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gss 02-02-2007 09:27 AM

Does anyone have an opinion on which cruise line has the best onboard care? My wife is undergoing chemo for breat cancer (2nd occurrence). She will finish up in the summer and I want to take her on a cruise in late August. We went on a cruise last year for our 10th anniversary and were planning another for Jan 2007 when she was diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. I want to be on a ship that can help her if she gets sick.

Dave 02-02-2007 09:35 AM

Princess was part of the SeaMed program, where the Grand Princess could get live time advice from Cedars-Sinai hospital and specialists via a satellite link. I don't know if they still do this, or if it is on all of their ships.

gss 02-02-2007 09:59 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I looked out on the net and through the princess web site but could not locate any references to Sea Med.

Dave 02-02-2007 10:36 AM

Just looking at their passenger demographics, and higher probability of illness among older passengers, I would look at Holland America too.

Mabob1 02-02-2007 10:49 AM

I've only ever had one instance on a cruise where I had to make use of the ship's doctor and that was on Royal Caribbean's Soveriegn of the Seas.

My son took ill with what we thought was bronchitis. It cost $250 just to see the ship's doctor who did nothing but give him a bottle of cough syrup for an additional $25!!

Upon debarkation, our family doctor diagnosed our son with pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics.

I don't know if all RCCL ships operate that way, but the medical care on the Sovereign left a rather unpleasant memory.

gss 02-02-2007 10:52 AM

Doesn't look like Holland America cruises to the Caribbean during Aug/Sept. Thats about the only time i can get free taht matches when my wife will be out of chemo. Should I contact princess dirctly or try to get info through a travel agent?

Dave 02-02-2007 11:44 AM

Use a qualified cruise specialist. Let them do the work for you! It won't cost you any more or less than if you book directly with the line.

Karen Knowlton 02-02-2007 01:36 PM

Not only that, but definitely purchase 3rd-party travel insurance at the time you book the cruise. (You can best do this thru a travel agent - the cruise line is only interested in selling you their own insurance.) If you buy the 3rd party insurance within a few days of your cruise deposit, most of the good insurance companies will waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion. Without the insurance, or if purchased too late (or the wrong kind), any medical expenses you incur on the cruise will be your responsibility; with it, if you get the pre-ex waiver, you can be reimbursed for at least some of those expenses.

gss 02-02-2007 04:45 PM

Thanks one and all! I definitely will go thru a cruise specialist and I'll ask about the pre existing waiver for the trip insurance

Dave 02-02-2007 04:52 PM


The insurance is very important, as is making sure you fall into the pre-existing condidition waiver period. Be very careful here......make sure it is clear as can be that your wife's cancer is covered.

On a personal note, I hope all goes well for your wife. I have personal family experience with breast cancer, and I know what you two are going through. Godspeed.

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