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Does anyone know if they charge to see the doctor aboard ship and how much? Did a cruise awhile back on the Oasis of the Sea, my left leg was swelling and I felt bad but blamed it on the heat. I didn't seek medical attention, blew off my symptoms thinking seeing the doctor would be very expensive. Lucky made it home and was hospitalized with four DVTs and a pulmonary embolism

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Yes, there is a doctor on board and yes it is expensive. You must pay all charges up front and if your insurance covers the expense (many do not) then you must file with insurance to get reimbursed. This is a major advantage to getting travel/cruise insurance to cover the cost of unexpected medical expenses.

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Yes, I've been to the doctor onboard before with family members. They can treat, diagnose and prescribe certain medications. 

They don't take any insurance, so you will just be billed to your SeaPass account directly. You could then later take the bill to your travel/medical insurance for a claim. It's almost certainly an out of network claim so unless you have travel insurance or some amazing medical insurance, do not expect to be reimbursed.

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On 5/3/2019 at 11:39 AM, Matt said:

Yes, I've been to the doctor onboard before with family members. They can treat, diagnose and prescribe certain medications. 

They don't take any insurance, so you will just be billed to your SeaPass account directly. You could then later take the bill to your travel/medical insurance for a claim. It's almost certainly an out of network claim so unless you have travel insurance or some amazing medical insurance, do not expect to be reimbursed.

What’s the ballpark figure for just seeing the doctor? Thought travel insurance would be billed. Guess I’ll need a higher limit on my cc.

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6 minutes ago, 12thman said:

What’s the ballpark figure for just seeing the doctor? Thought travel insurance would be billed. Guess I’ll need a higher limit on my cc.

I was listening to a podcast recently where they said the cost to walk in the door for an evaluation was around $160 (don't quote me - it was between $150 and $200 though). I'm not sure if this was one circumstance, has changed in price, varies from ship to ship - just not sure.

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Just now, SpeedNoodles said:

I was listening to a podcast recently where they said the cost to walk in the door for an evaluation was around $160 (don't quote me - it was between $150 and $200 though). I'm not sure if this was one circumstance, has changed in price, varies from ship to ship - just not sure.

Not much different than here if you pay cash. Do you have a link to the podcast?

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Just now, CGTLH said:

Know when my father came down with pneumonia on Symphony the medical bill wound up around $1700 for diagnosis and treatment.

What!? Did the medical department look like the mafia? Definitely need to bring my larger cc. What happens if you cannot pay for the service upfront? 

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39 minutes ago, 12thman said:

What’s the ballpark figure for just seeing the doctor? Thought travel insurance would be billed. Guess I’ll need a higher limit on my cc.

My dad had an episode on our last family cruise where he required medical attention on board. He was brought downstairs (assisted) and a few tests were run for his heart. No medication was prescribed. The bill by the end of the night was $850.

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

My dad had an episode in our last family cruise where he required medical attention on board. He was brought downstairs (assisted) and a few tests were run for his heart. No medication was prescribed. The bill by the end of the night was $850.

Thank you for the information!

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16 minutes ago, 12thman said:

What!? Did the medical department look like the mafia? Definitely need to bring my larger cc. What happens if you cannot pay for the service upfront? 

Correction on the cost, was ~$1500

$1225 for services, $230 in meds, and $22 for supplies.

Want to say he was down there for a good 3 or 4 hours under observation and treatment. With a follow visit the next morning.

A medication he was prescribed and given was $76, quick look has it for around $37 retail pricing.

 

If you couldn't pay I'm sure they would set you up with some sort of high interest rate medical payment plan.

 

 

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Just now, CGTLH said:

Correction on the cost, was ~$1500

$1225 for services, $230 in meds, and $22 for supplies.

Want to say he was down there for a good 3 or 4 hours under observation and treatment.

A medication he was prescribed and given was $76, quick look has it for around $37 retail pricing.

 

If you couldn't pay I'm sure they would set you up with some sort of high interest rate medical payment plan.

 

 

Well, I’d hope so for those that can’t. Listening to the podcast by SpeedNoodles. Apparently you can use your FSA/HSA card. 

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Just now, 12thman said:

Well, I’d hope so for those that can’t. Listening to the podcast by SpeedNoodles. Apparently you can use your FSA/HSA card. 

Good to hear about using a FSA/HSA card.

Luckily my dad had insurance on two fronts travel policy and a Medicare Advantage plan. One fun thing about the travel policy he had was secondary coverage. So in order to file a claim he had to submit the the Advantage plan provider. Well to his suprise it covered all but his deductible and something else, think he was reimbursed around $1300 or a little bit more. I'm sure if he submitted to travel insurance he could get the remainder back.

Still the sting can be bad if you don't have flexibility of available funds.

One suggestion is some travel policies offer primary coverage with direct medical provider payment.

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1 minute ago, CGTLH said:

Good to hear about using a FSA/HSA card.

Luckily my dad had insurance on two fronts travel policy and a Medicare Advantage plan. One fun thing about the travel policy he had was secondary coverage. So in order to file a claim he had to submit the the Advantage plan provider. Well to his suprise it covered all but his deductible and something else, think he was reimbursed around $1300 or a little bit more. I'm sure if he submitted to travel insurance he could get the remainder back.

Still the sting can be bad if you don't have flexibility of available funds.

One suggestion is some travel policies offer primary coverage with direct medical provider payment.

Yes, when researching travel insurance came across that. Seems the more expensive travel insurance cover everything under the sun. Came across one that said if you can’t go because of work it’s covered. 

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18 minutes ago, Matt said:

My daughter and wife have been to the onboard doctor, and for a quick visit (less than 1 hour), it was about $160-200 for the visit.

Did you pay before or afterwards? Someone said before which didn't make sense.

