How to Book a Cruise to Prevent Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is not only the matter on board. You can get some ideas on how to book a cruise to prevent and minimise motion sickness in advance.
For first time cruisers, if you do not know whether you would have motion sickness or not, it is a good idea to have a few night cruise. Then see how you would feel. In this way, you do not have much risk on cruise fare.
Motion thickness is certainly important to consider because it can make your vacation totally unpleasant if it gets serious. In my experience of living at sea, motion sickness is quite common and does happen to anyone.
However, it is not encouraged at all to terminate your cruise plan because of motion sickness. Cruising is fun and is much more than that and is better than land travel!
In this article, you will find some ideas on what you can do to prevent and minimise motion sickness before you purchase a cruise ticket. Do not let motion sickness ruin your vacation. If you are concerned about motion sickness, then keep reading.
We have already written an article about what to do with motion sickness on board, but the goal of this article is to act on motion sickness and maximise your cruise vacation before you leave home. Find out what you can prepare before you make a cruise booking.
Motion sickness happens when the ship moves more than our bodies expect. Motion sickness is caused when the semi-circular canals send a mixed signal to the brain. If someone cannot feel the motion with his or her eyes see, the brain will receive the mixed signals. Then the person will develop some symptoms of motion sickness.
As a seaman, motion sickness is somehow someone else’s story but when I felt physically weak and dehydrated, it happened to me. Motion sickness is nothing but becomes a problem for anyone because it is not fun at all! Follow the next 4 points to prevent motion sickness. Implement the ideas to create a better booking for your next vacation.
4 Points to Prevent Motion Sickness before You set sail:
3. Ideal Cruise Fleets
4. Selecting the right cabin
1. Sail Calm Waters
It is not recommended that you particularly need to be nervous about the destinations for motion sickness. It is sad if we have to avoid certain destinations due to motion sickness. Feel free about it.
Deciding which destination you are going to cruise is one of the precious things in cruise planning. We should enjoy it. If you are wondering about destinations, please find the article on Best Cruise Destinations. You will find which destinations can match your expectations and cruise vacation plan.
And yet, when a cruise gets rough, and motion sickness becomes serious, it is certainly not enjoyable to carry on cruising. This is why it is always good to get some ideas where the calm waters are, and some are not.
Consider a cruise where the water is calm such as the Carribean. From December to May, Carribean can be the best to cruise for the calm water.
On the other hand, the open ocean cruises such as the Atlantic or the Pacific crossing to Hawaii tend to be rougher than coastal cruises. Some friends of mine who lived at sea as a crew reminded me. It is also well known that cruising South Africa has rough seas. I have heard of some
The roughest sea I ever experienced was Tasmania. My cabin’s ceiling was broken. All the glass were smashed out in the bathroom. The sea was too rough in a certain season. I was fine but saw many people who were suffered from motion sickness.
2. Select Specific Seasons
It is highly likely that the cruise ship can change the itineraries to navigate in the safe areas if a hurricane is approaching. Selecting the right seasons for cruising is certainly important.
I truly love Tasmania. It is a magical place. It is a place which lifts up people’s feelings and emotions. I also enjoyed myself with other cruisers from Australia and New Zealand.
I flew off to Melbourn for Oceania Crossings. I stayed in Melbourne for a few days for photo/videography before my embarkation. It was already raining.
After my ship set sail from Melbourne, the sea was getting rocky by the time being. The dining rooms were getting empty. Many people looked not happy, cancelling dinner and stayed in their cabins. The ship slowed down. Waves looked so close to us. There was frequent captain’s announcement about the arrival’s delay.
However, once we got approached Tasmania, it was heaven. It was totally a different world. I felt Tasmania was welcoming us all! This is the magic of cruising. We are one with nature. It is totally uncontrollable for us under the name of it. And yet, we can appreciate something pretty ordinary after such a hard time.
3. Consider Itineraries
If your itineraries include a lot of sea days instead of port days, probably sailing would get tougher for you. Find the itineraries which include many port days and not sailing rough seas such as North Atlantic.
