My son now has a buddy that is going to join us on our cruise. He has diabetes and I am just wondering if there is a DR. onboard or what type of staff is available to assist if there is any problem? He has had diabetes all his life (17yrs) and is very responsible and trained at taking care of himself but I just wanted to be prepared. His mother is a travel agent so they do travel all the time and I'm sure she will give me very good instructions/advice but just wanted to see if anyone had anything to share. I do know that the insulin has to be refridgerated but we don't have a fridge in our room. Any suggestions other than keeping it on ice in the room? Again, I'm sure his mother has all the answers but right now she is vacationing in Hawaii and won't be returning until Feb. 5th and I hate waiting to the last minute.
Thanks to both of you. I am quite sure his Mom will be give me explicit intructions but I have to admit I am just a tad bit nervous since I personally do not have much knowledge of diabetes. I had a girlfriend growing up that had to have insulin shots everyday and it seemed like no big deal but caring for someone and being so far away from their own doctor makes me a little nervous. I am sure he will be just fine.
Young people and usually their close friends are generally very aware of of a diabetics needs and responses. My daoughters both were on hi school swim teams with a juvenile diabetic about the age of your son's friend. Re: refrigeration-this may be preferred but is not requires. Hubby has been insulin dependent for nearly 3 years (2 cruises) and we did not have a fridge or ice his insulin on our 11/02 9 day cruise with 1 pre and 2 post cruise days (total 12 days) in MIA.
You will not have any problems....doctors and nurses along with emergency "EMT" staff are always on board, all together....no ship will sail without a doctor. Most emergencies can be dealt with in the infirmary, including some types of major surgery.
(My mom is a nurse and we got a tour of the facilities on an RCI ship once...she was skeptical about the cruise line's claim that they could handle most emergencies....my mom left a real BELIEVER!)
RE: the fridge. All you have to do is call housekeeping, tell them that your friend is diabetic and needs a refrigerator for his insulin. The fridge will be delivered by the time you order your first drink!
(My husband's mother is diabetic and enjoys cruising with us. She has never had a problem with the fridge not being available and they always deliver it for her...no questions asked.)
As a diabetic I can tell you that the cruise lines are very helpful towards health concerns. I've sailed with carnival & Disney with no problems. Your only concern may be not letting him near the dessert buffet!
Thanks to all of you who have responded. I really, really do appreciate all the advise and recommendations. I am really starting to get excited and a bit "anxious" cause we leave in less than two weeks and I haven't begun to pack. I know there is still another whole weekend (2/9 sail) before we go but when you work you know fast time goes by. Our flight leaves at 6am on 2/9 so Saturday is going to be a really short day for us as we will be leaving from home 3am Sunday morning to arrive by 4:15am. I doubt that at that time in the morning it should be a hassle getting through security but..................I We Don't Want To Miss This Cruise!!!
Also, our son just told us he needs some new clothes for "formal night" and he works every evening Mon. through Fri. Arghhhh! I've been asking about that for weeks now! Typical teenager!
A thought that no one has mentioned. It is probably a good idea get written permission from his parents that states you are able to make medical decisions in case of an immediate emergency and the parents can not be reached. Make a list of questions and discuss with the parents. Take notes and carry the list with you.
I take an injectable medication that needs constant refrigeration. I have travelled extensively through Europe and Central Asia with a small cooler, syringes and alcohol swabs in addition to a letter from my physican stating the need for the items. I have never encountered a problem. To keep the medication cold I have used the frozen ice packs, but have also used ice cubes in double layered ziplock baggies. During layovers I would refresh the ice at bars or snack stands and dump the melted water in the bathroom. I prefer the ice cube method because it seems the keep constant cold around the medication. Hope this helps. I'm sure everything will go smoothly and you have the time of your life!!!!
Thanks to alll of you. And Yvonne, I think that is what I am preparing to do. Take a colapsable cooler and refresh it with ice. My husband's client said the airline will take care of refridgerating the insulin on the plane but that he does have to have a note from his docotor why hes carrying needles and syringes. I do know the Mom will need to give me a medial autorization letter as well. I had always done that too whenenver I've let my son travel with anyone else, whether it be a family member or friends. She'll also need to give me a letter giving me permission to take him out of the country which is something I don't know would have crossed my mind if I hadn't heard it asked for at the airport when we were leaving for Cancun a couple months ago. And that was only the Dad taking his boys without the Mom! Funny thing about that was that he had all the proper docs for his two kids but didn't think he needed to have his own birth certificate. When i mentioned to him you really don't have it with, he said, do I really need it, i'vve go my drivers license. I said i sure hope you don't live far from the airport and can get a hold of your wife to bring it back to you. Luckily they made it within 10 minutes to spare. I sort of learned from that experience that you can never be too prepared.
Again, thanks to you all for your help and suggestions.
You keep insulin cold but you never, ever freeze it. I've been insulin dependent for years and have never hesitated to sail anywhere on any line. On most lines you will have a fridge or a minibar in your cabin so there will be no problem. Carnival kept a medical safe at it's main customer relations (?) desk. It was open 24/7 and I could access my insulin any time I wanted to. I've never had to call the doctor onboard for my diabetes or any complications. If your friend needs a special diet, he needs to advise RCI at least 6 weeks in advance of sailing what he needs. However, there are always no sugar added desserts and you can avoid or enjoy carbs as you like. He's going to have a great time and doesn't have to worry about his diabetes.
It's always a good idea to carry doctor's letters about anything at all unusual that you will be carrying onboard. So I have a doctor's letter. I fly a lot. NOT ONCE has any security or airline personnel ever questioned my need for the supplies. I know people who travel with their CPAP machines and also have no problems. I think the airlines and security personnel have been well trained about medical problems.