Can I Get Seasick On A Cruise?

Have you ever dreamt of going on a relaxing cruise, but hesitate because you’re worried about getting seasick? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! The motion of the ocean can sometimes be a cause for concern, especially for first-time cruisers. However, let me put your fears to rest and assure you that there are plenty of ways to prevent and manage seasickness on a cruise. In this article, we’ll delve into the topic in detail and provide you with all the information you need to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience.

Throughout this article, we’ll explore the various factors that can contribute to seasickness on a cruise, such as ship movements, cabin location, and your own susceptibility to motion. We’ll discuss the common symptoms of seasickness and provide you with practical tips and tricks to prevent or alleviate it. From choosing the right cabin to taking over-the-counter medications, we have got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a journey filled with helpful advice and insights on how to have a seasickness-free cruise. Don’t let the fear of getting seasick hold you back from experiencing the adventure and tranquility of sailing the open seas!

What is seasickness?

Definition of seasickness

Seasickness, also known as motion sickness, is a condition that occurs when there is a disconnect between what your eyes see and what your inner ear, responsible for balance, senses. This commonly happens when you are traveling on a boat or ship, particularly during rough sea conditions.

Causes of seasickness

Seasickness is primarily caused by the constant rocking and swaying motion of a vessel on the water. The movement of the boat throws off the balance signals from your inner ear, leading to the symptoms of seasickness. However, there are several factors that can contribute to the onset of this uncomfortable condition.

Symptoms of seasickness

Nausea and vomiting

One of the most well-known symptoms of seasickness is a feeling of nausea, which is often accompanied by vomiting. This occurs as a result of the conflicting information received by your brain, leading to a sense of imbalance and stomach upset.

Dizziness and lightheadedness

Another common symptom of seasickness is dizziness or lightheadedness. The constant motion of the boat can disrupt your body’s ability to maintain balance, causing you to feel unsteady on your feet.

Sweating and cold sweats

Many individuals who experience seasickness may also notice excessive sweating or cold sweats. This can be a result of the body’s response to the discomfort and anxiety caused by the motion of the boat.

Loss of appetite

Seasickness can often lead to a loss of appetite. The combination of nausea and feeling unwell can make it difficult to enjoy or even think about food.

Fatigue and lethargy

Feeling tired and lacking energy is another symptom frequently associated with seasickness. The constant motion of the boat can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling fatigued.

Factors that influence seasickness

Sea conditions

The severity of seasickness can be influenced by the condition of the sea. Rough waters with large swells and choppy waves are more likely to induce seasickness compared to calm and steady seas.

Individual susceptibility

Some individuals are more prone to seasickness than others. Factors such as age, previous experience with motion sickness, and overall health can contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to seasickness.


Certain medications can increase the likelihood of experiencing seasickness. For example, medications that affect the inner ear or have side effects such as drowsiness can worsen symptoms.

Alcohol consumption

Consuming alcohol before or during a cruise can exacerbate the symptoms of seasickness. Alcohol can further impair your balance and make you more susceptible to feeling unwell.

Poor diet and dehydration

A poor diet and dehydration can also contribute to the likelihood of experiencing seasickness. Eating heavy or greasy meals before or during a cruise can increase feelings of nausea, while dehydration can worsen overall symptoms.

Prevention and remedies for seasickness

Choosing the right cabin location

When booking a cruise, it is important to consider the location of your cabin. Cabins located in the middle of the ship and on lower decks tend to experience less movement, making them a better choice for those prone to seasickness.

Stabilization methods

Modern cruise ships are equipped with various stabilization methods to minimize the rocking and swaying motion. These include stabilizers and technology that help stabilize the ship, reducing the likelihood of seasickness.

Over-the-counter medications

There are several over-the-counter medications available that can help alleviate the symptoms of seasickness. These include antihistamines such as Dramamine and Bonine, which can help reduce nausea and dizziness.

Prescription medications

If over-the-counter medications do not provide sufficient relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications specifically designed to combat motion sickness. These medications should be taken as directed and may have side effects, so consulting with a healthcare professional is important.

