Seasickness on a Cruise: 7 Tips to Avoid It

Going on a cruise can be an exciting adventure, but it can become a nightmare for those prone to seasickness. 

NCL Getaway rough seasickness on a cruise
Rough weather in the Atlantic Ocean (via Doug Parker/Cruise Radio)

Oxford Dictionary defines seasickness as suffering from sickness or nausea caused by the motion of a ship at sea.

Motion sickness occurs when your brain can’t process your senses’ signals, causing inner ear balance issues. This can result in symptoms ranging from dizziness to vomiting and vertigo.

However, with proper preparation, you can avoid seasickness and enjoy your fun on board.

This how-to guide will share steps to prevent seasickness on a cruise.

1. Choose the right cabin to avoid seasickness on a cruise

lower deck cabins
Many cruise passengers prefer cabins on the lower decks in the middle of the ship (via Doug Parker/Cruise Radio)

Mid-ship cabins

Book a mid-ship cabin to experience the least amount of motion on board. Cabins near the front or back of the ship are more prone to movement, making it harder for travelers prone to seasickness. To avoid this, consider the mid-ship cabins, which provide a smoother ride since they are in the center of gravity on board. 

You may also upgrade to a balcony room, which provides fresh air and natural light that can help reduce nausea while giving stunning sea views.

Lower decks

Choosing a room on the lower decks can significantly reduce the rocking sensation and help prevent seasickness. Here are some tips for selecting the right cabin:

  • Choose a cabin on the lower level of the ship where there is less rocking motion
  • Avoid booking rooms at higher levels 
  • Look for cabins closer to the center of the vessel, which is more stable

Read more: Motion Sickness: Picking the right cabin, itinerary, and cruise ship

2. Take medication


Ginger supplements are a popular natural remedy for motion sickness. They can be capsules or chewable tablets, which you can buy in most drugstores and health food stores. Ginger helps alleviate nausea and vomiting, making it a practical option for those prone to seasickness.

Acupressure wristbands are another over-the-counter option that can provide relief from seasickness. These bands apply pressure to specific points on the wrist, which reduce nausea. While there is limited scientific evidence of their effectiveness, many people find them helpful as a non-invasive alternative to medication.

The medication can be pricy depending on what brand and type you go with. So before traveling, check discount vouchers at Boots and get the best travel sickness medicines.

Raging waves in a sea
Raging waves in a sea (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Antihistamines such as Dramamine and Bonine are among the over-the-counter medications for motion sickness. They block messages between the inner ear and brain that cause nausea and vomiting.

However, they may cause drowsiness or other side effects.

So it’s important to follow the recommended dosage instructions carefully – taking more than what’s prescribed won’t increase effectiveness and can only lead to unwanted side effects. 

Prescription medication

pharmacy seasickness on a cruise

If over-the-counter medication isn’t cutting for your motion sickness, prescription medication may be the answer. Scopolamine patches, worn behind the ear, can help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sicknesses.

Discuss all options with your doctor before deciding on prescription medication for seasickness relief during your cruise vacation.

3. Use acupressure bands for seasickness

Acupressure bands are a great way to combat seasickness on a cruise ship. These bands use pressure points on the wrist to alleviate nausea and dizziness caused by motion sickness. They stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, making them a practical, drug-free solution for seasick people.

Look for acupressure bands at drugstores or online retailers. They fit comfortably around your wrist and have adjustable pressure settings. It’s essential to wear them before you begin feeling symptoms of seasickness, so be sure to put them on before setting sail.

Where to buy acupressure bands?

You can buy acupressure bands at Amazon or Walmart, which offer competitive pricing options, and at pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens. Specialty stores like REI or outdoor supply shops may also sell acupressure bands.

It’s important to note that not all acupressure bands are the same, so be sure to do your research before purchasing. Look out for reviews and ratings from customers who have used the product before.

4. Stay hydrated

refillable water bottles celebrity millennium aquaclass cabin
Staying hydrated is key to fighting seasickness. (via Doug Parker/Cruise Radio)

Staying hydrated is vital to avoiding seasickness on a cruise. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration, which can worsen motion sickness symptoms. 

Be sure to carry a refillable water bottle and take frequent sips, especially if you’re in the sun or participating in activities that make you sweat.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Carnival Horizon photo trip report
Pull back on the booze if you feel motion sickness. (via Doug Parker/Cruise Radio)

Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages to avoid seasickness on a cruise. Alcohol can dehydrate you and amplify the effects of motion sickness, making it more likely for you to feel unwell. Instead, opt for water or non-alcoholic drinks throughout your voyage.

Lastly, avoid energy drinks that contain high levels of caffeine. These glasses can raise heart rate and blood pressure, triggering symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, etc., making it difficult to enjoy your time at sea. Opting for plain water with electrolytes added – like coconut water – will keep your hydration balanced without causing unwanted side effects.

5. Eat the right food

Eating the right foods is one of the best ways to avoid seasickness on a cruise ship. Avoid heavy, greasy meals that can upset your stomach and make you more susceptible to motion sickness. Instead, stick to lighter fare like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

While avoiding heavy meals is important, you should keep eating small meals throughout the day. Doing so will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevent feelings of nausea or dizziness.

Consider snacking on crackers or hard ginger candy for extra stomach-soothing goodness between larger meals. 

6. Get fresh air

Carnival Horizon photo trip report
Fresh air can help with feeling dizzy at sea. (via Doug Parker/Cruise Radio)

Take a break and head up to the deck for some fresh air. Breathing in the salty sea breeze can help alleviate seasickness symptoms and provide a calming effect. 

If it’s too windy, try finding a sheltered spot where you can feel the breeze without being exposed to strong gusts.

7. Natural seasickness remedies

If prescriptions or over-the-counter medications aren’t your preference, you might want to try a natural motion sickness remedy. The most famous natural motion sickness solution is the Seaband, an acupressure device that you wear on your wrist, which applies pressure to the Nei Guan acupressure point on your wrist. To be effective, Seabands should be worn on both wrists. 

The reusable, washable bands are available online and in some drugstores. “Seaband” is the most popular, but other brands with similar names offer the same functionality.

green apple seasicknes s on a cruise

Remember that old saying about an apple a day can keep the doctor away? 

That might not be true, but eating apples can alleviate seasickness. Not just any apple, though. Look for green Granny Smith apples; their pectin combined with natural sugars reduces acid and settles topsy-turvy stomachs.

Peppermint is also known to have the same effects against seasickness. Some cruise line sundry shops sell peppermint oil. 

Cruisers have little to lose by trying out some of these natural solutions for seasickness before taking medication. Their low cost and ease of access are appealing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control list more tips and remedies to help avoid motion and seasickness.

Final Thoughts 

Following these tips may help prevent seasickness during your next sailing. Remember to stay hydrated, avoid heavy meals, and take preventative medication if necessary to avoid seasickness on a cruise.

Don’t let motion sickness keep you from experiencing what the cruise ships offer. 

Medical Disclaimer:  This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Dig Deeper: 25 First-Time Cruise Tips

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