Steps to Avoid Getting Seasick on a Cruise

prevent seasickness
Darkening sky often means one thing for seasickness-prone cruisers: Nausea ahead. - Photo by Thinkstock

Getting seasick on a cruise can easily ruin your vacation. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned one, it’s important to know what you can do to ensure that rough seas don’t banish you to your cabin. Here are 5 ways to prevent seasickness:

1. Choose a ship with fin stabilizers.

cruise ship sea sick seasickness stabilizers

You won't see the stabilizers, but you will feel (won't feel?) the effects. - Photo by Wikipedia Commons

These large, underwater “wings” on the left and right of the ship help keep it straight and upright. The newer the ship, the more advanced the stabilizers, which will keep the vessel steady in rougher conditions.


2. Select your itinerary carefully.

itinerary seasickness sea sick

Some itineraries are rough year round, while others are only choppy at certain times. - Photo by Thinkstock

Though storms and high winds can occur anywhere and at any time, certain regions are known for particularly rough waters. Avoid ocean crossings, Mediterranean sailings during fall and winter, the Caribbean during hurricane season (June through November), and Alaska cruises that pass through the Pacific.


3. Book the right cabin.

best cruise cabin seasick sea sick

We've circled the sweet spot for cabins. - Photo by Alexander Cher

Passengers in bow cabins — at or near the front of the ship —and staterooms in the highest decks will feel the most motion. Midship cabins, which are always first to be sold out, are least motion-sensitive. See our step-by-step guide on picking the right cruise ship cabin for more info. 


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4. Pack prescription medication.

transderm scop sea sick seasickness cruise

Transderm Scop is worth going to your doctor for a prescription. - Photo by Transderm Scop

Acupressure wristbands and antihistamines, such as Dramamine, are available without prescriptions and may work for some. But Transderm Scōp, the small, prescription patch applied behind the ear, is considered the most effective and long-lasting of anti-seasickness drugs. Best of all, it’s less likely to make you drowsy than over-the-counter medications, and more likely to work than homeopathic options.


5. Act quickly.

cruise ship seasick seasickness act fast

Spring into action the second you see dark clouds on the horizon. - Photo by Bryan Busovicki

Pay attention: The first symptom can be as harmless as yawning. If winds are picking up and you start to notice heavier rocking, take your meds and move to a less motion-sensitive area of the ship before seasickness hits.



Join The Discussion

What has worked best for you for alleviating seasickness?


Posted by ScubaBadger

You could of for a very handy app you can have with you full time and not worry about drugs..

Look up a product called nevasic - it's been clinically trialled by Westminster College of Medicine - their results published in the Journal of Travel Medicine.

Posted by Wyn

Over the counter Bonine is great, just take it midmorning before you cruise. It's chewable and doesn't make you as drowsy as the other meds. Try to get a midship cabin and spend most of your day hours on the pool deck when the ship is at sea. You can also bring ginger candy or some crystalized ginger with you. Ginger ale doesn't really work as there is practically no ginger in it. If you can find ginger tea ( health food stores, Whole Foods) bring it along and have that each morning. It is also good for an upset stomach.

Posted by LinD

Is it possible that you can get some meds from the ship, sometime I might forget to take my own.

Posted by TaraBonVoyage

The Transderm Scōp works wonders. The only downside was that I had blurred vision for 48 hours after I had taken it off. I thought I needed glasses!

Posted by CruiselineQ

I've found having some ginger helps. But not exactly easy to walk around with raw ginger!

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