We are going on the Orient Lines ship Marco Polo "Grand Scandinavia" cruise, departing July 19. The trip is to celebrate my mother's 80th and my father's 85th birthdays. My mother has been in the hospital with a lung infection, is going home today on oxygen. We don't know if she will still need it when we go on the cruise. Has anyone had experience either flying with oxygen or using it on a cruise? How do we make the necessary arrangements?
Talk with your home care provider... the one that supplies the home oxygen... they will help you out with the arrangements, such as having the oxygen available at your pre cruise stops, hotels, etc.... They will also be able to figure out how much oxygen you will need to take with you. You will definetly need to go with a National home care company such as Rotech, Apria, or Lincare. I know for a fact that all oxygen used for travel within the US through Rotech companies is free of charge (I work for Rotech as a respiratory therapist)......
As for taking oxygen on the ship, that will need to be OK'ed through the cruise line.
Here's what we've learned so far:
Continental Airlines needs 48 hours advance notice to provide oxygen; the charge is $75 per flight.
SAS allows oxygen on some flights, but flights on an Airbus cannot accommodate oxygen. So my parents will be flying to Stockhom via Oslo to avoid the Airbus.
The cruise line (Orient) does not arrange oxygen. The company we have contacted so far is Travel Med; they require three weeks notice, but will let us make the necessary arrangements with 19 days notice, which is all we have left. If it turns out that my mother doesn't need oxygen by the time we leave, Travel Med will not allow for cancellation. i assume that means that they won't force us to take delivery of the oxygen, but they'll charge us for it. Apria, who supplies my mother's oxygen, doesn't operate in Scandinavia. Does Rotech?
She's down to 1/2 liter, so we're optimistic that she will only need it intermittently on the cruise. Of course, that means she still has to take it. We have found a company that will supply a portable concentrator that can be used with European electricity for $600. The portable concentrator is a much better option than dealing with 30 tanks.