9 Ways to Avoid a Cruise Hangover

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We’ve all been there. That dreaded cruise hangover. But on a cruise the captain is your designated driver, so why not live it up? The only thing you have to do is have a good time! Right? – but be smart!

Hangovers suck. It may cause you to miss an excursion, be late for debarkation, or just feel like crap the next day. Here are some tips crowdsourced from fellow cruisers and professionals on how to avoid that dreaded cruise hangover.

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Before You Drink

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It’s no secret that alcohol causes dehydration. Keep your body well hydrated before you head to the bar. Slam some extra waters before slamming those drinks.

2. Carb it up. Your body will metabolize alcohol based on what kind of food you eat. Eat a lot of protein, fats, and carbs before ordering your first drink. This isn’t going to stop your hangover but will give your body the proper nutrients before your big night.

3. Go (Port) Shopping. And make sure Gatorade is on that list. Gatorade is also known for its large number of electrolytes. Consuming a bottle the next day can help your body restore its balance.

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While You Drink

4. Stay clear. Darker liquors have more toxins and sugars in them. Try switching it up to a clear alcohol – like vodka. According to a study at Brown University, bourbon contains 37 times more toxic compounds than vodka.

5. One to one ratio. Try matching an 8 oz. glass of water for every alcoholic drink. It’ll keep the tissue around the brain hydrated and will assist in keeping you headache-free the next day. This works wonders for me.

6. Avoid Champagne. “The carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages like champagne helps absorb the alcohol,” says Boris Tabakoff, a pharmacology professor at the University of Colorado. “You get a faster rate of absorption, higher blood alcohol levels – and brain levels – if you drink champagne as opposed to something non-carbonated.”


After You Drink

7. Take a multivitamin. This tip comes from a Harvard article. Those who drink may benefit the most from getting extra Vitamin B, since alcohol moderately depletes our body’s store of it.

8. Water. This is a reoccurring theme. Our bodies are around 65 percent water. Alcohol is a diuretic (makes you pee) and purges water from our body, so it’s obvious that we must replenish the fluids we lose. It may be a good idea to put that big bottle of expensive water by your bedside!

9. Go for a deck walk. Even though the bright light is probably the last thing you want to see, did you know that oxygen increases the rate that alcohol is broken down? Fresh air also promotes metabolism and blood flow, so it’s good all around.

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Final Thoughts

The only surefire way to avoid a hangover is to not drink, especially on the last night of your cruise. There’s nothing worse than having to disembark and travel with a hangover.


I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV or the radio! The contents of this post are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

photo: Flickr

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