Health Considerations on Your World Cruise

One of the most important practices in reducing and preventing illness from infections while on your world cruise is washing your hands regularly. Travelers should wash their hands often with soap and water. In absence of running water, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is recommended to help prevent disease transmission. This is especially important before and after meals, when participating in activities where you are in contact with surfaces that many others could have touched (i.e., railings, buttons, countertops, etc.), handling money and after using the restroom.

In this video, health experts suggest that you take several key steps to be proactive, prepared, and protected against injury or illness while outside of the United States, especially in developing nations. This includes packing a health kit, bringing necessary medications, and getting the right immunizations for safe and healthy travel.

Passport to Health

 

International travel is usually very safe but there are things you should do to stay safe and healthy. Experts show you how to avoid problems when traveling in developing nations. This includes being cautious about the food you eat, the water you drink, and to be aware of vehicles and road conditions to prevent problems.

Many Healthy Returns

 

Are Immunizations Required Prior To Boarding?

Immunizations may be recommended or required for certain countries visited on your cruise itinerary. If you are traveling to (or transiting through) Africa or South America, for example, you may require a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. This vaccination can be administered only by a state approved clinic. It is also a good idea to bring along a record of your immunizations as requirements for immunizations may change.

Contact your local physician ideally 4-6 weeks prior to departure to obtain all necessary vaccinations and preventative medications. It is important to address any special needs.

Medical Emergencies While On Board

If passengers become ill or injured during the voyage and the diagnostic and/or care needs exceed the capabilities of the infirmary, passengers will be transferred to medical facilities ashore. Please note that Medicare and many health insurance plans DO NOT cover the cost of medical care at sea, in foreign countries, or for air evacuation. Guests are encouraged to obtain travel medical insurance prior to travel in order to be reimbursed for services rendered.

What About Medications & Prescriptions?

Pack enough medication. Refill your medicine prescriptions sufficient for the duration of the cruise. Keep it with you at all times and remember to leave all medication in its original container. It is also a good idea to bring your immunization records and prescription for eye glasses or contacts.

Keep medication close at hand in your purse or carry-on bag. Be sure to bring enough prescription medicine to last throughout your cruise, as it may not be available on board or in some of the countries visited.

Your prescription medication should be kept close at hand in your purse or carry-on bag rather than in your checked luggage. Be sure to bring a sufficient supply of medication and transport it in the original container. It is also a good idea to carry a written list of your medications in case they are lost. The list should include the name of the drug, dosage and times taken. In case of emergency, the cruise line may assist in filling prescriptions. However, please note that additional charges will apply.

Prescription medical marijuana is not allowed on board. Possession of marijuana, even if by prescription, is a violation of US law , may be a violation of the laws of countries the ship may visit, and may result in referral to law enforcement authorities. Prescription Marinol, an alternative to marijuana, is permitted on board.

What Medical Facilities & Services Are Available On Board?

Each ship has an onboard medical center staffed by licensed physicians and critical care nurses. While not a full-service hospital, the medical center is well equipped to handle most emergencies and routine medical procedures.

A customary fee will be charged for services and medications dispensed (with the exception of meclizine for seasickness, Tylenol® and aspirin, which may also be obtained at the front office). If you become ill or injured during the voyage and your diagnostic and/or care needs exceed the capabilities of the medical center, you will be transferred to medical facilities ashore. Please note that Medicare and many health insurance plans DO NOT cover the cost of medical care at sea, in foreign countries, or for air evacuation. Guests are encouraged to obtain travel medical insurance prior to travel in order to be reimbursed for services rendered.

If you have a chronic medical condition, please bring a recent report from your physician. The medical staff on board is not available for daily care, unless you are hospitalized in the medical center. You must be able to care for yourself, including dressing, eating and attending the ship's safety drills. If you are unable to function independently in these areas, you must bring a caregiver with you. Because of the limited medical facilities, infants 6 months or younger at the time the cruise commences and women who will be 24 or more weeks pregnant during the course of their travel are not permitted to participate in the cruise. If you are pregnant, please provide a medical note from your physician stating your expected due date and medical fitness to travel.

Keep medication close at hand in your purse or carry-on bag. Be sure to bring enough prescription medicine to last throughout your cruise, as it may not be available on board or in some of the countries visited.