Good Advice If You’re Having Problems On Your Cruise

by Paul Konrardy

Great help and advice for your cruise vacation!

I Missed the Boat!

  • Call the cruise line.
    Call the cruise line immediately if you expect to be delayed or miss the start of your cruise.
  • Call your travel agent.
    If you booked your trip through a travel agent, call them right away to reschedule your trip and to try to catch up to the boat.
  • You get there yourself.
    Understand that you will be responsible for providing your own transportation to the next port of call and also, at your own expense.
  • Travel insurance.
    If you have travel insurance, you may be covered for ‘missed the boat’ expenses – call your travel insurance agent to find out what to do.

WHN Expert TIP – Excursions: “If you take a ship-shore excursion, and are late, they will hold the ship for you. If you are freelancing, well, pull out the credit card!”  Jacqueline Church Simonds, publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser’s Handbook

Sick While Cruising

  • Ship’s Doctor
    Most big cruise lines have a doctor on board; the fee for the doctor will be charged to your account.
  • No doctor on board?
    Ask the staff for assistance or advice on how to locate a doctor at the next port stop.

WHN Expert TIP – Ship Doctors: “The ship’s doctor can handle routine problems, ailments and cuts. If the problem is larger than that, such as broken bones or a heart attack, you may be air-lifted or taken to the nearest hospital – at your expense.” 

WHN Expert TIP – Travel Insurance: If you have trip medical insurance, this may cover the costs incurred at a foreign hospital.

  • Motion sickness
    If you feel seasick talk to a cruise director or personnel and they will try to accommodate your needs as best they can.

    • Larger cruise lines should have medical services onboard and may also provide complimentary motion sickness medicine to passengers.

WHN Reader TIP – Bring Extra Medications: “Once someone starts to get sick, it’s too late to start the [motion sickness] medicine at that point. It is ineffective after you’ve even started to slightly feel sick. Don’t be brave, take the medicine before setting sail and don’t stop until you are anchored. Also, doctors on ships have a limited amount of medicine on board so bring your own medicines if possible. I forgot my sickness pills and I had to go to the ships’ doctor every day for a new day’s supply of medicine.” 

Diana, Fremont, CA

WHN Expert Tip – Get Up and Get Moving! “Dancing can overcome seasickness. Seriously. If feeling a bit green – DON’T lie down (it makes the effect worse). Go out and dance. For some reason, this resets the inner ear and you’ll feel better.” Jacqueline Church Simonds, publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser’s Handbook

Jacqueline Church Simonds, publisher of Happy Sails: The Carefree Cruiser’s Handbook

Lost/Stolen/Damaged Items

  1. If an item is stolen, lost, or damaged, contact the Purser’s staff right away.
    “They may be able to find it if it was clearly marked as being yours (there are so many staff on the ship – cleaning and what-not – it’s likely to be found),” says Simonds.
  2. File a homeowner’s claim.
    Call your agent to ask about what they might need for the claim.

Wild Weather

  • Understand that the cruise line may divert or change course if there is severe weather impending. This may affect your port destinations, excursions, and your return home plans.
  • You may be asked to return to your cabin in the event of severe weather. Additionally, some shore excursions may be canceled due to weather. Read your cruise line’s policies regarding refunds.

Wild Kids


Thank You …

A special thank you to the industry professionals, lawyers, insurance agents, first responders, and people who gave us their time, insight, and real-life advice.

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