If you’re worried that you won’t enjoy a cruise because you’ll get seasick – a form of motion sickness that results from the rolling motion of a ship – be assured that it’s not an automatic effect of cruising.
Some people may be susceptible to seasickness, but many are never bothered by it. There will be rocking or other movement of the ship from time to time, but you may be surprised by how gentle that motion can be. In addition, your ship will be specially equipped to minimize rolling, and there’s a lot you can do before and during the cruise to guard against seasickness.
All modern cruise ships have stabilizers attached to the hull, which reduce any rolling (side-to-side motion) of the ship. Stabilizers use sensors to automatically position themselves to best counteract the rolling effect of waves; the captain and crew can also control the position of stabilizers as needed. Plus, the ship’s officers are trained to set a course that will minimize pitching (front-to-back movement) as well as rolling.
While making cruise reservations, you can book a stateroom in the most stable part of the ship. Ask your travel professional for assistance.
Before you depart, consult with your doctor about anti-seasickness medications. Your doctor may recommend an antihistamine, available over the counter; or, a prescription adhesive patch, which can provide several days of protection.
If you don’t know whether or not you are susceptible to seasickness, give yourself a chance to find out. The excitement of getting familiar with the ship and attending the launch party may help distract you from any potential seasickness; before you know it, you’ll be out at sea and having a wonderful time! If you do feel nausea or other symptoms, Mayo Clinic recommends taking these steps:
- Sit on deck for a while and focus on the horizon. Keep your head still and rest it against the back of the deck chair.
- Avoid spicy or greasy foods and alcohol; ask a waiter for some dry crackers or a carbonated beverage to help settle your stomach.
- Take an antihistamine (be prepared for drowsiness as a side effect) or put on your patch.
Chances are, you’ll soon feel better and will adjust to the motion of the ship. Bon voyage!