You have got your flights scheduled and transportation arranged to your cruise ship’s port. A nice cabin with a little balcony is just waiting for you to sit and enjoy the ocean views. There’s just one little problem that’s niggling at the back of your mind – what if you get seasick? That is the dreaded fear of any first-time cruiser.
Upset stomach, motion sickness, sea sickness, green around the gills … there are many names for it. Basically, seasickness can be traced back to your ears. What do your ears have to do with being sick to your stomach? It is all a mater of balance; there are little nerve strands in your inner ear that become over sensitized. Your sense of perception is thrown out of whack when these little nerve strands try to make up for the strange rocking or bobbing motions of the ship.
Most people get their “sea legs” after a few days on the ship. However, by that time you will have spent about half of your trip inside the confines of a bathroom. That’s no fun! Luckily, there are some over the counter options as well as some alternative remedies that should get you up and moving more quickly or even prevent seasickness from occurring.
Dramamine is probably the most widely know seasickness treatment. It is available over the counter without a prescription. Dramamine has anti-histamines in it so it probably will make you sleepy or lethargic. For those who would rather see a view other than a toilet, this is probably not a bad option. It is recommended that your take a dose a few hours before you set sail.
You can make a doctor’s visit before your cruise to get a prescription for a motion sickness patch. This patch is usually put behind the ear and releases a continuous stream of medicine that enters the blood by way of skin absorption. If you put the patch on a few hours before you set sail, it should start working and stay effective for several days. Unfortunately, there are a few side effects that could include sleepiness, cotton mouth and distorted vision. Mixing alcohol with the effects of the patch could enhance those side effects.
If you are a proponent of acupuncture and other homeopathic cures, consider wearing a Sea-Band. This wristband has a button on the inside of it that pushes against pressure points inside your wrist area, using the theory of acupressure. The queasiness that accompanies seasickness often goes away using this acupressure technique.
Dry crackers, ginger ale and even crystallized ginger often work for pregnant women with morning sickness, so the same theory applies for seasickness. Lying down often eases some of the symptoms as would inhaling some of the fresh ocean air. Some people swear that by maintaining your eye on the horizon, your equilibrium improves.
There is just no way to know if you will get seasick unless you set sail. However, there are some good indicators that you might be vulnerable to seasickness. For instance, if you get sick in a car or airplane, you could prepare yourself for the possibility of seasickness by popping a Dramamine or wear a Sea-Band. To lessen your chances of an episode of seasickness, book a room with a porthole or window so you can see the horizon. But most of all, remember that the bigger the cruise ship, the more stability it has and the less likelihood of feeling a wavy motion that can cause seasickness. Being prepared for the possibility is all you can do, so look forward to your cruise and bring some clothing that goes well with green, just in case.