If you or someone in your family is going to go on a cruise but they struggle with motion
sickness, also known as sea sickness, then you have one more thing you need to make
sure you prepare for before you head out on your cruise. If not properly prepared for the
occurrence of sea sickness your cruise can be a miserable experience.
Some individuals may not even know they are prone to sea sickness until it is too late,
they don’t normally get motion sickness in the car so they think they will be fine on
board a cruise ship.
What causes Sea Sickness? Seasickness is caused by the misinterpretation of signals
to your brain from the eye and the ear. The eyes are telling your brain one thing, while
you’re the balance system of your inner ear is telling your brain a different story.
If you are on board a cruise ship, if it is a large ship, what you see all around you seems
to be stable or fixed and not moving, but your inner ear senses the movement causing
you to feel dizzy which in return leads to the other symptoms of motion sickness.
For most people, symptoms of sea sickness include dizziness, nausea, sweating,
stomach cramps and even vomiting . If you have a tendency to get motion sickness or
are worried that you might get sea sick while on your cruise there are some things you
can do to prevent it from happening ahead of time. Or if you have never had sea
sickness and start to feel it coming on there are some things you can do to minimize the
There are several medications both prescription and over the counter medications you
can get before you leave for your cruise. The most common prescription drug is
Transderm Scop, also known as a scopolamine or Scop patch. It is a patch that is
applied behind the ear at least eight hours before your cruise sets sail. It is effective for
up to three days. Keep in mind that Scop is a precautionary drug and is not a treatment
for sea sickness. Check with your doctor of pharmacist for possible side effects.
Over the counter medications include Dramamine, Benadryl, and Bonine. On some
ships if you experience seasickness you can visit the ship’s doctor and they will give
you some while other may charge a hefty fee.
Make sure you carefully follow all instructions of these medications. Don’t take more
than the recommended dose. If it says to take it with food or water then make sure you
do so. Some of them require taking it during a specific time frame before your departure
so pay attention to this important detail.
Other Tips for Avoiding Sea Sickness
If you don’t want to spend most of your cruise knocked out by Benadryl and would
rather try a natural remedy, you might want to give Ginger a try. Ginger is a well know
remedy and is the most common herbal remedy for seasickness. Sometimes Ginger Ale
can help if it has real Ginger in it. You can also get Ginger in capsule form and can be
found in health food stores. Some people complain of an after taste and sometimes
heartburn can occur.
Wrist Band Remedies for Seasickness
Some people have luck wearing wrist bands. Wrist bands provide a type of
acupressure for the relief of seasickness. There is a point about an inch and a half
above your wrist on the underside of the arm where the wrist band applies pressure.
Here are a few other tips that will help lessen the likely hood of getting sea sickness on
The newer cruise ships today are equipped with stabilizers that significantly reduce the
motion of the ships that cause sea sickness. For those who easily succumb to motion
sickness more than others will be happy to know that it is much less likely you will get
sea sickness on a larger ship than a smaller one. So the bigger the ship the better and
the less it will rock!
Choose a state room wisely. When selecting a room on a cruise ship try to book a
room in the middle of the ship and the lower the level the better off you will be. This is
because the ship is most stable mid-ship and the lower you go. Having a stateroom on
the outside with a window will also give you a consistent view of the horizon.
Avoid playing games or reading a book if you suffer from sea sickness.
Try to get some fresh air, spend as much time as possible out on deck, the horizon can
help acclimate your surroundings keeping your equilibrium in balance.
Pick cruises that have fewer distances between ports such as an Eastern Caribbean
Cruise and avoid cruises that have “fun days at sea” such as a Western Caribbean
Even if you take these precautions no method or medication is 100% foolproof when it
comes to sea sickness.
Don’t let your cruise vacation be spoiled due to your fear of suffering from motion
sickness. Do all you can to subside the symptoms on your own. If that isn’t effective
then try various over the counter products. As a last resort as your doctor for a
prescription medication to help ensure you can get through the travel process so you
can enjoy your holidays. If you find certain types of transportation are more difficult for
you than others you should avoid them if possible.