Firstly, we need to look at what seasickness is. It is not an infection or virus, it is a form of motion sickness caused by the body reacting to the motion of the ship and causing nausea (feeling sick) and sometimes vertigo ( feeling of motion when one is stationary ). This is commonly caused by the rocking motion of the craft therefore commonly referred to as seasickness.
The actual ship or boat involved is important. Before a cruise, most passengers experience at sea would be confined to a cross channel ferry or river boat . This can cause confusion as these are completely different to most cruise ships.
Ferries, especially the large commercial RoRo (Roll on Roll off) car ferries are constructed in such a way to provide plenty of car space for relatively short distances on predictable seas.
River boats are also completely different especially in the size factor, any particular movement on a river surface, is huge when compared to the size of the boat, therefore causing more movement within the boat.
Size and age of ship
Next, the size and age of ship is very important. If you do have a history of seasickness, your first attempt at a cruise would probably be better in a larger new cruise ship. Most cruise ships are fitted with stabilizers. The newer the ship, the more developed the stabilizer system is likely to be.
Older ships will usually have some form of stabilizer, even if it is only a Bilge keel system, which in effective is just an extra fin of metal welded down each side of the ship to cause drag and reduces movement.
Most stabilizer systems operate better if the ship is moving, but technology is improving and zero speed stabilizers are available that will even compensate some of the movement whilst at anchor or when moving very slowly.
If you do suffer from seasickness or other forms of motion sickness, it would also be a good idea to pick a destination that stays calm. The Caribbean is a great destination for calm, flat waters (with the exception of the hurricane season). Areas such as the bay of Biscay and the North Atlantic are well known for the roughness of the sea and should be avoided.
Another way to reduce the chances of seasickness is to pick a list of cruise destinations that include a lot of port calls and less time at sea.
All ships spend some time at sea, and it will be during that time life boat drills will be undertaken and the ship runs tests on lifeboats.
Here are some easy ways to reduce getting seasickness
1) Book a cruise on a newer, larger ship
2) Choose a cruise in a known calm area, such as the Caribbean
3) Choose a cruise with plenty of port visits rather than days at sea
4) Ask for medical advice on natural calming tablets which can sometimes help
5) Invest in a set of seasickness bracelets
6) Request a cabin inside towards the centre of the ship
7) Avoid getting too hot or cold
8) Try and sleep side on to the movement rather than head to toe
9) If you feel bad whilst moving around the ship, try an open air position
10) Occupy yourself with an on board activity
There are also a lot of cruise companies that are marketing towards family groups, these will have a lot of facilities on board to cater for children, such as play rooms and video arcades and even children’s clubs, on these cruises, the passenger make up will be completely varied.
Each of the above are not guaranteed to resolve your issues, however, with a combination of cruise choices and preventative measures, even the most susceptible person can either eliminate or significantly reduce the effects of seasickness.
Many passengers will be surprised at how different it feels on board the ship, and especially in the case of the huge super cruise ships, can often even forget that they are at sea. Indeed, some of the newer super cruise ships even have natural park space, where you can sit amongst trees and shrubs, which should help.
Hopefully after one successful cruise the only sickness you will start suffering from will be the cruise bug, which often manifests itself in an almost uncontrollable desire to travel on more cruises.