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How to Upgrade Your Cruise Experience When You Hate the Water

For some of us, being out at sea is not our idea of fun, much less staying on a huge boat for days or even weeks on end. But if your family or close group of friends want to take a cruise and you love them more than you hate the water, you may just find yourself sucking it up and agreeing to whatever they have planned.

However, a cruise doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience for you. Whether you’re taking a Mormon vacation and tour or drifting through the Mediterranean, there are many ways you can make a cruise experience more comfortable and enjoyable, starting with these ones:

1. Arrive at your port in advance

If you arrive late at your port of departure, the ship won’t wait for you and you could end up missing the trip that you paid for. This is why it’s important to arrive at the port at least a day or two in advance, especially if you are coming from another state or another country. Most cruises depart in the afternoon, so many people think that it’s okay to just leave in the morning. However, a highway pile-up or a delayed flight can easily put you behind schedule.

2. Pack medication for seasickness

For a lot of people who hate being out in the water, the number one reason is seasickness. The discomfort of being seasick can easily put anyone off cruises or anything that has to do with the sea. But when you’ve already agreed to go on the cruise, the best thing you can do at this point is to prepare plenty of seasick medication.

Common medication for seasickness (or motion sickness in general) includes scopolamine, meclizine, promethazine, and cyclizine, among others. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your doctor so that they can help you prepare for the trip ahead of you.

3. Check out the available activities and amenities

One way to get yourself pumped for a cruise is by checking out the activities and amenities that they have. Cruises tend to have all sorts of things that guests can do, some of which you may not even think possible to have on a giant boat. If you have at least a few things to look forward to, then the trip may not seem all that dreadful as you may have initially thought.


Many cruise lines will allow guests to bring their own drinks, but be sure to check with the company before packing a couple of bottles of Merlot in your carry-on (know how much the corkage fee is as well). It’s a great way to save money on a cruise as the cost of drinks can quickly add up. And if you’re not that thrilled to be on a cruise, maybe alcohol can help you loosen up and enjoy.

boat leaving a ship

5. Find less crowded cruises

Another reason why some people hate cruises is because of the crowd. Granted, many cruises allow a lot of guests onboard to maximize profit, which often leads to overcrowded pool areas, restaurants, casinos, and spas.

A great way to avoid this annoyance is by booking a more exclusive cruise that tends to be less crowded than other lines. Of course, you’d have to talk with your travel group first, but they may also be up for the idea of avoiding the crowds for a more relaxing experience. Moreover, you can also book an adults-only cruise if you’re not traveling with any kids. It’s a great way to avoid families that inevitably increase the noise and crowd levels on cruises.

6. Look for areas of sanctuary

If you weren’t able to do the last tip and are stuck with a very populated ship, all hope is not lost. To find some peace and quiet, look for quiet areas around the ship. You’re bound to find a little corner or a facility that people barely use where you can spend some quiet time to yourself. Here, you can recharge and catch some ‘me time’ before heading out to be sociable again.

7. Don’t go to the buffet on the first day

It’s going to be crowded and you’re going to be annoyed. Instead, go to sit-down or table-service options to have a more peaceful dining experience on your first day.

Hopping on a cruise is often the perfect idea of a vacation for many people, but not for some. If you’re one of the latter, use these strategies to improve your cruise experience even if you’re not a fan of being out at sea.

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