Don’t let seasickness, or the fear of it, ruin your cruise planning and enjoyment. There are plenty of remedies that can help you out and remember: prevention is better than cure.

For many cruise passengers, the fear of potential ‘mal de mer’ barely registers in comparison to the excitement of the oncoming cruise. And many have no need to worry – either because they will soon be sailing in calm waters or won’t suffer from any seasickness symptoms at all. For others though, the wobble of the ship can be crippling. Here, Cruise Passenger looks at some of the best remedies.

Prevention is better than cure

If you have suffered from seasickness before or are embarking on your first cruise and are not sure whether you’ll gain your “sea legs”, remember that it’s best to take precautionary measures before you get on board.

  • In the days leading up to your voyage, make sure you get your recommended hours of sleep (generally eight hours a night), eat healthily and do some light exercise.
  • In the 24 hours before embarking, eat lightly and limit acidic, spicy and fatty foods, as well as alcohol. It is believed ginger can help seasickness symptoms so enjoy it in its various forms, including tablets, tea, dried and candied, or fresh.
  • If you are particularly worried or prone to seasickness you can get a prescription from your GP for a scopolamine patch, which helps prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. You put the patch behind your ear about four hours before embarking on your voyage and each patch prevents the onset of symptoms for up to 72 hours. There are occasionally side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth and blurred vision and online reviews of the patch are mixed so check with your doctor if it will be suitable for you.
  • You can get other, less powerful, medications over the counter at your local pharmacy. Tablets containing Dramamine, Bonine can be helpful when taken before boarding and during the cruise. One downside is that these medications are a type of antihistamine and can cause drowsiness – and you don’t want to miss any fun things on board!
  • Wristbands are a popular drug-free remedy related to the acupuncture field of natural medicine. PsiBands are one such product that is worn around both wrists at the Nei-kuan acupressure point, which helps to relieve nausea associated with motion sickness and morning sickness.

Once you’ve turned green

Should none of the above remedies work, or if you thought you may have been resistant to the motion of the ocean, and the seas get rough, you begin to sweat and nauseate jot down the following tips to help get you through.

  • Make your way to the middle of the ship as close to the waterline as possible. This is the most stable, and least rocky, place on the ship.
  • Make sure you’re facing forwards.
  • Look out the window or go out on deck for some fresh air and to look at the horizon or a distant, stationary object. This will help your brain to realise that you are, in fact, moving.
  • Eat ginger in any form – tea, candies (as long as they actually have real ginger in them), tablets, fresh.
  • Eat salty snacks to help dry up your stomach.
  • Sip water slowly and at intervals.
  • Lie down and relax. Don’t watch television or read a book.