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How to Avoid Getting Seasick on a Cruise

How to Avoid Getting Seasick on a Cruise

  1. Pack Your Medicine
  2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
  3. Remember to Eat
  4. Get Some Air
  5. Watch the Horizon
  6. Avoid Books and Screens
  7. Head to the Middle
  8. Try Acupressure
  9. Look Into Alternative Medicine
  10. Go Natural


There is little better in life than sitting back and enjoying a cruise on the open sea. From the fun onboard activities to the amazing exotic locations, there’s a lot to love about traveling with Carnival cruises. However, the last thing you want is for your wonderful trip to be ruined by something you can’t control. If you are inclined to motion sickness but want to ensure an enjoyable cruise, take the following steps to avoid seasickness.

view of the open ocean on a cruise deck

Pack Your Medicine

If you know the rocking of the waves might upset your stomach, plan ahead by packing some medication for seasickness. Antiemetic drugs, or medicine that keeps one from feeling nauseous, are readily available over the counter in drug stores nationwide. Your doctor can prescribe stronger scopolamine medicine in patch or pill form as needed. Either way, be sure you remember to pack these medications to keep you from feeling sick as you cruise to your destination.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

You might find it difficult to rest the night before your cruise – who wouldn’t be excited before a trip like this? However, exhaustion can exacerbate the effects of motion sickness and make you more susceptible to feeling ill. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep before setting sail, so your body is rested and ready to fight seasickness if it rears its ugly head.

parents and baby getting a good night’s sleep

Remember to Eat

It may feel counter-intuitive, but traveling on an empty stomach is more likely to make you feel ill than traveling after a light meal. To help settle your stomach, have a simple snack about one hour before you depart, and remember to continue snacking every few hours throughout the cruise. However, avoid fatty, acidic or spicy foods to keep from getting nauseated. You may want to avoid alcohol if you feel like you may become ill, since the dehydration it causes can lower your resistance to sickness.

fork full of delicious salad

Get Some Air

If you start to feel the telltale signs of nausea, head out onto the deck for some fresh air. This change of environment will alleviate the rise in your body temperature (save that for a day on the beach in the Caribbean), and the wind in your face will help reduce uncomfortable sweating. While there, focus on your breath to bring yourself back down to a calm and relaxed state.

Watch the Horizon

Most seasickness is attributed to a disconnect between your senses and your physical movement. Watching the water speed past can be disorienting, and trying to keep your balance as the ship moves might only result in motion sickness. However, mariners have been advising this tip forever: simply look out at the horizon – a stable focal point – to reorient yourself. This will help to reset your equilibrium. To make your life a bit easier, request a room with a window so you can keep your eyes on the prize whenever you need to!

couple staring at the sunset on a cruise

Avoid Books and Screens

While kicking back with a novel or laptop on the way to The Bahamas may sound like a dream, there’s also a good chance it will trigger motion sickness. Watching a stationary object like a book can convince your middle ear it’s wrong, making you feel nauseated. Instead, focus on the horizon or rest with your eyes closed to avoid confusing your body.

Head to the Middle

The swaying and seesawing of the boat will be most extreme on the outside edges, so head to the middle of the ship to alleviate some of the effect. You may even want to book a room in this area of the cruise ship so your nights are less rocked by the motion of the ocean.

Try Acupressure

Another popular method for decreasing seasickness is through wearing a wristband that will apply pressure to a spot on your wrist. Whether real or placebo, many people swear by this trick. If you don’t have a wristband on you – or you left it at home when you set sail for Mexico – you can try pressing your wrist with your opposite thumb for relief.

Look Into Alternative Medicine

Looking for something to try before you travel to your destination? Some studies have shown a correlation between getting proactive acupuncture treatment and minimized seasickness. This method focuses on the same area as acupressure wristbands, but it could be useful if you want to try preventing seasickness before you even set sail.

woman receiving acupuncture treatment by massage therapist

Go Natural

If you aren’t keen on taking pills, rest assured there are plenty of ways to combat seasickness using natural substances. Chewing on ginger or sipping ginger ale is a common approach, but you could also try some classic aromatherapy. Scents like peppermint and lavender can calm your senses and encourage important deep breathing when feeling nauseated.

Of course, if you still find yourself feeling seasick, know that Carnival is happy to get you back on your feet. Head to the Medical Center or call room service for motion sickness pills that will help you feel healthier and ready to greet the day again.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.