Disney fantasy_cruise_wavesHow far would you go to minimize the effects of motions sickness when traveling on a cruise ship? I recently returned from a media preview cruise of the Disney Fantasy, during which I had to decide which motion sickness remedy to use to quell my queasiness. Did it work?

This was my first cruise, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I do get motion sick under certain circumstances in the car, so I knew I needed to be prepared if it was a problem on the ship. I packed Dramamine, Bonine and sea bands, and also filled a prescription for the motion sickness patch, or Transderm Sc?p®.

Smooth Sailing with the Motion Sickness Patch
On the morning of our departure, I decided to apply the patch as a preventive measure so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting sick later or remembering to take pills. It worked great. I felt fine even when the ship began rocking and was able to relax and have fun even when I was on a deck with no windows to watch the horizon through.

Side Effects of the Patch Emerge
Most common side effects are dry mouth, drowsiness and blurred vision, all of which I had to various degrees. The grogginess would have most likely happened with the Dramamine or Bonine, so I was fine with that. The dry mouth was, for the most part, mitigated by having a few hard candies and frequent swigs of water.

The blurry vision, however, was a problem. It began about a day after I first applied the patch, and lasted two days after I removed it. It was so bad I had trouble reading small print, such as on my computer and phone screens, and even needed help with reading a menu at the airport.

Considerations when Choosing Motion Sickness Remedies
I knew I would need to take something for motion sickness, if only as a preventive measure so I wouldn’t have to think about it. When choosing a motion sickness remedy, carefully review the side effects and decide if the benefits outweigh them. In addition, be sure to plan for the effects to last after the trip has ended; I wish I had taken an extra day after my trip to rest and recover; it would have made the side effects easier to deal with.

Note: I am not a medical expert, just a first-time cruiser prone to motion sickness. The views expressed are my own and should in no way be taken as medical advice. If you are interested in or considering the motion sickness patch, contact your doctor.

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and writes about traveling as a working mom for Traveling Mom. Follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw