A cruise is a nearly all-inclusive getaway filled with exotic destinations, five-star dining and a full daily calendar of special activities. If you are prone to motion sickness, however, you might worry you'll spend the entire cruise in misery. Choose your cabin location carefully to minimize the risk for seasickness.
Mid-Ship and Away From the Action
Ships tend to roll from side to side, so a cabin near the center of the ship is ideal. Look at the ship’s deck plan, available on the cruise line website, before choosing your cabin. Stay away from cabins directly above or below major public areas such as restaurants or nightclubs. If you happen to get seasick despite taking precautions, the extra noise from public spaces will make you feel worse. Choose a cabin that is nestled between other cabins in every direction and avoid cabins that are at either end of the ship if possible.
Less Movement in Lower Decks
Until you go below the waterline into the crew areas, lower decks are inherently less prone to movement than upper decks. Choose the lowest deck that meets your other needs, such as access to elevators or dining rooms. Some people feel claustrophobic on the very lowest decks, which are colloquially referred to as the bowels of the ship. If you are prone to claustrophobia, consider a cabin two or three decks up.
Ocean View's Calming Effect
Although the center of the ship actually has less movement, some people feel the movement more when they cannot see the waves. Inside cabins, located in the center of the ship, lack windows and are completely dark at night. If you find that your motion sickness diminishes when you can see its source, choose an ocean view or balcony cabin on a lower deck.
Steer Clear of Rough Waters
When battling seasickness, where you cruise is nearly as important as which cabin you choose. Cruises that originate in New Orleans must sail the Mississippi River on the first night en route to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi is choppy and lacks enough room for cruise ships to put out their stabilizer bars. Consequently, the first night at sea features a great deal of swaying and rocking. Other particularly rough itineraries include cruises to Alaska, Antarctica, South America and Australia, as well as transatlantic crossings.
If All Else Fails
Most ships dispense seasickness medication at the purser’s office or clinic free of charge. Ginger is a common folk remedy and patches are available from your doctor in advance, while pressure-point wristbands are available over the counter at most pharmacies. Plan for the worst, but avoid dwelling on any symptoms you experience. If you feel sick, get some fresh air and nibble on bland foods.