A news station in California KFSN (ABC) channel 30 reports that being ill with norovirus or in a medical emergency presents challenges when you are "days from the nearest port, on a ship without diagnostic equipment like an MRI machine, a blood bank or even specialty doctors."
According to a Consumer affairs medical doctor, although many passengers may believe that they are boarding a "floating hospital," a cruise ship is more like a "floating hotel with a doctor at hand."
She says "think twice about traveling with a chronic medical condition.
The Coast Guard can’t always launch a rescue, if the seas are rough or the ship is too far from land. Next, know that most prescription drugs are not available on a cruise ship. Always travel with an extra supply of all medications."
The Consumer Affairs medical team also warns that medical care aboard a cruise ship costs a premium.
Cruise ships don’t accept medical insurance so consider purchasing travel insurance from an independent company. .