Consumer Reports: Sick at sea
Glitzy ads of luxury cruises often feature the indulgences. They skip the less glamorousstory of being sick at sea, and the limited treatment options available. When theNorovirus tore through a cruise ship in January, more than 600 passengers werestruck. Now imagine yourself days from the nearest port, on a ship without diagnosticequipment like an MRI machine, a blood bank or even specialty doctors.
Many people believe they are boarding a floating hospital, but a cruise ship is morelike a floating hotel, with a doctor at hand, says Consumer Reports medical adviser, Dr.Orly Avitzur. She says think twice about traveling with a chronic medical condition. TheCoast Guard can t always launch a rescue, if the seas are rough or the ship is too farfrom land. Next, know that most prescription drugs are not available on a cruise ship,so: Always travel with an extra supply of all medications.
Also, get ready to pay a premium, out of pocket, for any on-board care, even items likeBand-Aids or aspirin. Many people aren t aware that most cruise ships don t acceptmedical insurance.
And, Consumer Reports says: Consider travel insurance. It could be invaluable if youend up needing serious medical attention in a foreign port. Avoid commission-drivenpolicies that are sold by tour operators, travel agents and cruise-lines. Instead, checkout an online broker such as: InsureMyRip.com, which sells coverage from multiplecompanies.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances,cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports website.Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.
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