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10 Tips on How to Prevent Seasickness on Cruise Ships

by Family Globetrotters

Do You Suffer from Motion Sickness but Would Love to Go on A Cruise with The Family? Here Are Practical and Useful Tips on How to Prevent Seasickness on A Cruise Holiday.

Article Updated November 2018

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’. Seasickness 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 how to prevent seasickness on a cruise holiday.

#01 – SIZE OF THE CRUISE LINER

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.

#02 – CHOOSE YOUR 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 seasickness, 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.

Cruise liner on river in dawn

#03 – TIME OF THE YEAR MATTERS

Make sure to check out the seasons to minimise possible seasickness on cruises. Cruising during the 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.

Do you suffer from seasickness but would like to go on a cruise? We hear you! We show you some preventative measures to help you get on a trip of a lifetime! #seasickness #familytravel Click To Tweet

#04 – SELECT YOUR CABIN WISELY

It is imperative to select the right cabin to help prevent seasickness on the cruise liner. 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.

Porthole cruise liner twin beds

#05 – 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.

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#06 – CONSIDER 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.

#07 – THE HORIZON IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

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.

Girl on deck cruise liner fresh air

#08 – 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.

#09 – DRINKING & EATING IN MODERATION

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.

#10 – STAY HYDRATED

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. These preventative seasickness tips can be taken in tandem with other suggestions so that your cruise experience is a great one.

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10 Tips on How to Prevent Seasickness on Cruise Ships

 
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.

15 comments

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Annick January 3, 2019 - 11:20 am

What great tips for those of us who can get queasy on a cruise! Neither ginger nor sea bands worked for me but I haven’t tried the green apples. I do stay away from either end of the ship though. We just tried an inside cabin on Deck 2 and I loved it (but I’m not claustrophobic). It was so dark that we slept really well and you’re right, you get very little movement so low and in the middle of the ship. I’ll try the green apples next time!

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Genesis May 13, 2017 - 1:14 am

Find relief from motion sickness and seasickness with these tips to overcome the queasiness and headaches from riding a car, boat, or plane.

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[…] 40) Going on your first cruise? Even if you think you may not get motion sickness, pack sea sickness prevention items. You just never ever know. Here are 10 tips on how to prevent sea sickness. […]

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Sherri Lewallen May 19, 2016 - 5:46 pm

Green apples also help with seasickness. Carnival keeps plenty in stock for this reason. 😀

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Family Globetrotters May 19, 2016 - 10:32 pm

Ah yes! I missed that off the list! What is it about the green apples? Is it because it’s tangy? Anything sour helps too…. Thanks Sherri

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Nanaof4 June 23, 2016 - 4:45 pm

Green apples and ginger ale, that’s what we’ve always heard for seasickness. Fortunately, we’ve never been seasick. On our first cruise I asked my doctor the for a prescription for patches and I applied one the night before embarkation as instructed. The next day on the Lido deck, I started feeling queasy and my husband told me “We’re still docked, remove that patch.” Within minutes I felt better and I haven’t used them since. 14 cruises in the books!

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nina June 24, 2016 - 1:24 am

The pectin in green apples helps neutralize acid in the stomach, making it very effective in preventing motion sickness. Also, the natural sugar in green apples helps settle the stomach.

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Lara May 15, 2016 - 3:10 pm

Thanks for the tips! We are embarking on an Alaska inland Passage cruise in July with extended family. I am terribly prone to seasickness so thanks for the tips, especially ginger. I don’t want to be medicated the whole time so I hope natural remedies work! ? I am pretty excited about the cruise even though it’s not been something I have wanted to do…

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Family Globetrotters May 16, 2016 - 9:42 am

You’re most welcome and I applaud you for going despite being prone to seasickness! Have a wonderful time and let us know how you go after the cruise!

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Danielle May 5, 2016 - 1:37 am

Great tips! My mum suffers terribly from seasickness, but is just about to embark on an Alaska cruise. I’ll be sure to share this with her!

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Family Globetrotters May 7, 2016 - 12:21 am

Thank you Danielle! Your mum is brave and good on her! Well Alaskan cruises are known for calmer seas so hopefully it won’t be too bad and the magnificent sights will keep her distracted!

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Julie Small May 3, 2016 - 1:55 am

Hmmm…that would be horrible to get seasick on your cruise. some great tips here. I’ve never been on a cruise but have caught the overnight ferry from mainland Australia to Tasmania and the sea was so rough I got tossed out of bed!! And I never felt seasick just petrified!

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Family Globetrotters May 3, 2016 - 2:44 am

Julie, crossing the Bass Strait is not for the faint hearted but I can’t believe you got tossed out of bed!!! You must have gotten such a shock! I have heard some terrible stories of seasickness on that route. So we fly and rent a car instead ?

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