Travel SOS: What are the best ways to avoid seasickness?

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Carol’s new husband wants to take her on a cruise but she is worried about seasickness.

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Q. Carol
I have recently re-married and my new husband is a massive fan of cruising holidays (he has been on around 18 cruises). He is now keen for me to go on a cruising holiday with him, but I fear that I will be seasick. I have only ever been on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne to Devonport and I was quite unwell on that journey. Are there things I can do to try and find my sea legs and combat my seasickness?

A. There are few things worse than going on holiday only to feel sick and unwell for the majority of the time. Your experience on the Spirit of Tasmania, however, is not necessarily indicative of how you will fare on a larger passenger liner. These modern passenger liners are much more stable and with the use of the stabilisers that are used in large cruise ships you would not even know that you are on the water.

Seasickness can also disappear once your body has acclimatised to the motion of the boat. However, if you do decide to go on the cruise with your husband there are some things that you can do until your body is used to the motion of the ocean:

  • book a mid-ship cabin where you will experience the least amount of motion
  • get plenty of fresh air
  • drink plenty of water
  • keep vertical, as you will be more prone to feeling the motion of the sea when you’re lying down
  • getting involved in activities will help keep your mind off the feelings of dizziness and nausea
  • walking around will help combat the effects of the motion of the sea
  • eat little and often – light meals will be easier to keep down than a full-on three course meal.

If these tricks don’t help, there will be an experienced physician on board who will have many clever cures for seasickness, but it’s probably worthwhile visiting your own GP to ask for some advice.

Only you will know how bad your seasickness is and whether or not you think you’ll be able to combat your nausea, but hopefully, it won’t stop you giving cruising a go.

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11 Comments

Total Comments: 11
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    My motion sickness was so bad that I couldn’t sit on a swing as a child without feeling nauseaus. Couldn’t go on any fairground rides, was always carsick. I don’t know if age plays a part, but I have been on several cruises the last few years without a hint of any sickness. My wife pestered me for years to go on a cruise, to finally stop her nagging I reluctantly agreed thinking I was going to spend two weeks hanging over a ships side heaving my stomach contents up. Didn’t happen, had the best time and would say go for it Carol.

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      Wife had similar problems, casey. Even sitting in a car up or down winding roads she was unwell unless she was driving herself. Seasick tablets are available at reception on Holland-America Line. We can order them from New Zealand as they are not available in Australia. One name I remember is ‘Sea Legs’ also known as Bonine, Dramamine, Bonamine.
      Dances is right: listen to the weather forecast on board and take one or two tablets before the storm hits. Also you might take one when you have to ‘tender in’ when tie-up port access is not available. Happy Sailing!

    • 0
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      Cowboy Jim, Did you ever manage to get that Scrumpy and try it?

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      Yes Casey – found it at the local Dan Murphy’s, they ordered it in for me. You have to treat it with respect I have learnt. Has quite a kick and I do like it. Thanks for the tip.

  2. 0
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    There are inexpensive over-the-counter tablets available from pharmacies, some made with ginger (so a natural product). The ship’s doctor can also provide you with sea-sickness tablets so get some on boarding. Best to take any tablet before feeling any nausea rather than wait until feeling sick, so get the tablets and use them.

    I also experienced seasickness crossing to Tasmania years ago on the “Able Tasman”. Since then I have cruised several times with few problems, but I always go prepared! A great way to holiday.

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      as a last resort you can get a jab from the ships doctor which is what some of the entertainment crew get. Acupressure ‘sea bands’ which you wear on your wrist is very effective for some people and can be bought at the chemist beforehand. If you buy pills before you sail it’s usually cheaper and rather than buy expensive brand name seasickness pills which can be expensive buy Avil which come in a pack of 50 for about the price of 10 or 12 Kwells. They are hay fever a pills as well as sea sickness so are more widely used and cheaper. Talk to your chemist.

  3. 0
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    There are inexpensive over-the-counter tablets available from pharmacies, some made with ginger (so a natural product). The ship’s doctor can also provide you with sea-sickness tablets so get some on boarding. Best to take any tablet before feeling any nausea rather than wait until feeling sick, so get the tablets and use them.

    I also experienced seasickness crossing to Tasmania years ago on the “Able Tasman”. Since then I have cruised several times with few problems, but I always go prepared! A great way to holiday.

  4. 0
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    The late Spike Milligan had the perfect cure for seasickness; sit under a tree.

  5. 0
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    SIMPLE, just a pair of Non-Transdermal Energy Patches on your arms (the same as used by the US Military and sporting professionals around the world) and without drugs,needles or worrying substances you can have the best travelling ever. On our last cruise out of Sydney a lady was ill before we had even left the harbor and was also suffering with morning sickness. She was happy to try these patches and two days later caught up with us; sea sickness had disappeared immediately and no more morning sickness. We know there are people in this forum who have never even tried these patches but are happy to consider them a just an advertisement, we so leave it up to people to make up their own mind. Frankly, if you want to avoid travel sickness, is the minimal cost of a few dollars too expensive???? There are millions of people around the world using these patches. Ask about. [email protected]

  6. 0
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    There arealso natural remedies such as ginger tea that help settle the stomach and are great for nausea (unless you are pregnant). Also peppermint tea is good too.

  7. 0
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    i worked on a ship bringing out british migrants in the early 70’s…got seasick only rounding Cape Horn but had to keep on working…found what I craved was toast with nothing on it and lemons…just had a little bit of juice with the toast and kept upright and it went away. I was never actually ill…just felt queasy.


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