Do you suffer from motion sickness?
If like me the answer is yes, you may or may not find it a comfort to know that you’re not alone or even a minority. Personally for me this isn’t a comfort. I experience awful anxiety before each and every trip I make, all that is except for walking! I cannot be a passenger in a car for more than 5 minutes without my body breaking into a jelly like, hot, sweaty and nauseating mess. Since as long as I can remember I have suffered the embarrassment of roadside hoots and ruined outfits. There is one vivid and vile memory that my mind seems to retain.
At the tender age of 7, I was to be a Bridesmaid for my favourite Auntie; Auntie Michelle. Yup, I did and still do have a favourite. I couldn’t have been any more ecstatic when I was asked to be such an important part of her wedding day. My very first time of dressing up in a formal gown and feeling like a princess for one of my favourite people. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have been chosen for the role and to have the opportunity to wear such a stunning, pale blue gown and an actual real flower crown, I couldn’t wait.
As the wedding day arrived, my mum helped me with my dress and styled my hair into lots of loose ringlets. That hairstyle was huge in the 80’s! I felt so smart and so honoured. It was finally time to leave the house and travel in the posh car that everyone seemed to be talking about. When I look back now, the grown ups were definitely trying to convince me that everything was going to be okay with their talks of me being special, and being the only one traveling in the posh car with the bride and her Dad, (my Gramps). Back then money was tight for my family, so we were the only ones traveling in luxury.
Setting off in the Rolls Royce, pride of place, seated next to the bride I felt the flutter of excited butterflies in my stomach. Wait. Hold on. That wasn’t what excited butterfly tummy usually felt like, oh no! I knew all too well what my disobedient, quite frankly, inconsiderate stomach was up to. We had been in the car for approximately a minute before the usual heat consumed my body, starting at my feet, working its way up into my stomach. My body turned to jelly as we rounded the first corner and before I could shout “pull over,” I had vomited all over my beautiful dress and…
Unfortunately, I have suffered with severe motion sickness ever since.
In 2013 I was convinced, pretty much bribed actually to go on a two week cruise around the Mediterranean. This was something I was not looking forward to in the slightest for various reasons. One of the reasons being my suffering of motion sickness. I mean, I can barely travel half a mile on the local Ferry without loosing the contents of my stomach, so how on earth would I be able to sail through the notorious Bay of Biscay?
Well I did it, I only went and did it and have continued to cruise ever since!
This was not without help mind. The aim of this post is to give you an insight into my beliefs on cruising with motion sickness and what actions you can take to help yourself.
Keep calm, read on and book that cruise!
Seasickness may hit one person hard, while others don’t feel a thing. So what’s the deal?
Before you all get excited, I must point out that there is no way to prevent motion sickness 100 percent. Will it ruin your cruise? Not likely. It is thought that most new cruisers do not experience problems with seasickness when choosing to cruise on larger ships, this is due to their size, navigational avoidance of storms, and their stabilisers.
Motion sickness occurs when what you see conflicts with what your inner ear senses. In other words, if you’re sitting in a car (not moving) but your inner ear detects movement (the car just hit 70 mph on the motorway), the two signals being sent to your brain don’t match. Those mixed signals confuse the brain, and thus resulting in sensations and symptoms, you know the ones; dizziness, hot flushes, jelly legs and of course nausea.
If you are anxious at all about booking a cruise due to suffering, or fear of suffering from sea sickness, I would advise you to consult your doctor beforehand. There are many medications that have been tried and tested. You have options available such as Dramamine and Meclizine. In addition to the tablets there are Scopolamine patches which can be placed behind the ear before sail away. For me, my personal favorite and the most natural preventative is acupressure wristbands which stimulate a pressure point that can relieve nausea. Whilst I’m aware that the wrist bands are not always suitable for the entirety of a cruise, well I am assuming you wouldn’t wish to wear them in the pools? It’s worth me pointing out that I have only ever needed them once – through the Bay of Biscay.
For some, a few sips of ginger ale or chewing fresh ginger will do the trick. However, you may not be able to find these items onboard a cruise ship. Cruisers with mild cases may just need a quick walk-about, venturing out on deck, as close to the center of the ship as possible, taking in some deep breaths while focusing on the perfect perspective of the endless horizon is a great help and benefit for me. I cant get enough of those views, so this method is a major bonus.
I have of course on one occasion, out of many cruises, felt sea sick to the point where my seabands didn’t quite cut the mustard. In fact it was my first cruise onboard the magnificent Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. It could not have been made more simple for me to have help. The friendly and attentive team at Guest Services sent me down to the Medical Center on Deck 1. Here I was greeted by the ship’s Doctor, who was incredibly helpful. I was given some tablets to take for 48 hours which didn’t have any unwanted side effects. Job Done!
I am appreciative of the fact that everyone one of us is different. However, being someone who regularly suffers with motion sickness, I wanted to share with you my experiences of travel sickness and how I have come to cruise regularly. As a matter of fact, I cruise more often than travelling on a plane, train, tube or bus. After all, on average with seeing 9 destinations in 14 days, no luggage allowance, no delays and witnessing marine life in its own habitat, I ask you – What better way is there to see the world?
Thank you for your support and time in reading my blog.
Forever grateful – Claire xx
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