Seasick sufferers unite!
We really have heard it all. A past experience with a dinghy or even the Manly Ferry, which, I must admit, from my own experience will rock from side to side even in the smallest of waves! Others have had family or friends tell horror stories of gigantic freak waves – think Poseidon Adventure or grandpa’s ol’ Navy days when the men were lashed to their beds to stop them falling out. Or slippery sea creatures from the deep that can swallow the ship whole. Or people who have watched Titanic a few too many times and are fixated by icebergs (even when enquiring about a South Pacific cruise!).
The main worry, though, that we hear from first time cruisers is this… “I would love to go cruising but I get seasick!” Although they are yet to go on a cruise, our potential sailors have already decided that they WILL be seasick. Cruising the high seas, they believe, will see them suffering from symptoms of nausea, headaches, sweating, stomach cramps, and at worst vomiting (gross) during the voyage.
Science tells us it all starts in the head – quite literally! Mal de Mar, or seasickness is a visual challenge to the brain, caused by the conflict of being in motion (eg onboard a ship) while the body’s equilibrium or balancing system is telling us that we are actually standing still. Tricky. However, scientific studies have also shown that the mere suggestion of seasickness is enough to make some people feel queezy. Weird! While many of the stories may be in the mind, the reality is that some people can and do suffer from seasickness.
Don’t let seasickness hold you back!
The choice facing potential cruisers is to give up on the dream of an amazing cruising holiday (o no!) A dream that includes destinations, accommodation, multiple dining choices, entertainment and more. Or to locate a remedy, take the plunge, climb onboard and go to sea (woohoo! Yes please!). We know you want to cruise, so here are a few tried and true remedies to start with when you join your dream cruise.
- Choose a bigger ship. Compared to the huge open ocean, any ship is quite small. This means you will feel the motion of the ocean to varying degrees. And although the captain’s do a great job of avoiding most large weather systems, it stands to reason that the larger mega-ships will be less likely to experience excessive movement than smaller cruise ships. River cruise ships, cruising on a river, will also experience very little motion and are a great choice to avoid any hint of seasickness.
- Go central, stay low. Your cruise solutions specialist will tell you that the most stable part of a ship is on a lower deck, towards the middle of a ship. This is an ideal position for your cabin. It could be said that an inside cabin, with no view of the horizon may assist sufferers, providing dark cosy spaces to sleep in. While others feel the need for a breeze on their face, so a balcony cabin would work best for you.
- Fins work well. Most modern ships will have stabilizers located midway down their length. They’re a sort of a “fin” that can be extended either side of the ship when in rougher seas. They make it easier for the ship to move forward and dramatically reduce any side to side motion.
- Magic Brain. For the majority of sufferers, it is only the first day or so that they will really feel the roll of the ocean. Once you gain your “sea-legs” (the brain has worked out that it’s on a moving vessel and adapted) the sickness seems to vanish as if by magic.
- Swirling & Churning. Avoid high fat greasy foods for the first few days as they will tend to swirl around in your stomach (not a good sign). Avoid too, sugary foods that may contribute to headaches and dizziness. Alcohol has a nasty habit of making the world spin uncontrollably before you get your sea-legs, so best to keep it to a minimum ‘til you are steady on your feet.
- Ol’ Mariners have suggested looking at the horizon – the only static thing in a moving ocean. This could just be a fast-track to reset your brain’s balancing act. In other words, your brain will register faster that you CAN BE in motion (on a ship) while standing still. (I have heard tale that putting your feet in ice water works as well, although I think it’s more of a distraction for the brain rather than a remedy.)
- Medic! An injection from the ship’s doctor. Pretty much guaranteed to work within about half an hour. Many believe that the pain of an injection is preferable to a bout of seasickness.
- A little sleep. Over the counter (or prescribed) medication. Common brands include Tramadol, Travacalm, Calmx, Qwells (Kwells), Dramamine.Be aware that some will make you drowsy, so you will get some sleep if nothing else. Anti-nausea medicines like Stemetil may also used for seasickness. Many cruisers begin the medication a day or so prior to boarding.
- Re-balancing Act. Wrist bands with magnets, or sea-bands using pressure points located just above your wrist area. Said to cause a re-balancing effect on your brain to give you your sealegs.
- Ginger Up. Many cruisers swear by ginger as a cure to calm the stomach and soothe the mind. It can be drunk as tea, or eaten in crystallised or natural form. There are even ginger tablets you can take. Even ginger beer or ginger ale will help. Green apples, papaya and fennel are other suggestions.
- Just Breathe. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax. Easier said than done, however if you reduce your brains distractions it may kick into gear earlier and produce your sea-legs a little faster.
It’s simple. Start small. Ask a cruise solutions specialist about a getaway cruise or a shorter cruising itinerary. We’re sure you will return happy and healthy, with cocktail in hand and sea-breeze through your hair… and with a passion for new cruising adventures! With seasickness (and icebergs and slippery sea creatures) out of mind you can enjoy tropical cruises to the South Pacific Islands, Hawaii, discover an Asia River Cruise… or venture further to Europe, Alaska and more!
Seasick sufferers unite! Take onboard one or more of the remedies above, or discover one of your own. Whatever works for you to make the dream of an amazing cruising holiday a happy reality.
Speak to one of our Cruise Solution Specialists today on 1300 657 948
Do you have any seasickness remedies or first-timer stories? Share and send to firstname.lastname@example.org