Our Guide to Cruise Travel with a Medical Condition

Cruises offer a completely unique type of holiday which is reflected in their popularity; somewhat surprisingly the increase in cruise travellers comes from a much wider demographic than the typical older generation you would expect.

The increase in popularity can largely be put down to the lengths the cruise industry has gone to, to ensure they cater to every kind of holiday maker.

One of the most important changes for the cruise industry in recent years are the changes made to helping travellers with pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities.

Accessible to all

If you suffer from a medical condition which affects your day to day life, it is easy to be put off the thought of spending two weeks offshore on a cruise liner. However, this does not have to be the case.

Modern cruise liners are well equipped for most medical emergencies, often including medical professionals such as doctors and nurses in the ships permanent staff.

If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, it is always a good idea to inform the on board medical team or through the guest service desk prior to sailing. This will ensure they can be better prepared should you need medical assistance and will help put your mind to rest.

While the cruise staff can be on hand to deal with any medical eventuality, it ultimately comes down to you to ensure you are prepared yourself.


The right package for you

The types of cruises available and the destinations covered are hugely diverse. From the usual Mediterranean sun seeking cruises, to more quirky trips such as a Star Trek themed cruise around the British Isles, there is truly something for everyone.

The type of cruise you decide on should take into consideration your medical condition, short cruises in more mild temperatures may be a wise choice if it’s your first cruise, or you have concerns about being at sea for longer periods of time.

Accommodation and facilities should also be considered when booking, as this will be your home for the duration of your trip, you need to make sure it has everything you need to make your stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.


Plan, pack, and relax

Depending on the length of your chosen cruise and your medical condition, you may have to take some extra precautions when travelling. For example, if you require daily medication for your condition, you will need to ensure you have enough to last for the duration of the trip.

If you are concerned about your health, you should always speak to your GP beforehand who will be able to offer you professional advice and if needed a medical assessment to determine if you are fit for travel.

Even if you are generally well, this is still good practice before taking a trip away from the medical support you would receive at home.

It may be a good idea to carry a little extra medication with you in case you lose any, as replacement medication is something which will be almost impossible to obtain while you are away.

If you require any medical or mobility aids daily, it’s best to check with the cruise operators at the time of booking to ensure they can accommodate. In some cases they may offer you alternatives to help make your trip as comfortable as possible.

Finally, ensure you purchase specialist cruise travel insurance, and declare your conditions to your insurer. This should ensure that any medical bills you may incur will be covered by your insurer, instead of eating into the cruise fund!

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.