No Time to Get Sick Cruising

The Right Price………………………………………………………….$471
Ship: Caribbean Princess, Southern Caribbean, 7 days
Departure: April 10 or April 24, 2011, return from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ports: St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), Domenica, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba
Contact: Princess Cruise Lines

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Being sick on a cruise ship is always a problem. One or more of four things is going to happen:

(1) If you’re sick when you go through the embarkation process, you may not get past the medical officer, and there goes the $900 you spent on your cruise.
(2) If you get past the medical officer with a “clearance to continue” you may be quarantined and spent your week-long vacation in your cabin, plus have to pay for medical treatment.
(3) If you get sick after the ship leaves, cabin confinement and cost come into play again, unless it’s Norovirus, in which case cruise lines generally cover the cost of treating “outbreak” illnesses.
(4) If you’re sick before or during a cruise, you’re going to feel like spending too much time in your cabin.

And now it’s mea culpa time.

On at least three of our cruises, one of us (we’ll let you guess which one) boarded the ship while feeling “under the weather.” The under-the-weatherness was diagnosed as sinusitis and it wasn’t contagious. We know this because the person sharing the stateroom with him (oops) never caught it. Also because one of the doctors consulted (off the ship) said so.

But frankly, the contagiousness of the condition was overshadowed by the costliness. We’re just like everybody else. We didn’t go all that way and spend all that money to be turned away at the gangplank because of congestion, coughing or a case of the sniffles. We didn’t know that we would be turned away, we only knew that we could be.

The alternative? Take out insurance to cover that eventuality, and add “hundreds” of dollars to the cost of your vacation. Each. As we said, we’re just like everybody else.

Which ships? Which cruises? Are you kidding? We still don’t want them to know…would you?

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