For those with cruise ships jobs, the sea is their home. This means living on water 24/7 which can disturb the delicate state of balance that your body is used to. This can cause seasickness. But it does not have to be the debilitating feeling that makes you curse the ocean.
First off, you must remember that sea sickness does not affect everyone. Some may not feel it at all, and among those who do, the degrees of sensitivity vary. It’s important to note that large cruise ships are very stable on the high seas and motion is imperceptible.
Symptoms of sea sickness include dizziness, a general feeling of uneasiness and fatigue, headaches, excessive production of saliva, sweating, burping, nausea and vomiting. These can be from mild to serious, depending on the person and the range of motion being felt.
One of the keys to dealing with sea sickness is being able to predict motion – by spotting something on the horizon or looking at land. This might not be possible for people with cruise ships jobs, but other options are certainly available.
If possible, change to a position that makes you feel better – some people prefer lying down with their eyes closed, others prefer standing or sitting. Try getting some air. Go out on deck for some fresh sea breeze, or turn a few air vents or a fan towards you. Make sure you avoid cigarette smoke, engine fumes and activities such as watching television or reading from a book or electronic device as these can increase nausea.
Food is important too. Some people prefer to avoid eating, but a completely empty stomach might not be the best idea. However, it’s best to avoid heavy meals and greasy food as these are hard to digest. Look for light snacks, such as crackers, cereal or fruit. Apples and bananas are known to be great options for dealing with hunger during sea sickness.
One more thing to avoid is drinking alcohol. Some people also prefer to avoid heavily sweetened carbonated beverages, while others find soda, seltzer and ginger ale ease discomfort. It is possible that sweet soda pops which, like coffee, have caffeine can increase dehydration and worsen the symptoms.
That said, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you have been sweating and vomiting. Have small sips of water frequently. Alternatively, try chamomile tea, which is said to induce relaxation and relieve feelings of nausea.
There are a number of home remedies that people have found useful. Some of these include sucking on a piece of ginger before running into rough weather at sea or suppressing nausea and neutralising stomach acids by sucking on a slice of lemon.
A 1983 study even showed how B vitamins help ease symptoms of sea sickness. Your options are to either consume vitamin tablets or eat food such as fish, poultry, milk, meat and eggs. But this is a preventive measure and it would be wise to avoid eating these foods if you already feel sick.
All home remedies should be consumed only in consultation with your doctor, as herbals such as ginger or additional vitamins may have effects on medications like blood thinners. That said, people with cruise ships jobs who find sea sickness too tough to handle can always visit the on-board doctor. The shops on board also stock over-the-counter medication that can help.