I know this is a very touchy and strange topic. I hope I dont offend anyone, but I was wondering if its happened on any of your cruises. So here goes.... Has anyone been on a ship where a passenger has passed away?
With 7 or 8 million passengers cruising on North American based cruise lines each year , statistically it is going to happen. Stress of travel, heat, diet, change in levels of activity are added to the normal illnesses , allergies etc. Most ships are equipped to handle it. Then of course there are the old guys travelling with their "grandaughters and secretaries" wink wink.
I have related this story here before. Gram and I sailed on a November cruise out of Ft Lauderdale to the Southern Caribbean a few years back. Time of year and legnth of cruise made this one a particularly geriatric group. Two hours out to sea an elderly passenger secumbed to travel stress and had a heart attack and died. We returned to Ft Lauderdale and put off the entire family as our first port was more than 2 days away.
When we reached that first port the ship was met by a hearse. A young man had died from a food related allergy the night before. Towards the end of the cruise, after five back to back ports in rather warm weather, our final stop was St Thomas. The ship was met by an ambulance and an elderly passenger was taken off, alive, with a heart attack. Later that day another elderly passenger who had spent all day shopping in Charlotte Amoile was also taken to the hospital with a heart attack. We learned while at sea that both of those folks died. During the last two sea days, morbid jokes and stories were rampant on the ship. One passenger dubbed it "the cruise to die for".
It did bring up two points. One, travel can be stressful on the elderly or the infirm. Combined with high heat and a level of activity higher than usual it can have bad results. In addition, folks who know they have food born allergies need to be careful as prepared foods can contain unexpected ingredients.
Just do the math. 3000 people, many elderly, together on the same vessel for one or two weeks or more. Of course it happens.
It should be no surprise that they don't write it up in the daily bulletin when it happens. While news of a crew member falling down an elevator shaft will probably get around, when someone passes in the infirmary or in their sleep, the news has a pretty good chance of staying fairly quiet. The more so because the family will certainly disembark at the next stop.
Chances are it has happened on many of our cruises, and we never heard about it. Which is perfectly fine.
If I were to witness such on a vacation, I would probably be scarred. I already am from when I was younger. I was at a local amusement park in the swimming pool. There was a man just lying at the bottom, flailing in the water. The lifeguards jumped in, but it was too late. He had a heart attack while swimming. Later I found out he was only like 30. Still have flashbacks....... : ( So many things I wish I could've done but didn't. I regret them all!
I will relay them to you just because I need to release some burden.
I was at the park. Something smelled really bad in the woods. A few days later, someone found a baby in the woods that was dead.
I was driving down the street and I noticed a car in the creek (familar scenes in my part of town, people dump old cars). It was early morning around 5am. The news was on TV later. They had found 2 passengers in a car in the same creek around 8 am. One died and one is paralyzed.
I just feel I could have done something!
Does anyone else have a burden that they need to get out?
Good heavens, I am slightly more immune from working at an airport, but it still makes me so sad when it happens. Recentely as in about two weeks ago the call went out for de-fib assistance, a gentleman had stepped out of his cab and had a heart attack, he didn't make it. We also had a passenger who had flown long-haul and connected onto our domestic service. He arrived at our airport got off the aircraft and had to go back and get something, one of our girls escorted him back on and he just dropped dead (sorry to be so coarse, but that is what happened) in front of her!
On a happier note - we have a medi-link sevice on our longhaul service that connects to a service in phoenix and by using this tow of our cabin crew were able to save a passengers life. He went straight to intesive care on his arrival and is now fighting fit! Both staff were rewarded by the airline and industry for their actions!
follow the attached link for the full article
Our most ill-fated cruise was on the Star Princess ... one night we heard Code Bravo to the Capri dining room and found out from our waiter that someone had a heart attack. Then the next day it was Code Bravo to Cabin So-and-So. Another heart attack death.
On a smilar note, we were in line at the buffet on the Norwegian Sky (now Pride of Aloha) and heard Code Bravo to the laundry room. Art said to me, "I hope that means the clothes are done." Nope, it was a fire.
Needless to say, our ears always perk up when we hear Code Bravo. Maybe they should come up with a better code ... perhaps, Code Bingo or "Attention all crew members, we have a new drink special in Cabin So and So"
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
My good friend was on a 15 day cruise of the South Pacific with her old spinster aunt and on the first day out of Honolulu the old lady died. The ship's doctor told her the best thing to do was wait until they got to the American Samoan Islands and have her cremated. Then she could carry the urn back with her.
However, it was against the old lady's religion to be cremated. The ship's doctor told her getting a casket with a corpse into the United States was a nightmare of legalities and paperwork and delays. So against the lady's religion she took the advice of the doctor and waited until they got to the American Samoan Islands to have her cremated.
Once they got to the Islands the old lady was not alone in the cooler. And my friend (a lawyer wouldn't you know) negotiated with the cruiseline to get 14 days of the old lady's cruise fare refunded since she didn't use them.
I have been on several cruises where a passenger has died,on one it was the person sitting next to me at dinner .
As I am a senior, with a medical condition, who travels solo , I carry written instructions as to the disposition of my body(cremation, and the funeral home here in my home town to be contacted). I love cruising and am not in the least morbid, it just makes sense in view of my age and medical history.
By the way , I not only have 3 cruises booked for this year, I also have a segment of a World Cruise booked for Jan 2006, so you see I am not ready to "op off" yet