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A wise man once said ‘To cure seasickness, simply sit under a tree for an hour.’ Now, that definitely works, but it doesn’t really help you while you’re at sea.

With that in mind, we’ll explain what seasickness is, and provide a list of the most helpful remedies for seasickness whilst on a cruise.

What is motion sickness (seasickness)?

Motion sickness (AKA seasickness, airsickness, carsickness, etc.) is caused by your inner ear sending messages that your body is moving whilst your eyes ‘say’ you are still. You may be standing straight on the deck, but in high seas, that deck will be slowly undulating along with the waves. These two conflicting signals leave the balance centres of your brain confused, and you feel ill. Because we know what causes seasickness, though, we know a few good ways to treat it.

  • Choose a cabin towards the centre of the ship. This will be near the ship’s centre of mass, where the movement will be at its minimum.
  • Look into over-the-counter medications. Bonine and Dramamine are both popular options that work wonders for many sufferers. Even Benadryl is said to work for some people. However, these are antihistamines, so they can make you drowsy and shouldn’t be taken with alcohol. Most are available in children’s dosages.
  • Consider prescription You can see a doctor about getting something more powerful, such as a scopolamine patch to wear behind your ear. Other options are ‘anti-emetics’ like ondansetron and prochlorperazine which treat the nausea directly. There is usually a ship’s doctor available, and he or she will almost certainly be an expert in treating seasickness.
  • Spend some time up on deck. The fresh air can help all by itself, and focusing on the actual horizon rather than the moving deck can help your eyes and inner ear agree about whether you are moving.
  • Don’t eat heavily or drink alcohol before boarding the ship. These don’t make seasickness more likely, but they make it a lot less pleasant if it does occur.
  • Some people swear by acupressure. Acupressure-based products like the Sea-Band wristband are said to work on a pressure point on the wrist.
  • Eat the right foods. There are quite a few foods that can minimise your symptoms, or so we’re told:
    • Candied ginger is good for settling the stomach.
    • Cream crackers are a queasy-tummy classic.
    • Water, especially with a lemon or lime wedge.
    • Olives are said to reduce salivation, which can help a bit.
    • Nuts are salty and full of energy – both good if you don’t feel much like eating.
    • Yoghurt is good for you in general, and very gentle on the digestion – unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course.
  • Lie down and rest. Sometimes seasickness will fade after a time, and keeping your head still can help the process.

If all else fails, choose a short cruise, or one which spends more time in closely situated ports than at sea. Some people will always enjoy their time in exotic ports more than their time actually at sea. If this is the case, there are still many cruises to choose from!

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About Author

Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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