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Beware: Seeking On-Board Medical Treatment could blow your Cruise Budget

Cruise ships can be like floating cities, packed with restaurants, shops, entertainment and even a doctor’s surgery. However, many people fail to realise that these on board clinics are run by private medical firms, and so doctors will charge patients for their time and treatment.

Stethoscope on clipboard

One traveller found this out the hard way, when he suffered a vertigo attack during his cruise holiday earlier this year. Mr Wilkinson from West Yorkshire was immediately put in a wheelchair and taken to the ship’s doctor, where he was placed a drip for approximately one hour. No further treatment was needed, and Mr Wilkinson returned to his holiday.
However, towards the end of the trip he was handed a £1,022.36 bill for the doctor’s time and costs. The 69 year old was understandably shocked by this bill, especially as he had experienced a similar illness on a previous cruise, and had only been charged £30 for an anti-sickness injection.
The cruise was run by Thomson, so when he returned home Mr Wilkinson visited his local branch. He asked the representative to guess how much he had been charged for his treatment, and the estimate was apparently between £100-£150 – much cheaper than the real figure.
Luckily the couple are regular cruisers, and knew to purchase specialist cruise travel insurance before they left home. This meant that the bill was covered by their insurance company. The only costs they had to pay was their £50 policy excess.
If you’re planning a cruise holiday, just remember to invest in travel insurance which covers the cost of on board medical treatment; otherwise you could be stuck with a hefty bill if something goes wrong. Visit for more information on our award winning cover.

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