The cruise industry is currently booming. Tourists are starting to realise the benefits of travelling by sea, noticing the freedom and ease by which they can visit multiple countries and cities in one trip. Sleep by night and wake up to a new country, landscape or city to explore the following day. What’s not to like?
Well, if you’re anything like me, motion sickness is a huge issue! No matter if it’s a plane, train, or boat, I’ll feel sick fairly quickly unless I take certain precautions. So when a friend booked a surprise cruise for me around the Mediterranean, needless to say I was very nervous.
However, I did a lot of research to try and combat the issue and I’m happy to say I didn’t feel sick even once during my amazing cruise. So, to help others like me, I’v written my 6 top tips to avoid motion sickness on a cruise.
Size Does Matter
When it comes to cruising and seasickness, size does matter. Mega cruise ships offer far less motion than smaller cruise boats. Age is also another factor as modern ships tend to have built-in stabilisation which can really steady the boat, even in larger swells.
For your first cruise I would suggest sailing on a ship that carries more than 3,000 people. When I was in the cinema, or watching a show, there was no way I could tell that I was onboard a ship!
As a first-timer I would avoid expedition cruises and luxury cruises as these use smaller boats that generally carry between 100-700 people. Expedition cruises such as Antarctica and Galapagos itineraries also take daily zodiac trips which have loads of motion.
Get A Low Berth
When booking your cruise, make sure you ask your agent for a berth that is low down in the ship. The further down you are the less motion you’ll feel. This is particularly important as you’ll be mainly using your cabin to sleep.
You may not get the best views, but it’s better than feeling sick. If you don’t mind not having a window, then a cabin close to the middle of the boat will also experience less motion – they will also be the cheapest option which is a bonus. You can’t beat a good window and balcony view though!
The Horizon Trick
Most people know this little tip, but I’m mentioning it because it really does work! If you’re feeling a little queazy, go outside and stare towards the horizon. Keep your gaze steady on the line between the ocean and the sky and you’ll soon feel a little better. The fresh air will also help if you’ve been cooped up in your cabin for a while.
Avoid The Obvious
You would be surprised how many people drink alcohol onboard even when they suffer from seasickness. Feeling hungover is only going to increase the motion sickness affects and will make your morning even worse.
You should also avoid other people struggling from seasickness. Seeing someone vomit into a bag is only going to trigger your own feeling of sickness! Lastly, avoid reading or writing. Trying to read whilst your ship is in motion will never end well.
Hit Me With Ginger
Ginger is without doubt the most famous natural remedy for seasickness and most cruise ships will have ginger tea, biscuits etc. onboard for this situation.
Personally, ginger has never helped me that much, but I know numerous people who swear by it. If you’re feeling a little queazy, just sip some ginger infusion tea or nibble on a ginger biscuit. It may work, it may not – but worth trying if nothing else is working.
Medication Does Work
Sadly, the best thing to combat seasickness is drugs. I personally would prefer to deal with the issue without medication, but in my case it’s sometimes unavoidable. For most travellers, standard seasickness medication will be enough to counter the mild motion of a cruise.
Brands like Sturgeon, Benadryl and Bonine are all fine and have worked well for me in the past. Even if these drugs do not normally help you, I would suggest you try them first as there is seriously very little motion onboard a mega cruise ship.
If you need something stronger then that is a conversation for your doctor. However, make sure you rest the medication before you leave in case you have a bad reaction!