HamburgExploring vast areas of the world without constantly changing hotel rooms: This year, 30 million people worldwide are expected to cruise the world and indulge in a dream holiday on a floating town – up to 6,600 passengers, depending on the ship.
Even in the event that the ships should not be booked, the space on board is likely to be relatively cramped and the risk of getting sick relatively high. Infections with Salmonella, Noro, flu and cold viruses are among the most common reasons why modern crusaders visit the on-board hospital.
There are also accidents, not a few of which are attributed to the “general risk of life” in the case law: injuries in times of high seas, including broken bones on wet ship floors or falls from hammocks.
The impression can arise that cruises are not a really safe and medically recommended way of traveling. “Yes, that's what they are when they first come up with competent and individualized travel advice and when hygiene measures are consistently taken into account on the way”, said Professor Berthold Petutschnigg last year at an event organized by the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM), an independent institute in Düsseldorf.
On the ride
Large vessels have extensive medical centers with laboratory diagnostics, digital x-rays, ultrasound, ECG, some intensive care equipment, appropriately trained (at least) two physicians and other professionals. Depending on the clinical picture, outpatient, full or partial inpatient treatment and care can be provided. In case of emergency, it is at the discretion of the doctor to initiate an evacuation.
The cost varies depending on where the ship is currently located and in what condition the patient is. The on-board pharmacy is equipped for general illnesses and emergency treatments. Prescription medicines are issued only after a ship's doctor consultation. Since it is usually more expensive than the actual drug, see under “in hand luggage”.
“Accident and illness do not look for the place of the event, do not announce themselves and last at least as long as at home”, says the surgeon and emergency physician Petutschnigg from Graz, who also works as a ship's doctor and as “Chief Senior Doctor” cruise passengers cared for.
In other words, even if it hardly möIt is possible to protect yourself one hundred percent from illness and accident so that the danger can be reduced considerably with caution. Planning, prudence and cleanliness are the best basis. The more careful preparation and precautions are, the easier the journey will be. Otherwise, it can be expensive, possibly even more expensive than the original package for the entire trip.
On the one hand, passengers can usually claim no price reduction or no compensation, such as the Würzburg table shows in which legal cases from the cruise sector are collected and evaluated. On the other hand, treatments such as private medical services are billed, up to nine times the rate of fees for Ädoctors. Already for a mere ämedical advice can be just under 100 euros due; if these and other costs are not justified, more and more insurers refuse to take over.
Who gets so sick on a cruise that even the on-board resources are not enough and a helicopter becomes necessary or the ship unscheduled to head for the next port to bring the patient first to a clinic and then by ambulance flight possibly back home particularly interested in the following question: who pays all this? These and other answers can be found in our expert tips for optimal travel preparation and time on board:
More: Cheap workers carry the cruise boom. But the working conditions are in the criticism. The Aida boss fights back.
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