My Experience Cruising with Migraine
Last updated: September 2023
I recently went on my first cruise! We stopped in 3 ports: Costa Maya, Belize, and Cozumel. Can you believe that it was cooler in these destinations than it was back home in Texas?
Prior to my cruise, I put a lot of time into preparing. I made sure to make a list of all the things I needed to bring with me. The idea of being on a cruise ship and not having something that I needed for my migraines was a huge worry of mine.
Where could I find a quiet space?
One of the first things I noticed was just how busy and noisy it was on the cruise ship. We were one of the first groups to board and it was already chaos. I immediately knew I needed to find places that were quiet to occasionally hide out.
For the most part, my room was not too noisy. Occasionally, I could hear children in the hallway. Since my room was on the Spa floor, I had access to the spa amenities. These amenities included a hot tub, the Lanconium, the Tepidarium, oriental steam bath, and aromatic steam room. I did not use the steam rooms but I did use the other amenities.
Where did I find myself hiding?
The Tepidarium was one of my favorite places. There was no service whatsoever, not even the cruise chat worked in there. Most of the time, the Tepidarium was empty or almost empty. The stone chairs were relaxing. It was a great place to read or simply close your eyes and relax.
How did I find ways to relax?
I was part of a group of 12 people who went on this cruise. It was hard to not get swept up in everyone’s never-ending desires or to-do lists. I had to make it a point to remember that this was a vacation and I needed to relax.
Sometimes this meant that I chose to skip late nights in the casino and instead stayed in my room to read. Other times it meant that instead of sleeping late like other people, I went to the spa and received a massage.
Did I drink or avoid alcohol?
One of the main differences between my time cruising and most of the other people in my group is that I choose not to get drunk. I knew going in that I had to be careful when it came to alcohol. There are certain alcohols that I can drink in moderation and other alcohols that I cannot finish a single drink without a migraine starting.
Did I drink alcohol? Yes, I honestly did. I had some white wine that we were allowed to bring with us. Carnival cruise line allows each adult to bring one bottle of unopened wine. Due to this policy, I was able to have white wine from home that I knew would not interact with my migraines.
Did I have any migraine attacks?
This is probably the question that everybody wants answered. Did I get migraines while on my cruise? The honest answer would be yes, I did. I had more than one migraine. But I only had one pretty bad one.
I made sure that I had all my medications with me. I also had some Ziplock bags for ice. The room was dark once all the lights were off, so that was helpful. We also had bottles of water delivered to our room before we boarded. There was a mini fridge in the room, therefore cold water was always available.
Have you ever cruised with migraine? Was your experience similar or different than mine?
Have others downplayed your migraine pain?