Seasickness is the worst. Everyone is having a wonderful time on the water while you’re in the corner turning green, trying to keep your last meal down. Seasickness is a form of motion sickness.
Basically, the motion of the ocean can piss off your inner ear. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “The condition causes cold sweats, nausea, and vomiting. Women and children are more prone to motion sickness, but it can affect anyone.” The National Ocean Service says that “if you’ve ever had motion sickness when traveling by car, plane, or amusement park ride, you may be more susceptible to seasickness while aboard a vessel.”
The good news is that you can reduce your risk of getting seasick. “Ask for a cabin on the upper deck or towards the front of the ship,” suggests the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. They also recommend keeping your eyes on the horizon or land when on deck.
If you do get seasick, there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies. We asked TravelAwaits writers who cruise frequently for their favorite seasickness medicines.
“Whenever I cruise I just go to guest services and take whatever they offer. I tend to get seasick and this has always worked for me,” says TravelAwaits contributor Peggy Cleveland. “I also always book a veranda cabin to get fresh air if needed. The newer ships seem to have less rocking. I was surprised when I cruised on Holland America’s newest ship, the Rotterdam, that I didn’t take a single pill or suffer any symptoms.”
If you suffer from seasickness or are taking a cruise soon and want to be prepared just in case, check out these proven remedies from TravelAwaits writers.
“I tried sea sickness pills but they gave me a headache. I tried these bands and they worked perfectly with no side effects. The ball pushes on a pressure point on your wrist and the results are amazing. I took the bands off to see if they were making a difference and when I removed them, I immediately felt sick. When I put them back on, the feeling went away.” — Jeanine Consoli
“Bonine is perfect for times when you’re feeling a bit seasick — and it makes you sleepy with some colorful dreams as well! Time your dosage accordingly, preferably at night to aid your sleep, too. To help it along, look at the horizon instead of at the ground, and don’t take on a completely empty stomach if possible.” — Meryl Pearlstein
“I’m a big believer in treating sea and motion sickness naturally if possible. Ginger candies can really help. I first tried them on a catamaran trip off the coast of Curacao. The sea was high and rough, and a lot of people on our excursion got violently ill. However, these little candies kept nausea at bay for me until we got back to shore. There’s a reason they mix ginger in with Dramamine, but I find the ginger alone works wonders! Peppermints will also help in a pinch!” — Erika Ebsworth-Goold
“As a small-ship cruise expert and writer, I spend a lot of time on ships with my husband. There’s only one problem: He gets seasick in the bathtub! We tried everything from ginger to pressure wrist bands, and from patches to pills. Nothing worked until we found Reliefband, which was developed to provide relief from general nausea, motion sickness, and morning sickness.
It is really small to pack and easy to use. The Reliefband is worn like a watch. Before putting it on your wrist, place a drop of gel that is provided, then turn on the power button and set it to the power level that you feel comfortable with to relieve the nausea. You can keep adjusting the stimulation level, starting at power level one. You can increase the stimulation until you feel the tingling in your palm and middle finger at a comfortable level. When the nausea or motion sickness passes, press the power button for a few seconds and it will turn off.
“Relifband is a bracelet that sends a current to help manage motion sickness symptoms. My husband is the one who gets seasick, not me, and he says this is the best treatment he’s tried. He also uses it on CGI rides that tend to bother people prone to motion sickness and says it helps with that, too.” — Jill Robbins