The Causes of Sea Sickness and How to Fight It

Large View of Causes of Sea Sickness
Not too enthusiastic about sea sickness, eh?  Credit

You’re in your stateroom when all of a sudden you feel the ground is rocking. 

But everything looks like it’s standing still.  You sit quickly as you begin to feel nauseous and dizzy.

What you’ve experienced is sea sickness.

Luckily, it’s easy to combat sea sickness and get back to having fun on your cruise.

The Causes of Sea Sickness

Sea sickness, also known as motion sickness, affects a third of travelers – even in mild circumstances.

Three types of motion causes sea sickness.  This includes motion that’s felt but not seen, motion that’s seen but not felt and when both senses detect motion but the movement doesn’t correspond.  Travelers usually experience the first and third variety.

The result of this disagreement between how you’re visually perceiving your motion and your inner ear balance system is called sea sickness.

Common symptoms include nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

Sea sickness affects cruisers in high proportions – especially those with inside cabins who are unable to see the horizon.

Untreated, sea sickness will disappear within a few days as the brain gets used to this new environment.  But, with a limited amount of time to enjoy the trip, most cruisers decide to hurry the process along.


How To Fight Sea Sickness

Before Feeling Sea Sick

Best stateroom for someone prone to sea sickness:

  • A room with a window.  You have a point of reference that you can focus on when you feel movement.
  • A larger ship. The larger the ship, the less it will rock and the less movement you will feel.
  •  A stateroom in the middle.  There’s less movement in the middle of the ship.

After Feeling Sea Sick

The most popular methods to battle sea sickness are over-the-counter and prescription tablets or patches.  Be sure to check with your physician to make sure these medications won’t conflict with any you’re currently taking.

Several over-the-counter methods exist and may be available in cruise ship infirmary.  The most popular options include Dramamine and Bonine.

For a more natural remedy, ginger root is a popular option.  Try sucking on crystallized ginger or sipping on ginger teaSea Bands, which use an acupuncture technique also work to reduce nausea.

You may have to try a few methods to find what works for you.


Untreated, sea sickness can put a damper on your trip.  Good thing the remedies aren’t as complicated as the causes!

Enjoy earning your sea legs!

Have you found another cure for sea sickness?  Share it below.


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  • I’m sure many will appreciate this. The weirdest thing is I have not experienced motion sickness on the water or in a plane but I sometimes experience it on the train and always on the bus and definitely on long car rides (unless I am driving).

    • Interesting! And I’ve only experienced it on a boat, so I’m guessing how you experience it differs from person to person. Do you take something for your motion sickness or do you “ride it out”?

      • I usually “ride it out” by going to sleep. I’ve found that sucking on ginger chews help.