Cruising - What About Sea Sickness?

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Cruising - What About Sea Sickness?

For those who have never been on a cruise before, it is inevitable that the subject of seasickness will come up (no pun intended! ).

I think what what most cruise ‘newbies’ actually want to know is will they feel sick? Well of course that is always a possibility, you are at sea after all, and some people can feel sick on a perfectly flat canoe lake, but I think that you would need pretty rough seas before that would happen. And in any case, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent it. You can purchase 'Sea Bands' from Boots which press on the acupuncture points on your wrists and are very effective - they are used by cancer patients following chemo to great effect. You can use these as a preventative measure, and they can give you confidence without taking any drugs. They are completely non-invasive and you have nothing to lose by using them.

There are, of course, numerous drugs on the market which you can take to stop you worrying about seasickness (some are best avoided as they can make you sleepy, so only take them at night - can recommend Boots own travel tablets), and on board ship there are little patches which can be purchased, which you put behind your ear, and they slow release an anti-sickness drug. The Americans use these patches a lot. We thought they must all either be giving up smoking or were menopausal when we first saw them!

If you are rather prone to motion sickness, then you will feel less movement on a larger ship rather than a small one. Try to book an outside cabin, as being able to look out at the horizon will help, as will going outside in the fresh air on deck. A balcony cabin is even better as you can sit outside in the refreshing air.

However, in the unlikely event that you do feel really bad, and in our experience such times are extremely rare, the doctor can give you an injection which is highly effective. Having experienced a force 10-11 gale once in the Bay of Biscay, some years ago, I did have an injection, as the ship was heaving about for several days - but I was able to go down for breakfast within the hour and from then onwards I didn't feel a thing. But this is VERY unusual, and very rare in the Caribbean as cruise ships will steer clear of bad weather. The weather on this particular cruise was so bad that it took us an extra day to cross the Bay and we had to miss our first port, Gibraltar - but it certainly did not put me off cruising - in fact I loved watching the rough sea! However, having said that, we have also sailed across the Bay of Biscay several times when it was as calm as a millpond.

But honestly, you are VERY unlikely to need any of these things! You will be travelling very short distances in relatively calm waters, and this will be done mainly at night. During the day, if you are at sea, the ship will be ‘cruising. ’ This actually means that the ship is not going at full power, but is gently steaming slowly and gently to her destination. It is only at night that most ships pick up speed, and this is deliberate, as you are likely to be asleep when the ship is cruising at top speed.

Ultimately, the busier you are the less you will have time to think about sea-sickness - my daughter, who has just completed a 7 month contract as an officer on board Oceana, NEVER felt seasick despite working in the bowels of the ship with no natural light, and crossing the Bay of Biscay every 1-2 weeks on a regular basis - she was just too busy - so attitude of mind is also important. If you board the ship thinking 'oh dear, am I going to feel sick, ' then it will be at the forefront of your mind - in which case I would recommend the seabands and lots of activity. You simply won't have time to think about it - there is far too much going on, and there are so many port days that you really will not have to worry.

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