In that case, the cruise tends to get intense and yet, you can wake up with different landscapes early morning. That is one of the greatest things to have in cruising.
4. Ideal Cruise Fleets
Cruise lines and travel agent say that if you choose the mega-ship or the large ships to cruise, it is large enough to avoid rocking motion.
My answer is yes and no. I and some friends of mine got on extra large ships but when the sea got rough, the ship was rocky. Many people were suffered from motion sickness. Selecting the right seasons at certain destinations come first in the matter of motion sickness.
What does matter is not the size of the sea but the size of the crashing waves!
And yet, certainly, the large ships do help us and minimize motion sickness. F
All modern cruise ships have stabilisers. 2 or 4 stabilisers are situated as extensions like an aeroplane wing on the ship’s each side. When the ship is docked at a port, the stabilizers are folded back. The function is to reduce the sideways motion. However, when the ship uses the stabilisers it has to compensate with slowing down speed and expenses of fuel.
Modern cruise ships from extra large mega-ships to popular midsize ships
Extra Large Mega Ship Size
Passenger Capacity: 4,000 + passengers (at double occupancy) and 1,500 to 3,000 crews
Ship Gross Tonnage and Length: 160,000 to 260,000 tonnage, 320-360 m length
The Top 10 World’s Largest Cruise Ships in 2019
Symphony Of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas
Large Cruise Ship Size
Passenger Capacity: 3,000 – less than 4,000 passengers (at double occupancy) and 1,000 to 1,200 crews
Ship Gross Tonnage and Length: 130,000 to 150,000 tonnage, 300-330 m length
Popular Large Cruise Ships
Adventure of the Seas
Carnival Splendor and many more!
Midsize Ship Size
Passenger Capacity: 2,000 – less than 3,000 passengers (at double occupancy) and 800 to 1,000 crews
Ship Gross Tonnage and Length: about 120,000 to 130,000 tonnage and 280-300 m length
Popular Midsize Ships
Serenade of the Seas
Queen Mary 2
5. Selecting a Right Cabin
Book a stateroom with a balcony in the Lower Deck Midship
The upper deck cabins add more status and high priced, but if you have motion sickness, it is no point to spend extra on them. If you cannot decide which cabin you are going to take, please find 9 Things for Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin [Step by Step].
The upper deck cabins will make the up and down motion although, at the aft cabins, the motion is less noticeable. In the front cabins, as the bow is first hit by crashing waves. The up and down motion tend to be stronger than the aft cabins.
I had a time at my early seaman’s life that my cabin was located in the forward deck 4. It is the deck the passengers are actually prohibited to get in. It is located in lower than Promenade deck.
Can you imagine what would happen when a massive wave hit the bottom of the ship? The bow of the ship is first hit by crashing waves. It is so wild and direct, feeling physically receiving the big waves!
If you have motion sickness, take the lower deck and the ship’s central staterooms for low motion. I show you exactly where the lower deck midship cabins with visual images step by step.
Decks can be separated either
Upper deck cabins – the topmost decks on a ship
Lower deck cabins – the deck located below the main deck, generally the lower deck comprises of more than one deck
Lower cabins are situated normally on the Promenade Deck or above. The lower deck is more stable than upper deck. But not in the forward but only midship cabins.
Where are midship cabins?
Cabins are separated into 3 places:
Forward Cabins – the front facing balconied cabins, all are premium or VIP suites
Midship Cabins – standard cabins, apart from forward and aft cabins
Aft Cabins – located at the back of the ship, almost cabins are suites. The edge cabins at a corner have with a bigger balcony.
Forward cabins are all suites. Engine rooms are normally located in the aft of the ship. Find the midship cabins.
Take a stateroom with a balcony in the lower midship. The room is more stable than the upper and front decks. If your cruise is for a few nights, there would be no problem but more than 5 nights, you need fresh air and lights.
Have a view of the horizon point far ahead. Use the horizon as a fixed point to gaze. This helps you feel better when you feel motion sickness. The more you focus on sensory congruence, the less likely you feel dizziness.
You may enjoy reading more on motion sickness:
Next reading >> What to Do with Motion Sickness on Board
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