Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Q&A: Fearful Of First Cruise Seasickness
Q&A: Fearful Of First Cruise Seasickness PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re planning our first cruise to celebrate my spouse’s retirement. We’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, but all the recent news about passengers getting sick and onboard sanitation problems is causing us worry. Should we cancel?

A: First of all, incidents of illness on cruise ships are no more frequent than what happens in hotels, resorts, restaurants and airline flights. It just gets more news coverage because the problem happens to travelers confined together for a week or more.

Although you can’t prevent seasickness or sanitation problems from happening while on a cruise, there are simple ways to try to avoid the worst of them. Here are just a few hints:

1. Since this is your first cruise, be sure to see your family physician before you go. Take appropriate medications with you in case of seasickness or bad food reactions. Some medications are for prevention, while others are for self-treatment after seasickness happens.

2. Also take along an adequate supply of wet wipes, handy medicated disposable napkins. You’ll touch a lot of dirty doors, furniture, railings, public bathrooms and other parts of the ship. Use the wipes frequently, especially on your hands just before each meal.

3. Shore excursions can be fun, but confine your outdoor food stalls visits to just looking. It could be inviting to try a meal at a little native cafe, but play safe and eat only aboard your cruise ship.

4. Buffets aboard cruise ships are very inviting, but piling up the unlimited food can negatively affect first-time cruisers. Enjoy the first buffet by taking small helpings of the many selections. If you feel comfortable after that, you can be a bit more indulgent at the next buffet meal.

5. Go easy on the booze! Large cruise ships are not too affected by the rocking of the ocean. However, too much drinking and a swaying deck can create a sickening combination for a first-time sailor. 

For your first cruise, moderation is the magic word for what can become a memorably healthy and enjoyable experience.


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