Cruising and The Unexpected
By Olivia Boodram
Cruising today is probably one of the most popular means of travel for the young and spirited alike. This way of vacationing takes all the worry out of what to do on a vacation, and wraps it all up neatly for you to explore anyway that appeals to your individual needs or sense of adventure.
From the moment you enter the huge check-in terminal, you can start to relax. From here on in, the on-board team are there to make your voyage an unforgettable experience.
But what if that unforgettable experience is not quite what you signed up for. When never in your wildest imagination, did you predict that something unpredictable, uncontrollable or catastrophic would ever occur on your vacation. Oh sure, you’ve read about it in the newspaper, heard it on the radio, seen it on the television, or listened to other travelers devastating encounters. But that’s their unfortunate mishap, not yours.
So how does one prepare themselves for the unexpected, whilst you are out on the wide ocean blue and something catastrophic does occur?
Recently we heard the disturbing news of the Cruise ship – Royal Caribbean, Anthem that had to return to the original port in New Jersey after being rocked with rough seas and winds gusting up to 130 miles per hour. Many of the passengers reported being confined to their rooms for hours, without any food. Some passengers had to tend to their own injuries, because the ship was so unstable and members of the crew were not available, since they were also instructed to remain in their cabins. This made it difficult for those passengers to seek the medical attention they needed. Videos showed high waves reaching levels as high as the seventh floor, furniture being toppled over and thrown around, glasses shattering and people swaying back and forth. One passenger stated he wasn’t sure if it was the waves that were really high or merely because the ship had tilted on its side.
Then there is the Norwalk virus outbreak, aboard the Carnival ship in 2011 affecting nearly 500 passengers. This happens a lot more frequent than is reported. In 2010 the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) issued a statement involving more than 14 cruise ships, 2,600 passengers and 230 crew members who were stricken with a gastrointestinal disorder. The report came out that it was because some of the passengers had failed to follow through with cleaning their hands at the hand sanitizing stations, which brought on the spread of the virus.
Now take into account the number of personal injuries and fatalities that occur on these vessels on an annual basis. One cruise line reports that on average they will see over 100,000 visits, annually, in their infirmary, ranging anywhere from the small cut or scrape requiring a bandage, broken limbs, traumatic experiences such as a fresh gastrointestinal bleed requiring a blood transfusion to the ever so popular and with much more regularity than you could ever imagine, heart attacks, strokes and head injuries.
Envision anyone of these scenarios and it quickly becomes evident that cruise lines need to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. The medical staff they hire need to be able to work autonomously without the abundance of human and mechanical resources readily available to them. Crew members have got to be drilled extensively to cope with many different emergency situations. And for the most part they are.
Today you will find that the infirmaries aboard these floating hotels, look more like an emergency room similar to what is expected on any dry land hospital. Cruise ships are now equipped with xray machines, blood laboratories, ultrasound, pharmacies, ICU rooms, video conferencing IT equipment as well as having access to Electronic Health Records (EHR). They are usually able to handle many, many different physical ailments and on-board catastrophes, but that isn’t to say that they don’t have the unavoidable delays and obstacles to overcome.
Overall cruise ships are a very safe venue for the average traveler, but here are some important plan of actions that you can enforce to better prepare yourself for the unexpected.
- Attending the mandatory evacuation plan and pay attention to the drill. There is one on every single cruise line before the ship sets sail.
- If you are diabetic or have a precarious medical condition, always keep a non-perishable food item with you at all times.
- Traveling with kids, always make sure there are fluids on hand for them. Children are very susceptible to becoming dehydrated quickly.
- Carry your medications with you at all times, you never know when you may need them, and you might not be able to get back to your cabin to retrieve them.
- Always let someone know where you are and when they can expect you to return.
The bottom line comes down to being responsible for yourself. Again it has to be stated that you as a traveler have to take some ownership for your own safety.
Travel with a plan and come prepared.
Travel today has its elements of fun and excitement. But it also comes with its own risks, some we know about and others were completely unexpected. Stay informed with up to date travel news and understanding your travel insurance policy better. http://www.healthb4travel.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Olivia_Boodram/2245113
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