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Seasickness and its remedy

We had coffee on Saturday with a friend, for the first time in too long, and inevitably the subject of cruising came up, as it always seems to with us. You’d almost think we had heads shaped like funnels and bodies that were ship-shape…and neither is the case.

In comparing cruise notes, he told us about taking a Holland America cruise around Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America. He told us he suffered from seasickness, commonly known as motion sickness on a boat, and that he had been unable to determine what triggered it, because sometimes he became ill with only a little motion.

The cause doesn’t really matter, though, does it? What to do about it does.

Just a few hours into his South America cruise off the coast from Valparaiso, Chile, our pal was overcome with…well, graphic images are not required here. When he emerged from the men’s room, at least a few ounces later, a fellow passenger recommended he buy a wristband at the ship’s gift shop.

“Best fifteen dollars I ever spent,” she told him.

Never having been stricken with the ailment, we were unaware such things existed. It turns out they do, under several brand names, and we have no idea which type he bought. We only know it worked for him, and the remedy lasted the entire cruise. How or why is incidental.

Seven per cent of passengers on cruise ships get seasick. That makes it worth knowing about the magic wristbands…just in case any of us in the 93% find ourselves on the other side.

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
December 5, 2011
Miami to Bahamas return
Inside $169.00

Freedom Stifled by a Storm

Friends of ours were on a cruise ship in rough weather in August and the environment was an education. They learned about the Beaufort Scale, a 200-year-old measurement used for storms at sea. It goes from 1 to 12 and, somewhere between Antwerp and Bergen in the North Sea, their Princess ship was in an “8″ in gale-force winds and seas of 18 to 25 feet.

Sunday night, far from there off the coast of Florida, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas was caught in a surprise storm. There was minor damage to the ship and major sea sickness on it.

One passenger told CruiseRadio.net: “”It was crazy…the ship was on its side” and there were “medical emergencies all over.”

In the end, neither the damage nor passengers injured by the storm — a nor’easter — was severe enough to cause a change to the Freedom of the Seas itinerary. It continues on its 7-day cruise to the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean said only that wind speeds were “three times more than what was forecast” and there were reports that seas exceeded 18 feet.

Maybe they should know about the Beaufort Scale.

Seabourn Quest
13 nights Transatlantic
November 8, 2011
Malaga (Spain), Cadiz (Seville, Spain), Funchal (Madeira, Portugal), Fort Lauderdale
Verandah (balcony) $3,849

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