Cruise ship crew members are a veritable mine of information when it comes to the ins and outs of what cruises are really like. For those who are apprehensive about cruising, their advice can be well worth listening to. Former cruise worker Sam Catling shared his experiences out at sea in his book Seems Like Smooth Sailing.
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He revealed that there’s one part of a cruise which is surprisingly “dangerous.”
It’s particularly unpleasant for those who suffer from travel sickness.
So what is it?
Catling explains that travelling on a lifeboat can prove something of an ordeal in bad weather – and this isn’t just something that happens in an emergency.
“For the most part, the worst cases of seasickness occur on lifeboats, specifically when they are used to tender the guests to the port,” he wrote.
“This is when the ship has to anchor offshore as it’s probably too big to be secured to the harbour, so the guests are ferried back and forth.
“As the lifeboats are so small in comparison to the ship, you really feel the motion of the ocean once you encounter a bit of chop.
“You can literally see the colour of people’s faces change just like a chameleon.”
Catling continued: “When the seas were a bit on the rough side, getting the guests in and out of the boats proved to be quite a challenge.
“As the boat was bobbing alongside the ship, people would slip, trip and fall, yell, push and shove, scream cry and wail.
“It was quite dangerous sometimes, especially with the guests in wheelchairs… but amazingly I never heard of a really bad incident ever occurring.”
Sea sickness can be a troublesome issue for a number of holidaymakers.
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Fortunately, there are ways to fight the condition.
One tip is to wear acupressure wristbands. “[These] are basically just wristbands that have a little plastic ball stitched into them,” explained Catling in his book.
“The ball is supposed to rest on the veins of your wrist, gently pressing onto a pressure point that is believed by practitioners of acupuncture to prevent nausea and vomiting.”
If you don’t have these, another solution is to make sure you position yourself properly.
“There’s the argument that sea sickness is all in the mind so there are ways to trick it,” said Catling.
He suggested: “Stand directly behind the handrail and focus on the horizon.
“To the eye, the horizon won’t look like it’s moving up and down as much as it was, so you can trick your mind into thinking that everything’s smooth sailing.”
There are also more traditional remedies such as consuming ginger.
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