Travel & Places Travel Knowledge

Sea Sickness on a Cruise Holiday

The old saying ‘Prevention is Better than Cure' can mean the difference between having a great cruise or suffering from Sea Sickness whilst on board a cruise liner.  If you are a first time cruiser or indeed have suffered before there are a few questions worth asking yourself before you set sail?
  1. Do you suffer from nausea/ headaches when travelling in the back of a car?
  2. Do fairground rides make you nauseas or induce headaches?
  3. Have you ever suffered from vertigo an imbalance of the inner ear?

If you can answer yes to any of the above then it is wise to take preventative action/medicine before beginning your cruise.

Sea Sickness or Motion Sickness is caused when the brain receives mixed signals which cause an imbalance in the receptor of the inner ear.  Symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Finding your sea legs can take a few days and to start with many people have mild symptoms of sea sickness.  To prevent or alleviate symptoms get out into the open air walk along the decks and keep your eyes on the horizon, this helps balance the inner ear.

Avoid heavy meals and greasy food anything that is hard to digest, stick to light snacks like ginger biscuits and crackers.  Drink soda water with Angostura bitters, also a great cure for a hangover.  Try herbal teas such as ginger or fennel, and try to avoid dairy products.  Using a couple of drops of lavender on a hankie has great anti nausea properties and also has a calming effect.

For prescribed medicines always try to take a non drowsy medication unless you feel that sleeping would help you.  Both Banadryl and Dramamine treat the symptoms of sea sickness but to be most effective they need to be taken before you set sail.  Another well reported cure for sea sickness is Transderm Scop, a small patch that is placed behind the ear which is applied 8 hours before sailing.

A drug free option to alleviate sea sickness symptoms is acupuncture, enquire if there is an acupuncturist on board ship, or try acupuncture before you set sail.  Sea Bands work on the principle of acupressure on the inside of your wrist and are also available for children.

There are key ways in which you can afford the chances of sea sickness by avoiding sailing in periods of known bad weather.  If it's your first cruise don't go on a Trans-Atlantic or around the world cruise, try a week's cruise first.

Selecting a large cruise liner can help enormously  they have stabilizers incorporated into the design which helps stop the boat from rocking side to side, also the waves on a rougher crossing will have less impact on a larger ship.

Choosing a cabin that is central to the ship will also help but try to stay on deck and keep busy, the sooner you get use to the motion of the ship the better you will be.

On a more positive note research shows that in rough weather only 3% of all cruise passengers experience any symptoms of sea sickness, although women and children seem to be more prone to this unfortunate malady.

So if you think that sea sickness may affect you don't leave it to chance, be prepared.  Get medication from your doctor before you sail, and avoid crossings when the weather can be unsettled.  Sea Sickness is not always preventable but its symptoms can be lessened, leaving you to enjoy your cruise holiday.

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