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First-Time Senior Cruisers: How To Avoid Seasickness PDF Print E-mail


Guest Writer Paul G., Miami FL: When I retired, my wife and I decided to celebrate with a cruise. We flew from Miami to San Francisco, then boarded a big luxury ship bound for Alaska.

We sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and into very choppy waters. Many first-time passengers were seasick, but we weren’t, because this old salt remembers Navy ways to fight it. Some suggestions may help on your first sailing.

1. See your doctor if you’ve been seasick before or have any problems with holding food down for other reasons. Ask for advice and medication to take with you that will prevent or ease seasickness.

2. Cleanliness: Travel sickness isn’t always caused by ocean motion. Airports, public bathrooms, dock facilities and many other areas on the way to your cruise ship are often mobbed with people who are sick and/or have bad sanitary habits.

Take little packets of medicated wet wipes with you. Use one on your hands when leaving public restrooms, handling door knobs, holding railings and just about anything else many people grab.    

3. Eat light: You’ll be tempted by shipboard buffets and midnight parties to over-indulge. Sample everything, but take small portions. Stay away from fried foods, booze or anything else that will make your slight seasickness into a major disaster.

4. Frequent exercise: On a cruise, people tend to spend a lot of time doing nothing but sunning or sitting in on-board restaurants and theaters. You need to digest by jogging, hiking or doing other exercise at least 30 minutes daily. The seasick gremlin is always looking for a lazy full stomach to upset.

5. Don’t worry, be happy: Keep busy and mix while cruising, so it’ll take your mind off the idea that you’re on a rolling ship. If  a get-acquainted cruise, be sure to mingle. You’ll soon forget seasickness fears.

6. Go easy on the booze: If you drink too much, you won’t need ocean waves to feel the deck pitch and jump. Avoid over-indulging with beer, wine or liquor.

7. Get plenty of sleep: Dancing and kicking up your heels while on a cruise is a lot of fun. Quit when tired and go to your cabin. There’s always tomorrow night.

8. Don’t drink the water in port: Stick with bottled water on the ship, and more so when on shore excursions in foreign countries.

9. Don’t eat nor drink from outside stands and street carts: In spite of what you see on travel TV shows, don’t eat raw items from vendors. If you see your order actually cooked, it may be OK to eat.

10. It happens: Be considerate of other people if seasickness, food poisoning or bad water hits you suddenly. When you feel it about to happen, get to a bathroom pronto. Don’t hold off until the middle of dinner, casino or stage show. Other passengers will not appreciate it.

 

 
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