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Be Leery of Going to Medical on Cruise Ship
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- While cruising on the Celebrity Silhouette, my husband was diagnosed with a Ocular Herpes, a type of shingles. The doctor was very competent in the diagnosis, made on a Saturday morning before passengers were even allowed ashore in St. Croix. And that's when the fun began!

She showed us pictures of the disease on the Internet (really gruesome and quite frightening) and in her medical books; she also showed us that what she had prescribed was what the books said to do. She warned my husband how dangerous this disease could be but again said she didn't expect it to progress so that it looked like the pictures she had shown us - she just wanted us to know. She mentioned that he should see an ophthalmologist and sent him on his way, but asked him to return so she could check his blood pressure (on 4 different machines they got four different readings).

On Sunday morning around 8:00am we got a call from her saying she had the port agent with her and started talking about disembarking us - we went down to see them since she had a habit of changing what she was thinking. Once in medical, she continued with the disembarking, need to see ophthalmologist, don't think they would disembark you, closest hospital doesn't have an ophthalmologist, don't know if other one might but we're only here for a few hours (our shortest day ashore) - she flip-flopped (do, don't, do, don't) so much my husband actually threw up. And the suggestion of having us leave the ship or go to a hospital was never brought up on the day he was diagnosed, when we had about 10 hours ashore. Now, first thing in the morning she's all upset and can't understand why we aren't packed. We decide to stay (after all, she has pointed out that she is treating him as the books say to do!). Now she shifts her focus to his blood pressure which gets taken on four different machines again and again and always has four completely different readings. On the last evening of our cruise, as we are packing and getting ready for our last dinner on the ship, my husband says she wanted to check his blood pressure one more time and leaves, promising to be back shortly. Then the doctor calls me and asks me to come down - I walk into the medical area and find my husband lying on a table with heart monitors on, oxygen in his nose, IV's in his arm - the doctor tells me she is giving him potassium and he won't be long but it is very important he have a baseline - this about 12 hours before we are going to leave the ship!

Once he finally returned, he tells me that she never went into any detail about what she was going to do - and every time I called or went down I was again told he wouldn't be long. For this one day we were charged almost $800 - and our last night was totally destroyed - he did not get back to the room until almost midnight! If you go to medical, make sure you know just what the doctor intends to do - and what it will cost. Celebrity was kind enough to reimburse us for two land excursions we were unable to use but for the distress the doctor caused us they are only willing to give each of us a voucher for $125, good for use on our next purchase, which at this point doesn't seem likely. Plus, we get better offers in emails from Celebrity sent directly to us - and in generic emails sent to groups. As much as we looked forward to taking that cruise, getting off the ship was the highlight of the cruise! We went to NYC and had a great time. When we returned home my husband went to the doctor and his blood pressure was only slightly elevated and the doctor didn't even want to see the baseline that ruined our last night. And all the Celebrity representative would say is that you can always refuse care......well, maybe if you know what the doctor is going to honestly do you would. And they need to list prices. And they need to think - to ruin that last night - all that was done could have waited! Our personal doctor could have run any of the tests she felt was necessary once we got home and the cruise doctor should have suggested that instead of doing what she did. Can't help but think money played a part in it, certainly common sense didn't!
     
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trmn8r on 07/17/2012:
What were your husband's symptoms when he sought care in the first place?

If the doctor diagnosed occular herpes, it is easy to imagine she was bothered significantly by having a "patient" on board with such a disease - it is very serious and can lead to blindness.

I can't judge the doctor's actions since I'm not remotely close to being a doctor. I would be interested in what criteria/symptoms/examination she performed in making the diagnosis. Evidently a "slit lamp microscope" is normally used.
onlooker on 07/18/2012:
Excuse me...you are complaining that you got medical care for a potentially very debilitating condition....and it was not given well?

With a situation of a condition of risk, unknown patient with little history on a ship, with how many hundreds of others potentially involved, and with a lack of sophisticated clinic resources, you, your husband and the doctor were in a tough position.

The doctor did not give you clear treatment or information or a care schedule. It seems that as the doctor discussed with other people - Port Agent...there was real cause for dr's concern.

My colleague with the condition spent weeks in a hospital because of damage from bad diagnosis and treatment on land in the US. I've seen a bad outcome.

Yes you lost part of your cruise, yes it sounds very confusing and frightening, but other options: get sent off, or go home on your dollar, get hospitalized in a port etc were not forced on you.
The dr checked on local hospital options, something caused concern etc.

An abundance of caution balanced with what could be done locally is what I see here.

As noted above, the actual medical care can't be judged here. Your husbands blood pressure readings (probably impacted by the immediate situation), other meds or medical conditions are not included in your complaint and those could have influenced the doctors actions also.

It is unfortunate the Carnival is responding as they did.


