There’s nothing more upsetting than an upset tummy on a cruise, but 90% of passengers will suffer motion sickness at some point in their lives. If you’ve paid for a holiday on the water, here’s how to ensure it’s all plain sailing, and not plain seasickness.
Be careful at the buffet
Cruises can be indulgent experiences, but there’s nothing worse than stuffing yourself at a buffet and then seeing all that delicious food repeat on you - especially if the waves are rolling you around while you’re running for the bathroom. Pace yourself, enjoy smaller portions and try to avoid overly sugary foods. You’ll probably feel less queasy and more energetic as a result.
Stay out on the deck
You might want to head to your bunk and lie down flat, but looking at the horizon has long helped sailors avoid seasickness. If you feel a bout coming on, get up to the deck and grab some fresh air. Seeing the horizon, as well as the waves, will help your body align with the boat’s movements and mentally prepare you for any sudden jolts that would otherwise make you feel ill.
Eat and drink peppermint or ginger
The powerful ginger root (or Zingiber officinale) has been a key ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and it’s often eaten or drunk in hot tea to prevent nausea and tummy aches. Likewise, peppermint is a tasty way to beat seasickness and can often help adults and children alike forget they felt sick in the first place. Keep some Mentos handy just in case.
Try Dramamine, or the Transderm patch
The Transderm patch (prescription only) helps prevent nausea and vomiting for up to 3 days (72 hours). Dramamine can be bought over the counter and tends to prevent as well as treat any nausea, vomiting and dizziness experienced as a result of seasickness.
Stop drinking alcohol
It’s tempting to have one more gin and tonic before bed, but drinking alcohol can exacerbate motion sickness and worsen any bumps in the night. Try to stick to herbal teas before calling it a day. These will aid digestion and help settle the stomach as you sleep. If you’re missing the booze on your cruise, you can always have a Bloody Mary for breakfast!
Keep drinking water
Keeping your fluids up helps to hydrate the body and can prevent nausea and vomiting. Take a reusable water bottle on your cruise with you, and fill it up from the jugs or machine in the ship's restaurant. Avoid tap water in countries where it’s dangerous to drink it and implement any drinks that contain electrolytes into your diet. Gatorade or fresh coconut juice will also help rehydrate you.
Stick to a river cruise
Booking a cruise that spends a lot of time at port is a good option if you suffer regularly from seasickness. Likewise, river cruising is an excellent idea, especially in Europe. Many of Europe’s waterways are calm and peaceful and still offer endless opportunities to see new things. Alaska's Inside Passage cruises are also pretty calm in general.
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