Cruising is absolute hell when you're seasick.
WARNING never ignore or make light of your partner or spouse who suffers from seasickness. It is one of the worst feelings in the world and unless you take their concerns seriously, you'll never get them on a ship in the first place, or if you do and they get sick, your cruising days will be over for ever.
My partner gets extreme sea sickness in a bath or even looking at a G&T. Until I discovered a wonder drug called Bonnie, we were never able to consider a cruise. Now with one tab a day, at night, we have been through really big seas, and he has never once felt sick. For us, it is a wonder drug.
Some of the old drugs like travel calm could not be taken with alcohol and they had bad side effects like extreme sleepiness.
Not Bonnie. I think there may be a slightly increased impact on sleep, in that my partner takes it at night and he swears it helps him sleep to achieve the most amazing sleep. As with all of these products you must take it before boarding, generally the night before. And you must take it religiously every single night, even if you feel fine and the forecast is clear. Too often I hear stories of people skipping a day and seas swell up and bingo, they are sick.
Many ships will have Bonnie by a generic name available for free at reception. But don't take the chance. You can buy it over the counter in the USA for about $10/15 for 12 tabs. And you can also order it online at Amazon.
There are lots of other products out there such as ginger, patches and armbands. But we never risk anything else that could destroy our cruise, Bonnie works for us and we won't try anything else.
The scientific details
Below, we compare two popular brands, Dramamine versus Bonine. (Note: Dramamine offers several pills and tablets to fight seasickness. For the purposes of this article, we're referring to Dramamine's original formula.)
Similarities Between Bonine and Dramamine
Both Bonine and Dramamine Original Formula treat motion sickness using antiemetics (in this case, antihistamine drugs that also alleviate nausea and vomiting). Both brands say their products should be taken prior to activity for best results, and both types of pills contain lactose.
Differences Between Dramamine and Bonine
Bonine has only one product; the active per-tablet ingredient is 25 mg of meclizine hydrochloride, which prevents seasickness symptoms with minimal drowsiness. Meanwhile, Dramamine offers several products, including one made from ginger and one designed for kids. Dramamine's original formula, to which we're comparing Bonine, contains 50 mg of dimenhydrinate per tablet, which can cause marked drowsiness.
The recommended dose for Dramamine is one to two tablets every four to six hours for anyone older than 12. Bonine is to be taken one or two tablets at a time -- but only once a day -- for anyone older than 12. Dramamine offers dosing instructions for children as young as 2 years old, while Bonine doesn't offer dosing for anyone younger than 12.
Additionally, Bonine (which is chewable) contains artificial sweetener, while Dramamine Original Formula (which is swallowed, rather than chewed) does not. (Note: Dramamine does make chew-able pill , as well as a less drowsy pill that contains the same active ingredient as Bonine.)
In terms of pricing, Bonine is generally more expensive.
We compared prices on the websites of several major retailers and found that the cost of a 12-pack of Bonine versus Dramamine pills was higher across the board, by anywhere from 80 cents to nearly $2.
Bonine vs. Dramamine: Bottom Line
Here's what it comes down to: Use Bonine if you want less drowsiness from a chewable pill that you only have to take once a day and don't mind paying an extra dollar or two for the convenience. Use Dramamine if you can't tolerate chewable pills or artificial sweeteners, but be prepared to take more than one dose per day (which means you'll go through more pills, thereby potentially negating any cost savings).
If you're lactose intolerant or if you plan to consume alcohol, stick with a more natural remedy like an acupressure bracelet, green apples, ginger or peppermint. In our experience, the majority of people prefer Bonine.
Read the next post in this series.
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