Be Leery of Going to Medical on Cruise Ship
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!