Medical Emergencies

The Hawaiian cruise had 3 "announced" medical emergencies and probably countless additional ones due to rocky seas and wet decks. The first one involved tendering a patient back to shore with heart issues in Maui.  The second was a lady who collapsed when dancing and the third was a drunk we left in Ensenada.

It can be somewhat unsettling when you hear a medical announcement on the loud speaker but the captain was always good about giving as much info as possible. Our ship was delayed leaving port for about two or three hours on the heart attack victim.  The woman was revived on site and ironically my husband and I met her and the doctor escorting her back to her room in the elevator.  When the medical alert for assistance in the Piazza sounded, the response time must have been instantaneous because it was less than an half hour when we saw her being taken back to her room. I said to the dr in the elevator - uh oh sounds like another medical emergency and the woman spoke up and said, it was me, I forgot to take my medication but I am fine and this nice dr is taking me to my room.

The third emergency was detailed by the captain as a passenger who was drunk in Ensenada and would not be re-boarding as they were removing his belongings and leaving him on shore to seek medical attention there. That delayed departure about 3 hours.

 I have experienced about 15 medical emergencies when cruising and I am always impressed by the way Princess handles them with minimal inconvenience to the rest of the passengers.

8 Answers

We experienced watching a guest be Medivaced (?) off the Liberty a couple of years ago, and it was amazing to watch. I can't remember if it was the captain or CD who made the announcement for guests to clear a certain area. We were in the Lido aft pool area so we watched the helicopter hover right above us, lower the medical team and then take the guest up in the basket. I wouldn't say we got much information, except it was an emergency medical situation, and there was nothing more we, as total strangers, needed to know. Carnival respected the guest and their family/travel companions and gave out no more information. Everyone applauded and cheered as the chopper flew away, and shipboard activities returned to normal.

I always tend to get a bit upset when I hear that my schedule is being adjusted in order to attend to a medical emergency. The feeling lasts for a couple of seconds until I realize the importance of the matter, and that the ship would do the same for me.

In over 20 years of cruising have never had the ship change schedule for a medical emergency. I had witnessed one medical emergency where a guy at the table next to us went face down into his dinner plate with a "Thud", Medical team came tried mouth to mouth and electrical paddles. He was gone before the doc arrived. The next night a different family was at that table. The ship kept it's set schedule.

I am just glad that it is not me having a medical problem.

On our first cruise we had a passenger pass away, they removed him in Honolulu, with his family.

He was an elderly gentleman, That same trip a man fell an broke his hip, he got off in Hilo, and in Maui , with the tender a lady fell down the stairs in the boat.

I believe, based on demographics they have a percentage that won't be walking off.

Not one of us is getting younger, so it is nice to know there are procedures in place for such emergencies.

Man, we started cruising in 1990. I have a tough time trying to recall the number of medical emergencies we have experienced. But there have been a lot of them. Judging from the comments here, I guess guests don't get sick on most ships and need help. Can't prove it by us though. As for altering course and changing itineraries as a result thereof. Maybe six. One of which added another day and a missed port in crossing the Atlantic. At least two others involved missing a port. Others were not significant enough to lose a port because the captain was able make up the lost time by increasing speed, however, in one case he didn't want to do that as it meant full speed into very high seas for which he had previously anticipated taking on at very slow revolutions. Just a year ago, on a simple Caribbean cruise, in the middle of the night we had to alter course to Gran Turk, so somebody could get a life saving air medivak. One time we had to return toward the European Continent for about ten hours total sailing time in order for the Irish Coast Guard to reach their limit of 550 miles out with a helicopter and accompanying overhead navigation escort to air lift a very sick guest off of our ship.

Here's a video that I posted on Youtube after when sailing on the Caribbean Princess, we had an Emergency (Helicopter) Evac at sea after leaving the Azores. The video was recorded on my cell phone from inside our cabin from the T.V. because everyone was banned from being up on the open decks while the Helicopter was performing the Evac. The fellow passenger had Appendicitis and was on the verge of having it burst. It delayed us in-transit for about 3 hours yet the captain made it to our next port ontime.


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