Needing Medical Treatment at Sea
Can mean “no fun” for you!!
While occasions of Coast Guard responses to a Cruise ship, after receiving a request by the cruise line to effect an emergency evacuation from the ship are rather a rarity, the reality of the ever-present potentiality of needing medical attention while on a cruise does exist. While it would certainly be nice not to catch a cold or come down with a virus while on your cruise, no one is able to avoid a sudden medical illness or injury. But it is good to know that the modern cruise ships feature state-of-the-art medical facilities on board, that rival most facilities onshore as well.
Medical Facilities On Board Cruise Ships
These facilities are staffed by doctors and nurses and are equipped to treat everything from seasickness to respiratory problems to broken bones. Some ships also have digital X-ray equipment, cardiac life support stations and telemedicine capabilities that allow the staff to communicate in real-time with specialists on shore. Oceania Cruises’ ships even have fully equipped operating rooms for use in extreme emergencies. While these personnel who staff the ship’s infirmary are not actual employees of the cruise line (as they are independent contractors) and as such are free to charge what they feel is commensurate for their services. You should know that these charges are applied to your ship’s on-board account and will need to be settled at the conclusion of your cruise. Oftentimes in situations where passengers are able to present their proof of adequate travel insurance to the medical staff, (which is one very good reason to always have such documentation with your other important travel papers and documents), Ship’s medical staff can see to it that alternative arrangements can be made and generally are allowed for, as it is documented that (both passenger and the medical staffs fees) has adequate medical expense coverage.
Medical Emergencies and Unforeseen Occurences On Board Cruise Ships
For very serious conditions, such as heart attacks or strokes, the medical staff will arrange to have the passenger transferred to a hospital on shore as quickly as possible. Some newer ships have helipads that make it easier to airlift passengers who need the attention of physicians on land. While these situations are rare for most people. I have rarely ever been on a cruise, when someone didn’t have to be removed from the ship for medical reasons. You should know that such services are quite costly and could easily financially devastate you. The best way to hedge against such is to be sure that you purchase vacation trip protection insurance, as most policies have coverage’s for medical evacuations. Check out our E-Book on Vacation Protection Coverage available from CruiseSource here http://ow.ly/1dEE3u .
Your Best Protection from such occurences is Adequate Insurance Coverage
Before you cruise, check your medical insurance coverage information to find out if it will cover medical treatment and evacuation while you are away from home (especially if you are cruising outside the U.S.) If not, you should definitely consider purchasing travel insurance that includes medical coverage. There are many considerations with respect to what having adequate coverage really means.
While no passenger aboard a cruise ship wants to think a medical emergency could put a damper on their vacation, it happens all the time. Unfortunately, people on cruise ships do fall and break an arm or leg, they do get injured by sea creatures and wildlife while on an excursion, they do have a heart attack, and sadly, some people die. So, if you are planning a cruise, while you might be able to control the occurrence of such situations, you can have control over how the situation is handled.
You could find yourself on a cruise, and the ship’s captain makes an announcement that the ship has stopped for an emergency medical evacuation. In this circumstance, the United States Coast Guard (or air ambulance service) would pull up alongside (or if heliport equipped land on) the cruise ship and the passenger(s) affected would be taken off the ship. Typically, this severe action is unlikely but the problem is that when this does occur, any and all expenses whether to the cruise line or by the evacuation service would be charged to the passenger’s responsibility. This is why it is so important while looking at medical insurance, to also give consideration to traveler’s insurance coverage as well. That way you do not find yourself in a position of having to pay out literally tens of thousands of dollars, that you might otherwise not be in a position to pay.
Don’t get caught, with Your Head in the sand!
Many times, cruise ship passengers will simply ignore the encouragement to purchase both medical and travel insurance, believing they are either getting ripped off or that nothing will happen to them. This is a terribly risky position you place not only on yourself, but anyone who may be traveling with you, as well as their loved ones back home. Additionally, other scenarios could arise beyond accident and illness. For example, travel insurance would cover the cost of your cruise if you were to lose a job prior to the cruise, or should have some type of major illness, or should a death in the family, your airline flights are delayed or cancelled, and you need to catch up with your ship that has already left, or if something else happens that would stop you from taking your cruise. However, there are certain restrictions and limitations that may come into play, even when the circumstances are critical (or seem that way) for the passenger, it is important to understand that cruise lines don’t simply waive penalties when passengers cancel, or fail to show up on time for their cruise. This is where your Professional Cruise Planner, can actually help you with understanding all of the coverage options, so that you won’t end up with any unforeseen surprises without adequate insurance.
For more information on Medical Emergencies, Facilities, and Services at Sea, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . You can “Join” our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at http://www.cruisewithmike.net . You can follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspapaer called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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