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Wave Goodbye to Seasickness: How to Choose the Best Cabin on a Cruise Ship

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Seasickness can be a real concern for travelers embarking on a cruise.

Most people who sail on a cruise never experience it.

But for those that do you will know that anything that you can do to prevent it is worth a shot.


Stopping sea sickness before it starts is so much better than treating it once it has hit. And one of the things that can make a huge difference is your location on the ship.

The modern cruise ships of today are much more stable than they were even a decade ago. Technology has moved on a lot to help prevent seasickness.

But savvy cruisers know that there is one thing that you really need to look at.

Which cruise ship cabin you choose.

Cabin Location on the Ship

The location of your cabin on the ship is crucial in minimizing the risk of seasickness. Cabins at the ship’s center of gravity tend to feel less movement.

So, mid-ship cabins on lower decks are typically the best choices to avoid seasickness.

  • Mid-Ship Cabins:
    • Less perceptible movement
    • Centralized location reduces sway
  • Lower Deck Cabins:
    • Closer to the waterline
    • Experience less motion compared to higher decks

Cabin Choices

Selecting the right cabin on a cruise ship can significantly reduce the risk of seasickness. The two primary factors that affect motion sensitivity are the location of the cabin in the ship’s vertical and horizontal axes.

Lower Deck Cabins

Cabins located on lower decks are closer to the waterline, where passengers feel less movement. This makes lower deck cabins preferable for those prone to seasickness.

  • Pros:
    • Less perceived movement
    • Often more affordable
  • Cons:
    • Less natural light
    • Further from ship amenities

Midship Cabins

Midship cabins, situated in the center of the ship, experience the least amount of motion. The ship’s natural pivot point during motion is centrally located, so rooms here will rock less.

  • Pros:
    • Minimal motion
    • Convenient location
  • Cons:
    • May be more expensive
    • Could have limited availability

Balcony vs. Inside Cabins

Balcony cabins allow fresh air and a view of the horizon, which can ease seasickness. On the other hand, inside cabins are more enclosed but may be positioned in favorable midship or lower deck locations.

  • Balcony Cabins:
    • Pros: Access to fresh air, view of the horizon
    • Cons: Potentially more motion, higher cost
  • Inside Cabins:
    • Pros: Lower cost, often in stable midship/lower deck locations
    • Cons: No outside view, lack of natural light

Time of Year and Itineraries

Choosing the right time of year and carefully planning itineraries are critical steps in minimizing the risk of seasickness during a cruise.

Seasonal Seasickness Considerations

Cruise passengers should be aware that ocean conditions vary with seasons.

For example, the Caribbean tends to be calmer during the summer and fall, although this is also hurricane season.

By contrast, the North Atlantic crossings can be rougher, especially in winter. To avoid rough seas, you should consider cruising in regions and seasons known for stability. The Mediterranean is often calmest from May to September.

  • Caribbean
    • Calmest: Summer and Fall (June to November)
    • Note: Hurricane season overlaps with calmer seas
  • North Atlantic
    • Roughest: Winter (December to February)
  • Mediterranean
    • Calmest: Late Spring to Early Fall (May to September)

Route Planning to Minimize Seasickness

The ship’s itinerary can significantly affect a person’s exposure to rough waters, which in turn can lead to seasickness.

Choosing itineraries with shorter distances between ports allows for less time spent in potentially rough open seas.

Additionally, sailing through sheltered waters, such as fjords and archipelagos, typically results in a smoother experience.

  • Itineraries with shorter sea crossings:
    • Example: Western Mediterranean cruises with daily port calls
  • Sailing through protected waterways:
    • Example: Inside Passage on Alaskan cruises

Additional Tips

In addressing seasickness, travelers need to consider not only their cabin location but also their pre-travel preparations and onboard strategies.

Pre-Travel Preparations

Consult a Physician: Before embarking, travelers should speak with a healthcare provider to discuss motion sickness.

Pack Seasickness Aids: These are worn on the wrist to apply pressure to a point that can help reduce nausea. A lot of cruisers find these wrist bands helpful.

Onboard Strategies for Seasickness Prevention

Dietary Considerations: While on the ship, you should eat small, bland, or dry meals often and stay hydrated.

Avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine, and large or spicy meals can also help.

Stay Active: Engage in gentle activities such as walking on deck because fresh air and the horizon can aid in orientation and balance.

Resting in a deck chair rather than lying down in the cabin can be beneficial.