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On 5/6/2019 at 9:45 AM, 12thman said:

Did you pay before or afterwards? Someone said before which didn't make sense.

It is charged to your SeaPass account, so you will pay for it at the end of the cruise when RC charges your credit card.

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  • 7 months later...

I was treated while on a cruise a couple of years ago. I saw a physician at Cocoa Cay. EKG on the island. Transported with a nurse immediately back to the ship via tender (the tender left immediately with only the nurse and myself aboard). Dr aboard examined me ran more tests. It was like seeing a Dr years ago before assembly line medicine when a Dr took their time with a patient. All total it was a little under $350. The Dr’s and nurse’s were fantastic. The Dr’s & nurses on the island are from the ship. Can’t say enough good about them and for what they did I though it was very inexpensive. Initially I was concerned about the cost since they don’t take insurance. I asked the nurse in the office while I was getting checked in onboard how much this would cost. She gave me a rough idea and it turned out to be less. Best medical care for the price I’ve ever had. 

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Our first full day on Independence of the Seas the first week of December my husband woke up sick. He immediately knew what it was from several prior experiences. He had prostate cancer surgery about 4 years ago and he gets urinary tract infections once or twice a year. It has no warning until it hits him like a truck. He went straight to medical and told them what was going on. They ran a urine test and said it was fine, it must be the seasickness patch he was wearing (but he had just put it on 10 min earlier because the ship had a lot of movement that morning and he was being cautious). He told her about prior experiences where he had been told he was fine, but 3 hours later he was in an ER. He insisted they do a blood test, and the Dr gave him antibiotics as soon as she saw that test. He came back to the room and went to bed. I knew it was best for him to have a quiet, dark room so I went off exploring the ship by myself. I got back 90 minutes later to check on him to see a wheelchair in front of our room and a nurse and male employee getting him to the chair to go back to medical. He had thrown up (common with these bouts) all over himself, the bed, the floor. He said he tried calling for help, then tried to get to the phone and called 911. The nurse said she had already alerted staff to clean the room. He stayed in medical for over 2 hours to get iv's for dehydration and more antibiotics. The he was told he was quarantined for 24 hours. We knew he wasn't contagious, this is normal with this infection, but they stood their ground and he was taken back to the room by wheelchair. All he had to eat for 48 hours was a banana and lots and lots of plain water (the banana was after the 24 hours). We expected a huge bill but the total for everything was $369.83. We thought this was amazingly low for all that had to be done. Sadly, because of the quarantine he only got 2 days of a 4 night cruise and we had the deluxe beverage package. He couldn't go ashore on our 1 port day or go to "formal" night and since I didn't want to go alone I stayed with him. Lots of other tales about our 1st cruise, but we have determined not to let that color our view of cruises and hope to do another one in the future.

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  • 3 years later...

Just got off Allure and the medical center was not run very well at all. The intake nurse had no list of patients in the waiting room and just called “next” from inside the facility. I was shocked at how many people (guests and crew alike) would stroll right past a waiting room full of people almost immediately upon arrival just because something as basic as a sign-in sheet wasn’t being used. (Although this does correlate with the psychological condition that seems to inflict people immediately upon setting foot on a ship that causes them to no longer understand what a line is. My doctorate thesis is forthcoming.)

The same intake nurse insisted that my Royal Caribbean travel insurance would not cover my visit and that it only applied if I had to be seen by a medical facility at one of the ports of call. After an hour of waiting, I chose to deal with the pain for the remainder of trip rather than keep losing vacation time below deck. 

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I always buy travel insurance.  And I bring 2 credit cards.    And make sure they both have high limits.    So far, have not had to see doctor on a ship.  But have had to cancel 3 cruises just prior to leaving for medical reasons, and used the insurance.

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Sounds just like medical care in most the US. The average ER bill was $1082 in 2019, and you might have to wait several hours to be seen if you don’t have a life threatening condition and it’s busy when you arrive. If you don’t buy insurance you are responsible for the bill. 

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Very early covid-era, before most people had even heard of covid, my wife visited the medical facility onboard, twice.  Since covid was not yet heard of, they treated her for cold/flu/bronchitis/pneumonia symptoms and she spent the entire cruise in the cabin. And it was her choice to do so.

Including x-rays and meds, two visits cost us $166 and $300.  This cost was quickly reimbursed to us via our  Medicare provider.

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Regarding travel insurance, I’m considering booking a family cruise with age ranges in 20s, 50-60s, and 80s. Can I get different policies for each of us (basic for daughter, moderate for us and high for elderly parents) even if it’s all one trip/booking? Reading this thread reminded me of the differences in what we all may need and I want to have (some) peace of mind. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, NancyP said:

Regarding travel insurance, I’m considering booking a family cruise with age ranges in 20s, 50-60s, and 80s. Can I get different policies for each of us (basic for daughter, moderate for us and high for elderly parents) even if it’s all one trip/booking? Reading this thread reminded me of the differences in what we all may need and I want to have (some) peace of mind. Thanks!

If you have booked thru a travel agent, they should be able to help you.  But yes, you can get different coverage for each person.

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16 minutes ago, D Alt said:

After reading all this, I would avoid going to the medical center at all costs.  Barring any real emergency, wait til you get home to go to the doctor. 

But in the case of @markm, he had a condition that could have been fatal.  My advise would be to buy insurance and use it if necessary.  But also bring along over the counter cold remedies.     

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I was diagnosed  with and treated for Shingles  on my face on a Princess Cruise last May. I saw the MD 3x, twice for elevated blood pressure (probably related to stress from Shingles). Total charge, including meds was $270 which was  covered by my Trip insurance. My husband and I are both retired health care professionals and were very impressed with the care given.

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