10 Practical Things To Do When A Cruise Ship Hits Rough Seas

Modern cruise ships have amazing stabilisers making most cruises extremely smooth and comfortable.

However, rough seas can sometimes cause even the biggest, most modern cruise ships to pitch and roll, particularly between seasons, in Alaska, mid-Atlantic, or when encountering the remnants of a tropical storm or hurricane. With that in mind, it’s good to know what to do when a cruise ships hits (or is about to hit) rough seas.

1. Head to the Customer Service Desk and ask for seasick pills.

Be prepared and do this ahead of the rush! All cruise ships provide Dramamine or a similar over-the-counter remedy which will lessen the effects of nausea and seasickness. Usually, these are dispensed without charge. You will also see paper bags dotted around the ship. If you think you may be physically sick, carry a couple with you, just in case.

2. Check your balcony and clear it of all items that may be blown away in high winds or damaged by salt water. 

That includes towels, reading material, cushions, plates and glasses.

3. Stay indoors.

Usually doors to the outdoor areas are secured to prevent people from going for a stroll along a potentially wet and hazardous deck. Respect the signs and stay safely inside.

4. Plan to stay put as much as possible.

Even a moderate swell can cause irregular movement which can make you to stagger or lose your balance. Stay in your cabin, listen to music or watch TV - it’s a great time to use room service to order light meals and refreshments. Alternatively, go to the cinema or sit in a lounge and enjoy watching the powerful sea through the picture windows. 

5. If you do feel nauseous, lie down in a cool well-ventilated room and wait for it to pass.

Sleep is a great antidote to seasickness.

6. When it’s safe to do so, a walk in the fresh air and the chance to look out across the sea can help reduce the symptoms of nausea and help your body regain its natural equilibrium.

Avoid the bow and stern of the ship as they have the most movement.

7. There’s a well-known saying by sailors: “One hand for yourself and one hand for the ship”.

When sailors had to climb the rigging, they used one hand to work the ropes, and kept one hand to hold themselves safely to the rigging or mast. If you have to go places, keep one hand free to hold onto bannisters and rails along the corridors. If there’s an unexpected roll, you’ll be held safe.

8. Choose your food and drinks with care during rough seas.

Alcohol can exaggerate the queasiness in your stomach, so stay hydrated with water, soda and fruit drinks. Stick to light meals and snacks rather than greasy, spicy or hard-to-digest foods. Your stomach will thank you for it. 

9. If you’re really nervous about rough seas or suffer from seasickness, choose a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship.

This is most stable area with the least movement in rough seas. 

10. Above all, keep yourself busy with distractions and keep fear at bay. 

Rough seas are usually over in a matter of hours and you can look forward to resuming your cruise activities, dining and drinking again.

So here’s to calm seas and smooth sailing. 
Hopefully you’ll never have to use my 10 tips!

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