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Travel Tip: Cruising with Medical Conditions

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For anyone dealing with a chronic or long-term medical condition, the idea of sailing in the middle of the ocean can be daunting. But that doesn’t mean a cruise is off limits.

First, forget anything you ever learned from The Love Boat. Cruise ship medical facilities can only offer basic and short-term emergency care.

If you get seriously sick or have a heart attack, the most they can do is stabilize you before transferring you to a hospital at the nearest port or medevacing you to the U.S.

The medical facility only has emergency supplies. It’s your responsibility to bring the right amount. Be aware that airlines have restriction on the types of portable oxygen allowed, so call them directly.

If you’re carrying special equipment like insulin, contact the cruise’s guest access service desk. They’re the guys who can arrange for mini fridges to store the insulin, or to have room attendant can have it delivered to you.

And while special meal requests aren’t a problem on most cruise ships, be very clear about your needs when booking, and follow up before and after you board the ship.

For more information, visit the Cruise Travel archives.

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