Cruises can be a fun way to go out and see the world without any of the stress or chaos that comes with a typical trip. Once on the boat your traveling arrangements are taken care of, you have an unlimited supply of food that comes in a huge variety, there are tons of activities and entertainment options, and nothing beats sitting by the pool in the sunshine.
And that’s just being on the boat, you still have the stops the cruise ship makes that’ll give you access to interesting locations and fun things to do. For someone who’s never traveled or someone not wanting the headaches that come with booking hotels, renting cars, navigating public transport, or finding places to eat every day, a cruise can be a great alternative.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to being on a boat all day every day for a week. The constant up and down motion of the boat riding the waves can cause even the strongest of stomachs to get queasy at times. The last thing you want to do is spend the entire trip in the bathroom, so here are some tips that my wife and I have found help with sea sickness and provide a more enjoyable experience.
Sea sickness is a result of your inner ear balance going out of whack because of the constant rocking of the ocean. Because you’ve lived on solid earth most of your life your inner ear is not used to this new motion, so your entire system goes haywire.
The best way to combat this is to center your balance as much as possible. The center of the ship at its lowest point is the most stable spot to be in. Having your room located there can go a long way to giving you some stability after spending the day in other parts of the boat. Worst case scenario you can go here to let everything settle before going back out to rocky parts of the ship like the front or back.
Yes, the rooms tend to be more expensive here, but the extra cost might be worth it if it’s the difference of an awesome cruise or being sick the whole time.
Room With A View
Speaking of room location there is a lot to be said about getting a room with a window overlooking the horizon. Many people swear by being able to see the stable horizon in the distance and giving their minds something to focus on other than the swaying.
It also provides you with a bit of sunshine and fresh air. Being cooped up in a small room with no windows can be claustrophobic and make your sea sickness worse. Being able to catch a fresh breeze or a few rays from the comfort of your room can be the ticket you need to keep the worst of sea sickness at bay.
Again, these rooms tend to be more expensive, but might be worth it if you have troubles with sea sickness.
Cruises are known for their wide selection of meals around the clock. From vast buffets to fine dining, the occasional snack at odd hours and a supply of limitless ice cream, if you ever go hungry on a cruise it’s never the cruise’s fault.
This endless supply of nourishment can be a bad thing if you’re feeling sea sick and can even trigger sea sickness if you’re not careful. If you’re feeling nauseous don’t be afraid to stick to simpler things like the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast).
It might also be a good idea to avoid the more intense foods like deep fried items, spicy dishes, or anything you’re not familiar with and won’t know how it’ll react in your stomach.
Trust me, saying no to the buffet of wonderful options is a hard sacrifice, but you don’t want to miss out on the cruise because you couldn’t say no to your third helping of pizza. Just take it easy and wait for your stomach to settle, that food isn’t going anywhere.
Sea-Bands (PSI Bracelets)
Full disclosure, I have no understanding of the more complicated parts of the human body or how pressure points have a relation to it, but I know that when used properly it can help with various problems.
Sea-Bands are simple wrist bands that have a plastic dome that apply pressure to the inside of your wrist when you wear them. This pressure at this key point on your wrists somehow counteracts the imbalance that causes sea sickness and eliminates all of the side affects like nausea, headaches, dizziness, and so on.
The first day I had a little bit of a headache and upset stomach but putting one of these on made that go away very quickly. After the first day I found I didn’t need it anymore and stopped wearing it without any problems. My wife struggled on and off with occasional dizziness throughout the cruise but wearing one of these on each wrist went a long way to keeping the worst of it at bay. After the first day, you really just forget you are even wearing them.
We personally used the Sea-Band brand and found they worked very well for us. They’re cheap, you can get them online or at places like Wal-greens for less than $10, and are very effective at keeping sea sickness at bay long-term.
While there are other things you can do like taking over the counter medication like Dramamine, never getting off the boat, never swimming and other tips, we found these four to be the most effective without compromising too much of what makes a cruise fun.
It’s also been our experience that after the first day or two your inner ear will become used to the movement of the waves and you’ll find sea sickness won’t be too much of a problem if at all. So, apply some of the tips and give it time while you look forward to an awesome cruise vacation.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.