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Medical Care on a Cruise Ship - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Hints and Tips

The last thing we ever want to contemplate when on holiday is needing medical attention, but unfortunately, the reality is that, from time to time, most of us will need to seek medical care. However, being on a cruise ship is probably one of the best places to be if you have a routine medical problem, as all the large cruise liners have medical facilities on board, and can cope with most medical emergencies. And of course, the ship’s hospital is but a short walk away, with no language problems, either.

The first time we experienced the excellent facilities on board a ship was on our very first cruise. We had boarded Royal Caribbean’s ‘Enchantment of the Seas’ on one of its inaugural cruises and had just arrived in our favourite port, St Thomas. We had hired a car for the day and drove up to the observation area overlooking the beautiful Magen’s Bay when I decided to take a last photo with my new camera. My family decided to go back to the car but left me warning me to be ‘Be careful! ’ Unfortunately, trying to take a photo of a beautiful tree in full bloom I tripped, and you guessed it, fell heavily on my knees trying to save my new camera. When I stood up I could see that my knee was very badly cut and full of the sharp gravel that I had fallen on. I stumbled back to the car and had the embarrassment of telling everyone that their fears for my safety had proven correct.

By this time my knee was dripping blood and we had nothing whatsoever to clean it up with. A kind trader sitting by the side of the car park offered me a bottle of water to rinse the cut out but we could see that we needed more specialist help. So there was nothing for it but to return to the ship. We arrived at the medical center and an immediate examination of my knee resulted in the nurse putting out a call for one of the doctors, who had just popped on shore. Within a short space of time he returned, examined my knee and started to clean it up. Thankfully I managed to avoid stitches, though it was quite a deep gouge, and he agreed that if I was careful I could make my way back to Magen’s Bay and have my long awaited swim. The hospital was sparkling clean and extremely well equipped, and with regular checks from the nurse my knee continued to improve.

Since then we have had the odd visit to medical centers on board a variety of ships. The latest was when my husband developed a sudden problem with one of his eyes on arrival at our villa in Orlando. He was able to see a consultant before we left for our cruise on Emerald Princess, but once on board we went to see the doctor who was concerned that the treatment was not working. He changed the medication and did a very thorough check of my husband’s eyes. He was extremely careful, and did everything he could to ensure that my husband received the best possible treatment. He even contacted a consultant ophthalmologist on land to confirm that his treatment was correct. My husband saw him each day and we found the treatment we received to be top class, plus the cost was one third of that of visiting a doctor at a walk-in medical center on land.

Of course nobody wants to be ill on holiday, but it is reassuring to know that should a problem occur a medical center is available 24 hours a day.

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