Natural remedies

Some individuals find relief from seasickness through natural remedies. Ginger, in various forms such as capsules, tea, or candies, has been known to have anti-nausea properties and can help alleviate symptoms.

Acupressure bands

Acupressure bands are wristbands that apply pressure to certain points on the wrist believed to relieve nausea. These bands can be purchased over-the-counter and are a non-medicated alternative for combating seasickness.

Additional tips for minimizing seasickness

Eating light and frequent meals

To avoid aggravating seasickness symptoms, it is recommended to eat light, easy-to-digest meals throughout the day. Avoid heavy or greasy foods that can further upset your stomach.

Staying hydrated

Keeping yourself well-hydrated is essential, as dehydration can worsen seasickness symptoms. Drink water regularly to maintain hydration levels.

Avoiding alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine can worsen the symptoms of seasickness. It is best to avoid consuming these beverages before or during a cruise to minimize discomfort.

Getting fresh air

Stepping outside and getting fresh air can help alleviate symptoms of seasickness. The circulation of fresh air and the change in environment can help distract your mind from feeling unwell.

Focusing on the horizon

Looking at the horizon and focusing on a stationary point can help reorient your brain and reduce feelings of dizziness and nausea.

Engaging in distracting activities

Engaging in distracting activities, such as reading a book or watching a movie, can help take your mind off the motion of the boat and alleviate symptoms.

What to do if you start feeling seasick

Informing the crew or medical staff

If you start feeling seasick, it is important to inform the crew or medical staff onboard. They are trained to assist and can provide additional remedies or guidance.

Seeking a calm and restful environment

Finding a calm and restful environment can help alleviate symptoms. Moving to a quieter area of the ship or lying down in a comfortable position may provide some relief.

Avoiding excessive movement

To minimize the effects of seasickness, try to avoid excessive movement or activities that may worsen symptoms. Take it easy and allow your body to adjust to the motion of the boat.

Keeping hydrated and nourished

Maintaining hydration and nourishment is crucial when experiencing seasickness. Sip on water and consume small, bland snacks to provide your body with the necessary nutrients.

Trying acupressure or ginger

If you haven’t already, consider trying acupressure bands or ginger as natural remedies for seasickness. These can help alleviate symptoms and provide relief.

Seasickness vs. motion sickness

Differences between seasickness and motion sickness

Seasickness and motion sickness are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight distinction between the two. Seasickness specifically refers to the nausea and discomfort experienced at sea, while motion sickness encompasses the same symptoms but can occur in any mode of transportation.

Similarities and common symptoms

Both seasickness and motion sickness share common symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. The underlying cause of both conditions is the conflicting signals received by the brain regarding balance and movement.

Common misconceptions about seasickness

Seasickness only affects weak individuals

Seasickness does not discriminate based on strength or weakness. It can affect anyone, regardless of their physical fitness or overall health. The susceptibility to seasickness varies among individuals.

Seasickness can only occur during storms

Contrary to popular belief, seasickness can occur even during relatively calm sea conditions. While rough waters can exacerbate symptoms, it is not necessary for a storm to be present for seasickness to occur.

Addressing concerns about seasickness on a cruise

Modern cruise ships and stabilization technologies

Modern cruise ships are equipped with advanced stabilization technologies that help reduce the motion felt onboard. These technologies aim to create a smoother and more comfortable experience for passengers, minimizing the likelihood of seasickness.

Availability of medical services onboard

Cruise ships have medical facilities onboard staffed with trained medical professionals who can assist with seasickness symptoms. They can provide medications, advice, and support for those experiencing discomfort.

Cruise itineraries and preferred routes

Cruise itineraries are carefully planned to avoid rough seas whenever possible. Cruise lines choose preferred routes that offer the smoothest sailing conditions, minimizing the chances of seasickness for their passengers.


While seasickness can be a common concern for those considering a cruise, understanding the causes, symptoms, and prevention methods can help alleviate worries. By taking appropriate measures such as choosing the right cabin location, utilizing stabilization methods, and trying remedies or medications, you can minimize the chances of experiencing seasickness on a cruise. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and to enjoy your cruise to the fullest.