Tips and Tricks: How to Deal with Seasickness During a Cruise

Before setting sail on the cruise of your dreams, it’s essential to consider seasickness. Even seasoned sailors like myself, with over 20 years of sailing experience, can occasionally feel discomfort. Regrettably, no method can guarantee complete relief from this unpleasant condition, but various tricks and remedies can help alleviate seasickness symptoms. Be prepared to experiment with different treatments until you discover the best one for you.

Let’s explore what seasickness entails. It’s a condition that arises during a journey on a vessel and typically diminishes upon returning to land. This phenomenon, known as seasickness, can impact individuals of all ages, presenting symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, headache, paleness, and stomach upset. If the possibility of seasickness is a concern, consulting a doctor before embarking on a cruise is crucial.
Here are some tips and tricks to manage seasickness during a cruise:

Medications: When preparing for a cruise, I always bring medications from home, the ones you can buy over the counter, such as Dramamine with ginger or Bonine, to use if I feel unwell when the sea starts to be rough. It’s important to know that these medications have a preventive effect and cannot stop symptoms that have already appeared. Some people use bracelets, patches, or chewing gums for this problem. Trying different methods is good; what works for one person may not help another. The ship’s medical center offers free seasickness tablets and can advise you on how to deal with it. But still, if the symptoms persist, it’s essential to consult a doctor who may prescribe more specific medications. Almost all cruise companies offer seasickness tablets at the ship’s reception; ask for them. If you decide to take seasickness pills, do so before you start feeling nauseous.

Hydration: keeping yourself hydrated is crucial, and while drinking water is one way, it might not help you when feeling seasick. For example, I find relief during seasickness by drinking Coca-Cola, Schweppes Lemon, tonic water, or other carbonated beverages, even though I don’t consume them otherwise. The key is finding what relieves you when the ship starts rocking.

Light food: When I feel unwell due to seasickness, I avoid soups or heavy, greasy, or spicy food. I usually stick to smaller and more frequent meals that are gentle on the stomach. I find relief through dry foods like crackers, plain bread, cheese sandwiches with tomato slices, and an olive oil drizzle. Or, sometimes, a plate of plain rice or just an apple can help me soothe my stomach during rough seas.

Staying Fresh: Maintaining coolness is crucial when dealing with seasickness. Excessive warmth can worsen the symptoms. From my experience, reducing the air conditioning in my cabin or staying in well-ventilated and cool spaces helps alleviate discomfort.

Ginger is known to soothe nausea, although it’s most effective if you like its taste. Try ginger candies, tea, or supplements to calm your stomach. Over-the-counter medications like Dramamine with ginger can also help relieve nausea.

Pressure points: Relief can be achieved by applying pressure to specific points on your body, such as the wrist, using suitable bracelets or finger pressure. You can purchase them from pharmacies or health and wellness stores in every city.

Distraction: Engaging in activities or entertainment that don’t involve much movement can help distract you. For instance, I try to watch some movies; it helps me not to focus too much on the ship’s rocking.

Rest: In some cases, lying down and resting can alleviate symptoms. Find a comfortable spot and try to relax.

It’s crucial to avoid staring at the water in swimming pools or the sea. Watching the waves will worsen your seasickness symptoms.

Choosing the right cabin: there are some spots on the ship where you may feel less rocking than others, so when selecting a cabin for your trip, you may want to consider a few things, like lower decks, middle ship, and perhaps an interior cabin. Choosing a cabin in the midship and closer to the waterline may help reduce the feeling of motion. It’s like finding a spot on a seesaw where it doesn’t tilt too much!

Interior cabin: Interior cabins lack windows or balconies, and you may feel less motion since you can’t see the movement of the waves outside. And another bonus is that mainly the internal cabins cost less than the one with the balcony.

Middle of the ship and lower decks: Cabins located midship on lower decks usually experience less motion than those at the front (bow) or back (stern) of the ship.

Lower levels: Proximity to the waterline sometimes helps reduce the feeling of motion, although the rocking is usually less felt in these areas.

It’s important to note that sea and weather conditions and individual sensitivity to seasickness can influence how one feels on board. So, if you’re concerned about seasickness, it’s best to choose your cabin somewhere in the middle of the ship on lower decks (some of the more affordable cruise options) and take preventive measures before experiencing any symptoms.

With proper planning and experimentation, even those prone to seasickness can enjoy their cruise comfortably!

!!! Consider consulting a doctor if seasickness is severe or persistent !!!

Calm seas navigation at dusk
Calm seas navigation at dusk

Sea conditions can vary depending on several factors, such as weather, location, and time of year. Due to climatic conditions or geographical features, the sea is rougher in some areas. Cruise ships are generally equipped with the latest features and technology that warn of upcoming changes in weather and sea conditions, which allows them to avoid areas of rough seas and sail in calmer waters for a better passenger experience.

Stabilizers: Modern cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers, which are solid fins or wings that stick out from the ship’s sides. They reduce the swaying caused by waves during the ascent and descent of the ship. Usually, these stabilizers do an excellent job, and I think you can feel less movement even in the cabins closest to them.

Navigation: Rough seas and ship swaying shouldn’t worry you. Captains and crews are trained and constantly monitor meteorological conditions, altering routes to avoid the roughest seas. Crews provide current information and advice on dealing with seasickness if it becomes an issue.

Msc Seascape cruise ship during calm sea navigation
Msc Seascape cruise ship during calm sea navigation

Safety measures: Cruise ships undergo strict safety checks and have procedures to ensure passengers’ safety during rough seas. These measures include securing loose items, closing open areas, and having medical facilities for those feeling unwell. Stay calm and enjoy your cruise because if the rough sea continues or intensifies, the ship’s captain may change course or speed to reach calmer waters.

In conclusion,

Before setting sail on your dream cruise, it’s wise to consider the possibility of seasickness. Even experienced sailors can sometimes feel unwell! Don’t worry—with preparation and the right strategies, seasickness won’t hinder your adventure. Dive into your journey, explore the world, and remember, even if the waves get rough, it’s all part of the incredible cruise experience.

Happy cruising!

Sunset sky in open sea
Sunset sky in the open sea


Svetlana Hristova

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