Seasickness Remedies That Really Do Work

By: Anne Campbell

Seasickness does exist and is probably the primary reason people avoid cruises. And, cruises from New York may seem particularly daunting since ships must sail in the Atlantic Ocean where storms aren't uncommon.

The best definition of what mal de mer is comes from the U.S. Coast Guard: "Motion sickness occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the areas of the body that detect Motion. This conflict typically results in motion sickness."

Here are some steps you can take to decrease - or eliminate - seasickness.

1)The position of your cabin. One of the big ironies of shipbuilding is that the higher the cabin, the higher the price will be. However, the higher you are on a ship the more acutely you'll feel the rocking and rolling of the ship. Cabins with the least motion will be found mid-ship on the lowest passenger deck. On his honeymoon cruise in Europe, my brother asked for access to crew quarters so he and his wife could wait out a major storm. They sat on the floor mid-ship and weren't seasick in the least.

2) Prescription Medication. The Transderm Scopolamine Patch is the primary prescription medication. The patch is placed behind your ear before boarding the ship. The common side effects are blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and dry mouth. Be sure to consult your physician before trying this drug.

3) Over the Counter Medication. Most people have excellent results with Bonine, which is found in pharmacies. The medication only works if you take it prior to rocky seas and some people start taking the medication the day before the cruise departs.

4) Ginger. I used to think this was an old wives remedy but it isn't: even the U.S. Coast Guard recommends ginger as a motion sickness remedy. You can buy it in the supermarket or in tablet form. Many cruisers take a bag of candied ginger.

3) Sea-Band is a non-medicated wristbands which relieve motion sickness by acting on acupressure points. Tested by the Australian Yacht Club, many cruisers swear by these bands. They are available in pharmacies and aboard most ships.

4) The ship's doctor. If all else fails, you can head for the ship's doctor who will administer a very expensive but highly effective antihistamine injection. You'll probably sleep for a day or so but it sure beats seasickness.

5) Aboard ship. An officer gave me invaluable advice when I felt queasy aboard ship. Eat crackers and apples (to absorb the acid in your stomach), avoid fluids and do not lie down. Go outside on deck and stare at the horizon (not the waves!) and avoid enclosed areas such as elevators.

Even if you know you suffer motion sickness, with all the options available cruising from New York shouldn't be a problem

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure