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Thinking About Going On A Cruise..any Advice?


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My family is considering going on a cruise in April. I have had POTS for 10 months now and I have slowly improved over time. I still have symptoms daily but I function pretty good. I know there are reasons not to fly, but do any of you know of any reasons not to go on a cruise? I would think its the most fun my family and I could have on a vacation without flying anywhere. I live in Houston, so we could drive to Galveston to board the ship. Does anyone out there have any experience or advice for me? Thanks to you all. I have only posted a time or two, but the information I have read over the past 10 have helped me tremendously. So, thank you!

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Hi lizzyp,

I don't have any experience with cruises, but the fact that you mention that you think it would be fun makes me think you should try it. Of course you should plan appropriately and make sure you have a stong support system with you. Call and check out the cruise line to see if they have a physician on board at all times. Make sure you take your most important medical records with you- just in case. Take extra medicine and pack it in several different places. That way if you lose one piece of luggage you will still have plenty of medication. Remember the heat bothers some people with POTS so you might have trouble if you are going to a very warm climate. Make sure air conditioning is readily available. Take time to consider all your symptoms and have a plan to help ease them if they should become worse during the trip. Prior proper planning!!!!!

I think an important thing to check out first is how your family will respond if you happen to go into a flare while on the cruise. Do they provide strong support to you while you are feeling poorly? Will they still be able to go do the scheduled activities if you are hanging out in the room because you need a break? Or will they become angry and resentful?? If they are willing to modify their activities to accomodate how you are feeling, then I say give it a try. Ultimately you all want to have a good time. .

Of course, your physician should be consulted to make sure he/she feels like a cruise is a good idea considering your diagnosis.

I hope if you decide to go that you have a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating time!!!!

With smiles,


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I was on a cruise before I knew I was ill...and had a great time. It was always breezy on the ocean, and all the stops were beach/island locations that also were pretty breezy despite being warm. I spent a lot of time in the pool too.

I will tell you that I got really sea sick and needed to get a prescription patch from the ship's dispensary. Made me a bit dry mouthed, a bit drowsy, but so happy not to feel like vomiting all the time, that it was worth it. I'm not sure if that stuff is OTC now or still an Rx item.


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Thank you for the advice. My support system is wonderful and would be helpful to me in any way that they could if I didn't feel well. The cruise is a 5 day, which is the shortest offered out of Galveston. I agree that packing meds. in separate places sounds like a great idea. If we decide to go, I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

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I was very symptomatic and sick on and off for 11 years before i finally got diagnosed with POTS in 2007. In these years i went on 2 cruises and got very seasick both times. I also flew about 10 times in that period of time, which didnt make me feel much worse then i normally do.

Maybe you should try to get on a little day trip out on a ship first, before you go ahead and

book a cruise that lasts 5 days?

I couldnt tolerate the movements of the ship at all but hopefully your reaction to it will be totally different..

I wasnt sure, if i should share my experiences with you, because i dont want that

you get discouraged in joining your family on this trip, but then i thought, that if i would have known back then what i know about POTS now, it would had helped me a lot.

Now i personally wouldnt go on a cruise again.

But like i said, thats only my experience and i do get motion sick quit quick at times.

By the way, i never heard of reasons that POTS Patients shouldnt fly???? can somebody

explain to me what these reasons are???? My family is also planning a family trip in April.

They all want to fly to Spain. I flew there so many times before i was diagnosed without

getting to stressed out about it. For sure i always had to sit down and wasnt able to stand for longer then a few minutes. But that is all possible on a plane. So what are the reasons not to fly?

All the best


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carinara -

there is by no means any reason for you (or anyone else who might be reading) to not fly solely b/c of a diagnosis, particularly when you have done so in the past without any problem. while some people with POTS/ dysautonomia have difficulties with flying many others do not. while i haven't flown in awhile now due to the complexity of my current health situation, i flew quite often for many dysautonomia-filled years and the biggest problem i ever had wasn't related to flying or the plane at all but rather involved standing in security lines in the airport itself (a problem that over time led me to having to use a wheelchair within the airport but which, for years, i remedied by having a carry-on roll-on with me at all times which in practice doubled as a portable seat/ stool for me on which to sit).

things that everyone should do are all the more important for most of us, i.e. staying well-hydrated, but don't let yourself worry unnecessarily just based on experiences of SOME (not all) others when your own experiences have been largely positive. if you're interested in further thoughts/ discussion a search will bring up a LOT of previous posts/ discussions on the topic wherein the bottom line is that some of us have trouble & some don't at all. and some who have trouble are able to minimize or even prevent said trouble with proper planning such as good hydration, salty snacks, compression hose, etc. while it's not the case for everyone, it's likely that the reason behind some people having difficulty lies more with factors that surround travel than with flying itself; it's often not something that's a conscious decision but flying is often surrounded by other physical stressors ranging from less sleep/ rest than normal (early mornings &/or late nights) to more time on one's feet to skipping meals (&/or eating much differently than the norm) to skimping on hydration and any not to mention all of these things could easily throw anyone's health/ body for a loop. that said, if one pays particular attention to limiting the extent to which these stressors get out of control then "flying" is often much less of a problem. there are certainly still some individuals for whom flying is really rough regardless of how overly conscious they might try to be to limit controllable stressors; who these people are is not at all predictable by specific diagnosis nor by severity of symptoms/ illness b/c, as with much in the land of dysautonomia, many things are very much unique to each individual.

hope this helps, and hope that you are able to continue to fly without difficulty,

:) melissa

p.s. to lizzy - i don't mean to ignore the original question of your post but don't have much wisdom to add as i've never been lucky enough to go on one myself! generally speaking though i agree with what others have said. it doesn't hurt to ask your doctor of course but i don't see any reason why s/he wouldn't be supportive. as with anything in the land of chronic illness a bit of proper planning will go a long way to save on stress down the road but aside from that the only "issues" that would be wise to plan for (in addition to your typical day-to-day planning) would be the possibility of increased nausea - something that can hit even the healthiest person when away from land, but which might be more likely if its an issue for you already - and warmer temperatures, though i wouldn't be surprised if being on the ocean might be cooler than much of the weather you encounter regularly living where you do. re: the nausea if you think you are more prone you could always talk with your doc about taking meds along "just in case" so that you'd be prepared rather than having to track down the doc on the ship. last but not least, if you haven't already you might want to peruse my reply to carinara above as you might be interested in her question (& my reponse) re: the issue of flying. guess i ended up rambling on after all, eh? hope it helps! :( melissa

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I haven't been abroad on holiday since I became ill but as I am not working at the moment I want to take the opportunity to go away with my family. Personally I struggle with heat so would need to stay somewhere relatively cool. We had actually thought that a cruise would probably be a good option for me - I rather fancy a cruise round the Scandinavian fjords in the early summer (I live in the UK).

For anyone going on holiday with a chronic illness make sure you have insurance coverage in case you get ill and have to be taken home/to hospital. Unlikely to happen but better to be insured than get a large bill!

I hope you enjoy the trip!


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My advice: Have Fun!! ;)

If you are able to function pretty well every day, then you will probably be fine on the cruise. Just make sure you don't push it beyond what you are able. All the general dysautonomia rules apply: salt, fluids, adequate rest, etc. Make sure to bring compression hose if you wear those. If you aren't able to stand for very long, bringing along a small stool could be helpful if you find yourself in a place where there aren't chairs available.

Enjoy your cruise!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, I have also been thinking about a cruise because it seemed that it would be a good way to travel but the thing is for me that I need to keep moving or my symptoms get worse. Walking is the only exercise i can do and I wonder if going on a cruise would restrict this. I'm not good in heat either and standing is impossible so if there was a lot of standing in line, waiting to get on or off the boat, I think I would find this really stressful. I also find that having to make conversation with people all the time extremely exhausting and wondered if that would be too much as well.

It is good to hear that some of you have tried it and it has given me some hope but I'm still not too sure about it. My husband is keen to try it and I generally love boats and used to travel well in them but my health is quite different now so I don't know.

I am sorry I can't be more positive but these are the things that I would be concerned about. Helen

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