Thank you, Dave for posting the follow up article. I cannot understand why the cruise lines keep taking hits in the public opinion polls, only to end up spending the money to rectify a situation anyway. Why not make the smart decision up front? A few thousand dollars is nothing to their bottom line, however, the bad press probably costs hundreds of times that amount.
Now, to my original point...I am tired of the media publishing stories from disgruntled passengers that are full of half truths and incomplete information that are designed to drum up drama and create corporate backlash. Once again, the follow-up article states:
"The cruise line left Melkonian and his wife, Jill, 65, at a rural Turkish hospital that had no intensive care unit.
Pain-ridden, Melkonian waited 24 hours before an insurance-issued ambulance with no doctor or nurse transferred him to an American hospital in Istanbul."
So the hospital had no intensive care unit...and that means what, exactly? Did the patient need to be in the intensive care unit? It is never stated in the article, and based on my experience with broken hips, I doubt that he did. Also, apparently there was no doctor or nurse in the ambulance that he was transferred in...you know what? I was transported in an ambulance to the hospital two weeks ago, and by golly there was no doctor or nurse with me, either. What does that even mean? A broken hip by itself, while a serious injury, is not usually life threatening at all. Of course, the patient was 89 years-old, but again, we have no idea about what was really going on with him, other than his wife was complaining.
Seriously, folks, if you are going to take cruises to foreign ports, you have to take some measure of responsibility for your own safety. The insurance company cannot help it if the local nation's policies refuse to accept a promise of payment and demand payment up front. In fact, this is the policy in much of the rest of the world. This is the exact reason why I take extra credit cards with high limits with me when I go on cruises...just in case something like this happens.
I am sorry for the ranting, but one of the problems in America is our lack of understanding of personal responsibility. Read the cruise contract and tell me where it says anything about the cruise line being responsible for any of this.
Take care and have a great weekend!