How Do I Deal With Motion Sickness On A Cruise?

Are you someone who loves the idea of going on a cruise, but gets anxious at the thought of motion sickness ruining your trip? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many people experience varying degrees of motion sickness when cruising, but there are effective ways to manage it and ensure you can fully enjoy your time on the ship. In this article, we’ll explore some helpful tips and tricks that will help you deal with motion sickness on a cruise.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details. Motion sickness occurs when there is a disconnect between what your eyes see and what your body senses. On a cruise ship, this can happen due to the constant rocking and swaying of the vessel. One of the first things you can do to combat motion sickness is to choose your cabin wisely. Opt for a cabin that is mid-ship and on a lower deck, as these areas tend to have less movement. Additionally, try to keep your eyes on the horizon or focus on a fixed point to help your body and eyes sync up. These are just a couple of the many tips we’ll be discussing further in this article to help you deal with motion sickness on a cruise. So, stay tuned for more helpful advice! Motion sickness can be a common issue for many people while on a cruise ship. The rocking and swaying motion of the ship can cause discomfort and lead to symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. However, there are several ways to prevent and manage motion sickness so that you can enjoy your cruise to the fullest. In this article, we will explore various preventative measures, medical remedies, natural and home remedies, as well as tips for dealing with specific situations to help you deal with motion sickness on a cruise.

Understanding Motion Sickness

Motion sickness occurs when there is a disconnect between the motion that your eyes perceive and the motion that your inner ear senses. This can happen when you are on a moving ship, as your eyes may see a stable environment while your inner ear detects the motion of the ship. This conflict can lead to feelings of discomfort and disorientation, resulting in motion sickness.

Causes of Motion Sickness

There are several factors that can contribute to motion sickness on a cruise. Some common causes include:

  1. Inner ear disturbances: The fluid in your inner ear can become imbalanced during the motion of a cruise ship, leading to feelings of motion sickness.
  2. Visual disparities: If you are in a cabin or area of the ship where you cannot see the horizon or have limited visual stimulation, it can increase the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness.
  3. Sensory conflicts: When your body receives conflicting signals from your various senses, such as your eyes and inner ear, it can trigger motion sickness.
  4. Anxiety and stress: Feelings of anxiety and stress can exacerbate motion sickness symptoms, so finding ways to relax and manage stress is important.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Symptoms of motion sickness can vary from person to person, but some common signs include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Dizziness and lightheadedness
  3. Sweating and clamminess
  4. Fatigue and weakness
  5. Headache
  6. Loss of appetite

Now that we understand the causes and symptoms of motion sickness, let’s explore some preventative measures to help minimize its impact on your cruise experience.

Preventative Measures

Choosing the Right Cabin Location: When booking your cruise, choosing the right cabin location can make a significant difference in preventing motion sickness. Cabins located in the middle of the ship, also known as midship cabins, tend to experience the least amount of motion. These cabins are closer to the ship’s center of gravity and experience less rocking and swaying. Avoid cabins at the front or back of the ship, as these areas tend to have more noticeable motion.

Booking a Midship Cabin: In addition to choosing the right cabin location, booking a midship cabin on a lower deck can further reduce the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness. Lower decks tend to experience less movement than higher decks.

Medical Remedies

If preventive measures alone are not sufficient, there are several medical remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness. These remedies are available over-the-counter or by prescription.

Over-the-Counter Medications: Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine (Bonine), can help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. These medications work by blocking signals between the inner ear and the brain, reducing the feeling of motion sickness. It is important to follow the recommended dosage instructions when taking these medications.

Prescription Medications: If over-the-counter medications do not provide enough relief, you can consult with a healthcare professional for prescription medications specifically designed to treat motion sickness. These medications may be more potent and have different side effects, so it is vital to discuss any concerns or medical conditions you may have with your doctor before starting any prescription treatment.

Natural and Home Remedies

If you prefer to explore natural and home remedies, there are several options available that may help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Ginger as a Natural Remedy: Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for various ailments, including motion sickness. You can consume ginger in various forms, such as ginger tea, ginger candies, or ginger capsules. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the stomach and reduce feelings of nausea. It is advisable to consume ginger at least 30 minutes before embarking on your cruise for optimal effect.

Acupressure Wristbands: Acupressure wristbands work by applying pressure to specific pressure points located on the inside of your wrist. These wristbands can help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness by balancing the body’s energy and reducing nausea. They are convenient and easy to use, making them a popular choice for many people seeking relief from motion sickness.

Diet and Hydration

The food and drinks you consume while on a cruise can also impact your susceptibility to motion sickness. Here are some diet and hydration tips to consider:

Avoiding Heavy Meals: Consuming heavy, greasy, or spicy meals before or during your cruise can exacerbate motion sickness symptoms. Opt for lighter, easily digestible meals that are low in fat and fiber. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also be helpful in preventing nausea and discomfort.

Staying Hydrated: Dehydration can worsen motion sickness symptoms, so it is essential to stay hydrated throughout your cruise. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration.

Breathing Techniques and Relaxation

Practicing certain breathing techniques and incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help manage stress and reduce the impact of motion sickness.

Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing,” can help calm your body and reduce anxiety. By focusing on slow, deep breaths, you can regulate your heart rate and decrease feelings of stress and discomfort.

Meditation and Mindfulness: Engaging in meditation or mindfulness practices can help divert your attention away from the discomfort of motion sickness. By focusing your mind on the present moment and observing your thoughts and sensations without judgment, you can help reduce anxiety and manage motion sickness symptoms more effectively.

Staying Active and Focusing on the Horizon

Engaging in light exercise and focusing on the horizon can help distract your senses and reduce the impact of motion sickness.

Taking Walks on Deck: Taking walks on the deck of the cruise ship can help your body adjust to the motion and minimize the onset of motion sickness. The fresh air and the visual stimulation of the ocean can also provide a calming effect on your senses.

Engaging in Light Exercise: Gentle exercises such as stretching, yoga, or tai chi can help improve balance and stability. Engaging in light physical activities can also distract your mind from the discomfort of motion sickness.

Alternative Therapies

In addition to the aforementioned remedies, some alternative therapies can potentially alleviate motion sickness symptoms.

Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender, can be used in aromatherapy to ease nausea and promote relaxation. You can use a diffuser, apply the oils topically, or inhale them directly to experience their benefits.

Hypnosis: Some individuals find hypnosis helpful in managing motion sickness. Hypnotherapy can help retrain the mind to associate the motion of the cruise ship with a sense of relaxation and calmness, reducing the occurrence of motion sickness.

Tips for Dealing with Specific Situations

Handling Rough Seas: If you find yourself on a cruise with rough seas, it is important to take additional measures to manage motion sickness. Stay hydrated, focus on the horizon, take deep breaths, and seek refuge in the midship or lower-deck cabin for minimal motion.

Dealing with Cruise Ship Activities: Certain activities onboard the cruise ship, such as attending shows or dining in the main dining room, may exacerbate motion sickness symptoms. Choose seats that offer a full view of the stage or the horizon and opt for lighter meal options to minimize discomfort.


Motion sickness can be an unpleasant companion on a cruise, but with the right preventative measures, remedies, and strategies, it can be managed effectively. From choosing the right cabin location to utilizing medical, natural, and home remedies, there are various options available to help alleviate the symptoms associated with motion sickness. By following these tips and techniques, you can enjoy your cruise and make lasting memories without the discomfort of motion sickness.