Cruise Ship Medical FacilitiesA 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. .

  • Wayne Tippin

    Sure, the article about medical service on a ship is something that should concern you, but now let me scare the “bejeebers” out of you~!! I am amazed at how few people realize that when your ship is untied from the pier and the rope dropped, that splash you hear is the sound of MEDICAL INSURANCE TERMINATING~!! The instant that ship pulls away from the dock a person is NO LONGER COVERED by Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Tricare, Blue Cross, OR ANY OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY~!! NO INSURANCE POLICY COVERS A PASSENGER ON A CRUISE SHIP~!! If you want to be covered during your cruise, and IF YOU WANT EVACUATION INSURANCE you must purchase that in addition to whatever policy you currently have~!! YOUR CURRENT MEDICAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU ON A CRUISE~!! Imagine if you fall and break a hip in the Mediterranean; you must pay for evacuation from the ship, medical service in a foreign country, recovery, therapy, and airfare back to America AND YOU MUST DO IT WITH CASH OR BANK DRAFT~!! If you are taking a cruise, BUY INSURANCE from the cruise line or from your agent. If you’re elderly or infirm, BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE~!!

  • Commission driven insurance actually assures you that you are dealing with a legitimate company and with an advocate should you require assistance while on your vacation.

    Most medical policies from the US are not going to cover you when you are on a cruise or visiting an island or foreign country and a good TRAVEL PROTECTION POLICY will cover myriad issues that a traveler could run into. If they purchase on line they may not truly be getting the policy that is right for their needs. The price they may pay online for travel protection is very similar to what they would pay through a good travel agent, the difference is that the company is pocketing the commission.

  • Robyn

    It mentions that there is no blood bank. What a waste that would be to be stocked in blood! Actually…the ship is stocked in blood. Passengers lept at the opportunity to help another guest during an emergency. An announcement was made that if there was any registered blood doners on board who were willing to donate it would be appreciated. Within a few minutes another announcement was made that dozens of people had run down to help. So, there kind of is a blood bank. Emergencies happen, the medical teams vary by cruis line but from what I witnessed working on ships, they are pretty awesome and do what they can. The problem comes from people who don’t understand lack of coverage or have a sence of entitlement or false security. You are far from home, educate yourself, and remember that the ship is a floating hotel away from land, we are not babysitters.