Medical Emergency on a Cruise Ship


On my list of things to be worried about when we went on our weekend with Royal Caribbean on Anthem of the Seas was sea sickness or if one of the kids (or us for that matter became ill).   I had been to the pharmacist and bought Kwells and Calpol and a friend of mine had said not to worry as the onboard medical team always stock really good sea sickness pills if they were needed.  So to that end I had been vaguely aware of the fact that the ship would have a doctor. I didn’t actually expect to have to use them for a medical emergency.

What I know now, is that if you do need to use them, they are absolutely brilliant.

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On the Sunday morning my husband hadn’t felt very well. We had between us diagnosed sea sickness combined with rich food the night before and red wine.  Well in actual fact my husband did become seriously unwell (forgive me if I do not provide any specifics here) but we definitely put the medical team through their paces.

From the moment I called the medical centre it was no longer than three minutes before a full team arrived in our room.  The response time was out of this world.   At all times, the staff couldn’t have been more reassuring or efficient.   The medical centre was extremely well equipped and staffed with experienced medics.  I am sure the care my husband received was equal to any A&E department.  I was reassured that if we needed to get back to Southampton we could do.  The ship could be speeded up, or there is a helicopter on board.  Again not options you would want to have to employ, but reassuring beyond belief to know that they are there.

Thankfully  my husband was actually OK and I have to say even by his standards this was an extreme way of getting some attention.  However, the care and facilities, like everything about the ship were very impressive.

The slight downside to this care, if there is one at all, is the cost. This is an American cruise ship so the costs are based on American hospital charges. I signed the credit card release as they started to treat my husband, but thankfully safe in the knowledge that we had extensive travel insurance (please don’t let me down Natwest!). I know some people did travel without insurance, but thankfully we weren’t one of them.  This is exactly the scenario it is needed for.

I say slight downside, to be honest I actually don’t think it is. At the time I would have paid twice that just to be sure he was OK.  I honestly can’t thank Royal Caribbean enough for the quality of the care my husband received onboard Anthem of the Seas. Whilst I hope anyone reading never needs this care, I do think it is reassuring to know that it can be relied upon.

NB: We paid in full for this treatment and all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

10 thoughts on “Medical Emergency on a Cruise Ship”

  1. What a way to have to test out all the services on offer Karen…. Seriously I hope hubby is better now and great point about the insurance so many people think it won’t happen to them but better safe than sorry. Sounds like he was in good hands x

  2. Having a type 1 diabetic we are much more likely than most people to need medical assistance whilst on holiday, I’d never travel out of the country without it! Touch wood we’ve had no ambulance trips for 2 years now and hopefully never again!!

    Stevie x

  3. Your husband did make sure you tested out ALL the facilities in all fairness to him. Poor guy, glad he was okay and managed to enjoy some of Sunday’s activities. Lesson learnt, always have travel insurance!

  4. Well that’s a thorough review for your blog – glad everything turned out well though. In my time I’ve also road tested French and Greek hospitals – both were fine!

    • Monika this went into spam for some reason. It was $1200 and not actually had it back from the insurers yet. They haven’t said there will be any problems, it just hasn’t arrived yet! Had to go to the docs and get a medical report first too.


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