If you haven’t taken your first cruise yet and you’re worried about seasickness, we have one word for you: stabilizers.
Seasickness is motion sickness that’s experienced on the water, which can happen when waves make the ship sway. Seasickness is not inevitable – some people are never bothered by it, while others are more sensitive. If you’re sensitive to motion sickness, the good news is that modern cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers that effectively minimize any side-to-side rocking of the ship.
Stabilizers, shaped like the wings of an airplane, extend underwater from each side of the ship. They can tilt forward or backward to help steady the ship as it moves through waves and swells. When the water is calm and the stabilizers aren’t needed, they fold away into special compartments.
Depending on its size, your ship may have one or two sets of stabilizers. Most stabilizer systems work automatically; sensors monitor the movement and effect of waves and deploy the stabilizers as needed.
And, stabilizers are not the only tool a ship has for smooth sailing; officers continuously use their navigational skills to set the calmest possible course to the next port.
As you plan for your cruise, you can also take steps to guard against potential seasickness. Ask your professional travel advisor to help you select a cabin on a lower deck, close to the middle of the ship; these cabins are less affected by the motion of the ship than those higher up or closer to the front or back. Some people like to wear acupressure-inspired bracelets to guard against motion sickness, while others bring some ginger tea or candy along. You can also pack over-the-counter or prescription motion sickness medication, just in case you need it.
When your ship sets sail, if the motion makes you feel a little odd, don’t panic – there are some things you can try even before you reach for a seasickness remedy. Go out on the deck, sit down and focus your gaze on the horizon, which can help your body regain its sense of balance and equilibrium. And, many cruise ship crew members recommend eating green apples and crackers; that’s actually a room service item on some ships.
Finally, as you adjust to the feel of the ship as it moves through the water, remember that the ship’s stabilizers will be working as hard as the crew to give you a great cruise experience.
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