Family Travel Question:

Q | How likely are we to get seasick on a cruise?

Would we get seasick on a cruise ship if we get sick going out on smaller boats fishing in the ocean? And if so, what is the best way to treat it so we can enjoy our cruise? - Jill, Oregon

A | Fighting seasickness on a cruise

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My husband and I were very nervous about seasickness when we went our first cruise. We haven’t had a lot of experience on the water, so we didn’t know how it would affect us.

You may have heard people say that the ship is so big that you don’t feel any movement.  This isn’t exactly true. While it’s true that the ship is big, and you’re not tossing about as you would in a smaller vessel, if there are windy days with rough seas, you will feel some gentle rocking motion.  We found that it was sometimes hard to keep our balance when walking while seas were rough. (Wearing sturdy shoes also helps in these situations.)

So, what to do to be sure you enjoy your cruise even if you feel some of the ship’s movement?

First of all, book a cabin that is low and inside, or at least in the center of the ship. You will feel more movement on the upper decks and at the ends of the ship.  Someone likened it to a teeter-totter.  The people on the ends move up and down a lot more than someone perched in the middle.

Take motion-sickness medication while you’re on land.  Don’t wait until you’re starting to feel queasy.  The medications work so that they help keep you at the level you’re at when you take it.  Take it while you’re on solid ground and it will help keep you feeling well.  Take it when you’re feeling unwell and you’ll lock in your queasiness.  Since I wasn’t sure how the ocean would affect me, I took the medication throughout the cruise as a “just in case” measure.  Maybe I would have been fine without it, but I didn’t want to test the theory and chance a miserable day.

If you’re really concerned about this, you may want to try a shorter cruise with fewer sea days and more time in port just to test the waters and see how you do. A cruise is a nice vacation.  I hope you enjoy yours!

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