Anonymous on 07/18/2012:
You chose to stay on the cruise rather than go home. You can't complain about the medical treatment you got because you chose to stay on the ship. Unfortunately illness happens and you can't point fingers at anyone for missing out on the ports and losing money.
Anna Molly on 07/18/2012:
I'm sorry, but, unless I drop dead on a cruise ship, I have no plans on visiting their medical clinic, for any reason. I'm not saying I don't trust their advice/treatment (OK..maybe I am a little leery), I'm just saying I don't want to waste my vacation dealing with any part of what you just went through, because that's what I would imagine would happen.
CowboyFan on 07/18/2012:
Obviously, the OP's husband had symptoms sufficient to make him seek medical attention. What does the OP expect the doctor to do? If the doctor minimizes the illness, then she faces liability for not properly caring for the passenger. Instead, it seems like the Doctor took affirmative action to make sure that the patient remained stable and safe until the ship returned to the original port. The OP now complains. I would rather have an unpleasant cruise with medical assistance, then ending up in a crisis on board ship, far from a hospital.
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Luggage Dropped At Sea
Posted by on
We surprised our parents with a cruise for their anniversary and opted for the Equinox (Celebrity Cruise) leaving from Barcelona and arriving in Rome.

It started really great with one of the luggage being dropped at sea! The crew left the luggage by the cabin as if nothing happened. When my parents opened the luggage it was soaking wet including the contents.

They called reception and straight away they went to the cabin and apologized for this and took the clothes for laundry. The employee told her that for the damaged items she needs to fill an application and everything will be credited without a problem. My parents trusting them filled a form and the person in charge told them that this will be handled and they will receive a refund in a short period of time.

This is where the fun begins!

A week after the cruise we contacted the “Luggage Recovery” department on luggagerecovery@rccl.com and were dealing with a person named Brian.

We spoke over the phone (you could barely hear anything) and all documents were sent via email.

On e-mail it felt like it is 1 way communication apart from the automatic response. Not even a personal acknowledgment that he is working on the info.

1st e-mail was sent on the 16th of September and the last email we sent was on the 23rd of November and all we got is automated response.

Every time we called, Brian was putting the blame on another company and that is why a refund was not issued yet. For all we care this is the cruise liners responsibility that is why customers pay thousands for a cruise.

The Xmas holidays passed and in January (almost 4 months) I decided to contact the agent that I booked with, and all of a sudden things started progressing.

The agent told me that they have called and they were waiting for our information. They never called nor sent any emails since I kept record of all the 1 way threads. Last communication over the phone was that they still have not solved the case.

To cut the story short, I sent the details to my agent since they seem to reply on that side and sent 20% of the refund. Reason being is that no receipts were provided.

How can I provide receipts if they never asked for them in the first place? They have only asked for item description and the value of the item. To credit 20% was just a joke!

So in reality you are just a number for these companies, and no matter how many questionnaires and things they send all they want is money.

Thank you for making it memorable.
     
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Anonymous on 01/31/2011:
I actually had something similar happen on a Carnival Cruise. I had a piece of luggage delivered to my state room, literally crushed. Luckily, the garment bag only contained a few items - a suit, a tie, a dress shirt, and dress shoes. Only the shirt was damaged, it was shredded. The time to deal with it was THEN. My husband immediately went to the pursur's desk and demanded compensation, and he got it.

How in the world they can deliver damaged/soaking wet luggage to the stateroom is beyond me.
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Spa ripoffs on Celebrity Cruise Lines
Posted by on
Don't fall for Celebrity Cruise line "Therapy pool" scam in the spa. I recently took a cruise on Sept. 24th from Seattle to Canada and checked out the spa. They were advertising 3 days use for the therapy pool -$54; it included use of the steam room (which is free on every other cruise I've taken). After one use of the pool, I developed a severe rash and was seen by the ship's doctor, who treated me. I asked for my money back the next day. Didn't happen, because they said I used the steam room. I contacted the cruise line after returning to Seattle; they assured me my money would be refunded.

A week later, I got a phone call saying "no refund." Lesson learned - don't buy any of the spa deals on Celebrity cruises.

     
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Skye on 10/28/2007:
Not sure why my first comment didn't show up.

Did the doctor provide you with any type of written documentation saying the rash was caused by the pool?? Maybe if you had a doctors note, some money would be refunded.
ejack053824 on 10/28/2007:
I took one cruise once and never been so miserable in my life. Kind of made me think I was in the Navy and that thought pissed me off all the way to Mexico!
DebtorBasher on 10/28/2007:
They can call it whatever they want...but it's all the same, a public breeding ground for germs. Anyone who uses places like that does so at their own risk.
ejack053824 on 10/28/2007:
I usually drop a Payday Candy bar in those places!
Simbabe54 on 10/29/2007:
I would be afraid to use any spa facility on a cruise ship.The spa has got to be a petri dish for germs.....same with the pool and don't get me started on the hot tubs(warm water,hundreds of people,God alone knows when they get cleaned...you do the math)
Did you get any documentation from the cruise doctor?did you see your doctor when you got home?
kalona on 11/04/2007:
Yes, I had a doctor's slip from the cruise ship doctor. I sent the company a copy of THEIR own doctor's slip, to no avail. Imagine spending over $1,000 on a cruise, then having to defend a legitimate request for refund of $54. I have been travelling (and itching) for my job over the last few weeks and have not gotten to my doctor yet. I just feel stupid for using these things at all. Many of you seem to have the 411 on the germs and cleanliness. Good.
Skye on 11/04/2007:
Kalona,

Sorry you are still itching. Get to your doctor, you might have a fungus. Not trying to gross you out, but sounds pretty serious.

Ring worm is so contagious. Not saying that's what you have, but as stated, those sauna's are festering grounds for germs and fungi.
jktshff1 on 11/06/2007:
nah ej....a baby ruth works better
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