I've got to support GLW513 on this. Although two deaths per cruise does seem to be even a little high for me to accept, there are much more deaths on board than you could ever imagine. I spent two years as an ACD on ships and have known of many people passing away while on board. I worked with both Carnival and Holland America.
With Holland America it was something that was covered in orientation, and then seen on a first hand basis. The crew were taught how to handle this situation and how to make it dissapear quickly. At least once a month there was a coast guard drill where they would drop a coastgaurd employee on the ship, then have the crew assist in lifeflighting him off the ship as if he were a passenger.
I was once in the Crow's Nest (the disco on Holland ships) one night when an elderly gentlemen had a stroke on the dance floor. He was quickly taken down to the infermary on the crew elevator so no one would see him. I then spent almost three hundred dollars buying a round drinks for everyone on the dance floor just to put their minds back on the party and off the fallen guest. Of course it worked for most, and thankfully I charged it to the ship's entertainment account and not my own. I guess due to the average age of their passenger being so much higher than most other cruise lines, it happened much more frequently on Holland America. The ships I worked on all had morgues that would hold between four and eight bodies depending on the size of the ship.
With Carnival I became good friends with the doctor and he would tell us crazy stories of things that happened everyday. It became a joke to ask him each night at dinner if he saved a life today, or lost another. He would constantly tell us of heart attack victims, as well as elderly people that would fall down stairs and seriously injure themselves.
Although I think with todays life support systems, the ability to remove someone by helicopter, and much younger crowds that two per cruise is a bit high. It does happen much more than the average passenger could ever imagine. That must mean the cruise lines are doing a good job keeping it a secret.
The Discovery Channel did a special recently of the Mega Cruise Ships in which they discussed the modern morgue areas found on all cruise ships. It seems that the statistic they were quoting was in relationship to 10,000 passengers. I do not remember the exact number, but their statistics seemed very acceptable. I would be very alarmed if your statistic is solid. I would think that with an average of 2,000 passengers per cruise, 1 deaths per thousand per week would get a lot of attention. Having experienced a relative on ship going into cardiac arrest, I can attest that, although the Ship Hospital is modern, it is not equipped with extensive life-saving equipment. With and average of 1 deaths per thousand per week the Cruise lines may want to re-evaluate this area.
GLW513, please tell you friend that I am in Healthcare Administration and I do track deaths by category for my geographical area. Also, try to send the website again, it was #######. (Not surprised.)
On CCL i've asked the doctors about DOB's a bit, in December we had a British doctor who had been aboard for a month or so and was transferring to a ship out of NO or Galveston, no Deaths on board for him...ever. The week before my second one, a woman had become ill, with bleeding problems. She delayed going to the infirmary and eventually bled out. Nothing could be done by the time she was finally brought down and she passed away. Medivacs happen all the time, DOB's are not that common. Of course, this is from a nonsmoking cruise ship....it would be interesting to check the stats on that compared to other ships.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
Also, again let me state. It is an average. Didn't say that it happens on every cruise that sails. I stated that for ships that sail from the Marine Terminal where I work the average is two deaths per cruise. There have been cruises that have had more than 2. And there have been many, many cruises that didn't have any. The cruiseline notifies the Terminal (Operations Division) that there has been a death on board. Usually, at the same time they tell us that the family has made arrangements and the XYZ Funeral Home will be picking up the body. 9 times out of 10 the XYZ Funeral Home contacts us and arrangements for access into the terminal are made. "We" meaning the Operations Divisions gives the Funeral Home specific instructions as to where they are to park. And the Terminal Police insure that they adhere to the rule. The body(s) are removed quickly and the whole operation is transparant to the passengers.
Once I got back to work a fellow worker informed me that there had been a death on my cruise. As a passenger, I was not aware of it.