sure to step out onto the deck and stare out into the horizon. Concentrating on something stationary will help to reset your equilibrium. You can also do this if you have a porthole or verandah in your cabin. Getting some much needed fresh air also certainly helps.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #7
Medication. Seek medical attention prior to travel to assist with getting drugs that may assist with motion sickness. Some medication may be drowsy which could help with sleep to get you through the night. Pharmacists may also be able to help in recommending natural remedies if you don’t wish to be medicated. Acupuncture has been known to help abate nausea or you can invest in Sea-bands that have a hard round knob which gently presses against your pressure point located on the palm side of the wrist that can help prevent vomiting.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #8
Good ‘ol Ginger. According to everydayroots.com, ginger promotes the secretion of various digestive juices/enzymes that help neutralise stomach acid. It also contains phenols that relax stomach muscles and act similar to a sedative on irritated stomach tissue, reducing over activity of the stomach. You can invest in some ginger syrup, ginger candy or even procure some raw ginger to consume in its natural form or perhaps make some ginger tea.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #9
Too Much Eating and Alcohol. Cruises are known for their abundant buffets and dining options which can overload the senses. Avoid over consumption of rich foods and alcohol to alleviate motion sickness.
Seasickness Prevention Tip #10
Water. Dehydration does not help seasickness and may even commence the symptoms. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink lots of water, especially if you intend to consume alcohol as well.
Cruises are a wonderful way to see the world, spend time with your family whilst also having some much needed adult or kids’ time. If you have never been on a cruise before, we highly recommend you take the necessary precautions for every member of the family. Better to be safe than sorry so you don’t let motion sickness ruin your holiday.
Do you have any other seasickness prevention tips to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
We hope you found this family travel tip useful. Please share!