The major problem is that DAS will cancel the cruise if a minimum amount of people do not sign up for it. You will get your deposit back but you might not know until 2 months out that it has been canceled. My advice to you is to ask them how many people they need to run the trip (they have a minimum) and ask them how many they have signed up for your cruise. It should give you a good idea.
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My wife has been on hemodialysis for over 7 years and during that time we have sailed with Dialysis at Sea 5 times, the last on the HAL Westerdam for 12 nights in eastern Europe in October, 2004. We have had no problems with dialysis on ships at any time. We have found that they will have a nephrologist, a technician, and a nurse on board. They seem to handle from about 6 to maybe 12 dialysis patients. They are expensive, but competant, efficient, and very friendly and helpful. We have thouroughly enjoyed every cruise, including on the Amsterdam V1 and the Westerdam, as well as several different Royal Caribbean ships. Our next is in July, 2005. Medicare and insurance don't cover it, but if you can afford it, you can fully enjoy your cruise while gettin HD on the ship. Jim
Thanks for the information. We are going on the Rotterdam in August for a total of 26 days. We were able to convince our insurance company to cover the cost as it is actually cheaper on the ship than at his unit. We will pay up front and they will reinburse us. One question I do have is do ever make any time changes in case we want to make a shore excursion when he would normally be on the machine. They have scheduled his time for the days we will be in Paris and in Rome! Originally we were told that they would do dialysis at night but now that does not seem to be the case.
There will be a meeting usually in the afternoon of the day of embarkation with all the dialysis patients and the doctor, nurse, and technician where everything is explained and questions answered. Although they will pre- schedule your dialysis times and dates, there may be room for some deviation. We traded a time with another patient twice, and another time a patient got dialysis on land (Rome) and we took her spot. Once my wife asked for her dialysis at 6AM so that she could take a shore excursion starting around 10AM. Room service breakfast was waiting in our cabin when she returned from dialysis and we had a full day of excursions. The medical staff will do everything possible to accomodate your ability to take excursions and enjoy the full activities of the cruise. Our next dialysis cruise is to Alaska in two months. My wife will get Aranesp in place of EPO just befor the cruise and as this new drug acts to stimulates red cell growth for a week, instead of just 3 to 3 days as with EPO, so we won't have to take along EPO on the cruise as before. They do not provide EPO. Brush up on the renal diet to be sure you don't get food with excess sodium, phosphorus, or potassium. Plan to have a great cruise. Jim
This is the exact information I was looking for. My husband will also be on Arenesp and sense we will be gone for 4 weeks we will have to carry some with us. I hope you have a wonderful cruise to Alaska. Are you leaving from Seattle or Vancouver? We live south of Seattle amd if you have never been here before there are a lot of wonderful things to see. Hopefully you can visit for a few days and check us out. Dialysis is pretty easy to find for vacationers.
Hi again Jim. Once more I would like to ask a question. How did you transport the EPO on the airplane? Did you have any problems getting through security or customs? We will have 3 weeks worth of Arenesp with us. Will a letter from his doctor help? Or will a prescription be enough. The drug needs to be kept cold so we were thinking of using a thermus with ice will that work or is there a better way?
AJ, we took EPO in a watertight enclosure within a baggie with ice all within a larger watertight pouch in my carryon on the plane to Costa Rica before boarding the Rotterdam V1 3 years ago. I refreshed the ice in the airport at a bar, where they were kind enough to provide it to me free. Then on the ship we kept it in our cabin minibar, but we have also had the medical team keep it in their refrigerator in the medical center in the past. The largest vial of EPO contains 40,000 units, another 20,000. We found the dose from my wife's unit and the dialysis staff gave it IV with each dialysis. We had no problem with security getting through airports or customs with our ice bag surrounding the small vial of EPO. Many more cruisers bring insulin with them and that needs to be refrigerated too and I've heard of no problems with insulin brought on board. It is a good idea to bring along copies of medical records including meds and doses. Besides, Dialysis at Sea requires a history and physical, and an EKG, chest X Ray, and a doctor's letter stating that he/she gives the OK for the patient to cruise, all completed and sent in whithin 1 year prioir to embarkation and sent to Dialysis at Seas before they will accept the patient. The hardest problem was sticking to the diet and fluid restrictions on a cruise ship where good food is readily available, and being pre-paid, hard to resist. Our next cruise originates in Vancouver. We did take one from Seattle a few years ago and loved it. Plan to have a great cruise. Jim