Tips to Combat Seasickness

I think that one of the first concerns that new cruisers have is if they will have to deal with seasickness on board the cruise ship.  It’s never a fun thing to get on a ship and feel sick the entire time that you’re sailing.

As for me, I do get motion sickness, but that tends to happen when I’m going round and round, like on the Disney World Teacups.  I can also get sick if I’m on a small boat and it’s not moving.  As long as we’re forging ahead, I’m fine, but the minute that the boat stops and starts rolling with the waves, I’m in trouble.  I’ve also gotten sick on a semi-submersible submarine in St. Martin.  The combination of heat and rolling really got to me, even though I’d taken Dramamine before we started.

So, how do I cope?

What are my best remedies for seasickness?  The first time I sailed I was really nervous about it.  I ended up getting Sea Bands, and also taking Less Drowsy Dramamine, which is the same as Bonine.  But…I didn’t even realize that we had left that first port, that’s how smoothly the Carnival Fantasy sailed. And I found that I was fine on the ship, and could take off the Sea Bands.  Those things can start hurting after a while. 

Dramamine, Bonine, and Meclizine HCI

My go-to method now is to take Less Drowsy Dramamine (Bonine and Meclizine HCI are the same thing). However, first thing to remember is to start taking your motion sickness remedy on the first morning BEFORE you get onto the ship.  That way it can start working before you really need it.  I take one pill each morning and one pill each night before bedtime.  I even keep taking it after I get off the ship because I tend to get more motion sickness after I’m back on land, which usually lasts for a few days after the cruise. You could use regular Dramamine, but I find that it makes me too sleepy. Check out these affiliate links. If you bought any it wouldn’t cost you more, but I’d make a bit of commission.

Sea Bands

Sea bands are a totally natural way to combat seasickness.  They are stretchy wristbands with buttons on them that apply pressure to the P6 acupressure point on each wrist when you wear them.  The plus to these wristbands is that they will not cause drowsiness, and you’re not putting any medications into your body.  The minus to them is that they can be pretty tight.  When I tried them, eventually they hurt enough that I had to take them off.  I can’t verify that they work because I took Dramamine at the same time.  When I took the Sea Bands off, I still did not get seasick. But they are definitely worth a try if you don’t want to or can’t take medication. 


Another remedy that I use is Ginger.   I take Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals with ginger, or I bring Ginger Ale onto the ship with me, if allowed. Check with your cruiseline to see what they permit you to bring onboard. Or bring some Ginger tea bags.  This is good if you’re trying to stick with natural methods, and it does help. 

Green Apples and diet

Another natural remedy that some swear by are green apples, which seem to work for some reason. They worked for me on my last cruise when I forgot my Bonine. Also, before your cruise be careful of what you eat and drink.  Caffeine and alcohol can worsen your nausea.  Small meals may help.

The Patch

Some people love the motion sickness patch (Transderm Scop).  If you’re on a ship you’ll see them on many people placed behind the ear.  These patches are by prescription, so check with your doctor before you go on your cruise.  It may be a good idea to talk to him anyway if you have health problems. He can tell you what you can and cannot take.  I have heard of cases where the patch can cause hallucinations, so you may want to test it out before you get on the ship.

I’ve also seen other types of patches on Amazon that are supposedly natural and have no side effects.  I’ve never tried these so I don’t know if they work, or anything about their safety. 

What if you do get sick despite all efforts?

If you do end up with motion sickness first thing to do is lie down and get some rest.  A good nap may help, along with some crackers or a green apple.  The ship’s doctor’s office should have some medication to help if it’s really bad.  And time alone should help you to feel much better.  Some ships will put out barf bags if the sea really gets rough.   If you see these bags on the stairways, you’re in for some rough weather.

How rocky are ships anyway?

Most ships have something called a stabilizer, which does as it says, stabilizes the ship.  I’ve felt ships rocking before, but it’s never been all that bad, and I’ve never gotten seasick on a ship.  You may find, like me, that after you’ve been cruising for a few days, your body has acclimated to the swells of the sea, and you no longer need your medication.   If the weather is rough, however, you will feel more movement.  You’ll also feel more movement if the Captain is sailing fast.   But don’t let seasickness scare you from enjoying your first cruise.  As you can see, there are ways to cope.

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