Cruise Tips: Preventing Seasickness

seasicknessIf you’ve ever been seasick, you know there’s no feeling quite like it.  You’d give anything to make it stop.  Getting seasick can turn a great vacation into a miserable one in a flash.

Symptoms include nausea and sometimes vomiting caused by your body’s inability to deal with the motion of the sea. Nowadays, most of the midsized to larger ships have stabilizers which help ease the amount of rocking you feel, but some people are just more prone to getting seasick than others, so what can you do?

One of the best ways to combat seasickness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few of the methods for preventing it, and helping to get rid of it if you do get nauseous.

There are patches you can put behind your ear before you get on the ship that can help to prevent getting sick. Currently they are only available with a prescription and they can cause drowsiness.

There are over the counter drugs you can take such as Dramamine and Bonine which are another preventative method, and they too can cause drowsiness. We use Bonine and don’t get the drowsiness we’ve had with Dramamine, although Dramamine has come out with a Less Drowsy formula.

Wrist Bands such as Sea-Band are popular with some people as a method to prevent seasickness without taking any kind of drugs. They work by putting pressure on your wrist in such a way that it helps alleviate nausea symptoms, plus they are reusable.

Another product called MotionEaze is a combination of “all natural oils” that you put behind your ear and supposedly helps prevent motion sickness but can also help get rid of the symptoms if you do get sick.

Then there is a product called Quease Ease, which is a blend of oils used by hospitals for chemotherapy patients to ease nausea. You simply take a few breaths of the aroma and it calms your stomach. I have also heard that smelling citrus, like a fresh orange or lemon, can help ease nausea.

There are several products containing ginger, which is a natural stomach soother. There is Ginger Gum, Tummydrops, and Solaray makes a product called Ginger Trips, which are chewable tablets. We take some Ginger Trips with us on all our cruises, and we also use them at home any time we have a queasy stomach.

Besides all these preventative and curative methods, there are some things you can do onboard to help prevent, or get rid of seasickness.

Keeping some food in your stomach helps prevent getting sick, which shouldn’t be hard on a cruise since free food is available 24/7 on every cruise. But don’t eat a lot of spicy or fatty foods, as this can be counterproductive to prevent nausea in some people. Also, don’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol.

When booking your cruise, choose an itinerary with stops in port every day, or most every day, so that you can get off the ship for awhile each day. Also, choose as large a ship as possible because you’ll feel the motion less on a larger ship. Booking a cabin in the middle of the ship rather than the front or back, and a lower deck rather than a higher deck will also help some.

If you do start to feel queasy, get up on deck in the fresh air and stare at the horizon. Be careful not to stand where you can smell the ship’s exhaust since that smell alone can make you nauseous.  Try eating a few saltines to help ease your stomach.  I have also heard that drinking some soda can help, probably because of the carbonated bubbles.

We all hope we won’t be one of the unlucky ones who get seasick on vacation, but if we do, it’s good to know there are several ways to fight back.

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