Almost all ships have an infirmary with a doctor and nurse on staff, available 24 hours.
Notify the cruise line in advance if you have any pre-existing conditions that might need medical attention while on board. Be sure that the type of assistance you might need is available.
Remember, cruise ships aren’t hospitals and aren't equipped to handle all emergencies.
Consider purchasing trip insurance that will help cover any costs of getting to proper medical care if necessary. Read the fine print of any policy to see make certain what is and isn't covered. Often there are exceptions and in many cases pre-existing conditions are not covered.
If you suffer from any food allergies, learn the names of those foods in the languages of the countries you’ll be visiting. This allows you to more easily identify and avoid them.
Check to see what, if any, diseases are common to the area you’ll be visiting. Take whatever action necessary to prevent illness in the event that you become exposed to them.
Inquire as to what types of vaccinations may be needed to enter a specific country, Often, medications need to be taken before, during and after your trip for best results. If inoculations are necessary, get them done early, in the event that you have a reaction and need recovery time.
Consider a dental check up before leaving, if you haven’t had one in a while.
Of course, be careful what you eat and drink.
Always carry your complete health information with you on a trip.
Check into joining Medic Alert or IAMAT, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
www.cdc.gov/travel/ The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information web page. This site contains updated information and articles on diseases. It also includes guidelines for travel to areas that have suffered a recent natural disaster. The most valuable section of the site is the destination section. This area of the site contains detailed specific information on diseases common to particular regions of the world, along with the recommended precautions and vaccines advised to avoid those diseases.
www.who.int Try the World Health Organization’s International Travel and Health web page. It contains information about recommended vaccinations and general health advice for travelers.
www.who.int This is the World Health Organization’s Geographical information of potential health hazards to travelers web page. It contains information, divided by areas of the globe, on potential health hazards for travelers within that area.
www.sentex.net This is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers homepage. The I.A.M.A.T. is a nonprofit organization that helps travelers avoid illness while traveling abroad. They help guide travelers in 125 countries to competent medical care and to doctors trained in Western countries that speak either French or English. There is no cost of membership for this organization. Donations are encouraged to help continue IAMAT’s work.
www.medicalert.org The Medic Alert homepage is a nonprofit organization that provides bracelets to identify diseases or allergies from which you suffer. The bracelet carries a phone number to be called in the event that medical personnel need access to your medical records on a 24-hour a day basis. Registration is necessary and an annual membership fee applies.
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