Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Laf1381

Question about terminal illness and cruising

Recommended Posts

It's his last vacation, let him go, Let him Happy life his last moments. Let him eat what he wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As it does seem like there is big risk if he travels and something happens during the cruise, it would seem unwise to travel to foreign countries at this time.

One idea is to take a US based cruise like a River cruise or something like that. Just a suggestion

 

Once you've got brain cancer, risks don't mean much......the die is cast already. My brother chose to leave Canada (i.e. outside of his insured coverage area) for a short visit because that was the trip he wanted before he died.....replacing it with something where he was insured would have been a pale substitute that just would have reminded him of the trip he really wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is about the ill gentleman and the wants of both him and his wife. If they have decided this is how they want to spend his precious time, then family and friends should all give their support.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it best to leave these decisions up to the person with the challenge - and I then do everything I can to support them. I hope that others respect my decisions and support me if I ever find myself in this situation.

 

Insurance to bring remains back to the U.S. is included in many "policies" purchased by those that plan ahead for their passing. Yes I know this is not medical coverage but it is something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be very surprised if he had trouble boarding. Many disabled and frail people cruise. Unless they are questioned about his health issues I don’t know how they would even know how serious it was. And the only health questions they really ask are about contagious disease and pregnancy.

 

The biggest issue will be if he needs medical treatment onboard or in a foreign hospital, as others mentioned. If they are counting on insurance to pay for this they NEED to double check that before they leave. There are all kinds of exclusions hidden in those policies that may not be immediately apparent. And, almost all policies will require them to prepay for service upfront and seek reimbursement later. So having a few high limit credit cards will be a must.

 

Outside of the financial side, I hope they enjoy the cruise if they end up going. I can understand their attitude. If the end result is known and cannot be changed, ‘risky’ becomes relative. Any positive memories they can create at this point will be priceless.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a lot of volunteering in hospice; virtually all the clients I met had a life expectancy of a few months at most. Despite the common misconceptions about palliative care, as soon as it has been decided that no more intervention treatment will be tried it becomes all about client comfort. As long as ambulance transfers are not required, a person who can be sent to their home to die could easily be accommodated on a cruise, assuming the line is willing (and with the potential profits from someone without a longterm financial future going on one last blowout trip... I'd be surprised if they did refuse such a person!)

 

From a medical perspective, pain and symptom management is key. Given the strong narcotics often employed with terminal cancer cases there could be issues with cruising depending on destination - but assuming that appropriate prescriptions/forms are completed for the route, and an appropriately trained companion is present, a terminal cancer patient is LESS of an issue for the onboard medics than the archetypal 'HAL fogey' who could develop serious health concerns at the drop of a hat and needs to be kept alive.

 

With a DNR order in place, family/friend accompanying them, there is absolutely no reason that this person cannot cruise again - the responsible thing is of course to contact the cruiseline Special Needs department in advance and I would imagine they might have some follow-up questions/paperwork, but for a cancer patient I'd be surprised at a refusal of carriage. A dead body on board is easily dealt with - it's less risky than a contagious living person who could spread their illness to others - and minimal work for the medics if the accompanying person has authority & training to give the medication. Even if they actually die onboard the ship's physician might need to do no more than confirm time of death.

 

Based on experience, the body will be removed from the ship at the next port of call where it is allowed to be taken off - so the family does need to plan for the costs of bringing the body home from potentially any of the ports on the route, and insurance is vanishingly unlikely to cover anything at all when death is expected.

 

In short, there might be a few hurdles to overcome but if this is what the person concerned wishes to do, more power to them and theirs I say.

 

NB: all the cruise deaths I'm personally aware of were unexpected, so I'm theorizing. Perhaps one of the cruise ship professionals on the boards might chime in with any actual knowledge of how their line(s) treat these kinds of requests?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The letter is to be sure you are covered....you must be in a state of health in which you can travel the day you purchase the insurance per physician opinion I have the letter in the event I need to use the insurance....did not forward the certified copy with application I purchased insurance from Trip Insurance Store Steve Dasseos I work as an RN/Legal Nurse Consultant and a few of the attorneys I work with read the various policy language from several insurance policies and Trip Insurance Store is who we decided to go with. Hopefully I'll have no use for the policy...if so I'll report back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a family member who is planning on taking her husband who has terminal brain cancer on a cruise in a couple of weeks once radiation ends. He is in a wheelchair and dependent on help for all daily activities except feeding himself. We have tried to encourage them to cancel the cruise and plan a get together close to home due to the seriousness of his illness and they won’t hear of it. Just curious how cruise lines handle this type of situation. Would they prevent them from boarding if he appears unwell? I doubt they will tell them the diagnosis.

 

 

Hi

 

I don't know what level of help this man requires, but travelling with a terminal illness is not unusual. I was lucky enough to be able to travel with my wife on a number of cruises between treatments, with the blessing of her doctors, before she wasn't able to travel any longer.

 

I would suggest to consider as a family having others joining them to give extra support and help, as it may be necessary. It could be that you will not have another opportunity to do something like this for him.

 

I wish them the best cruise ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How can you be so sure about this? Do you know the gentleman in question? Are you a physician? How do you know the sick bay couldn't manage his care, should the need arise?

 

As was previously said, simply being frail and in a wheelchair does not disqualify a person from sailing. As long as the gentleman's wife is able to provide assistance with his daily needs and can manage his wheelchair, there is no reason to assume they would be denied boarding.

 

And if the couple are willing to assume the risk and cost of medical treatment or repatriation if necessary, then I think the OPs family should be bending over backwards to facilitate this last dying wish.

The ship doctor will not accept the responsibility for providing end of life care. They will not accept responsibility for anyone who needs a high level of critical care. If terminal crew or Security see the couple, they will call the medical team who will do an immediate assessment and they will err on the side of caution.

On my last cruise, an older woman showing significant dementia symptoms while being gently corralled by Security on first sea day was removed from the ship at first port with her family. The family argued and argued they would stay with her at all times but they were firm. The family didn't need to leave but the woman would not be permitted to remain onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a family member who is planning on taking her husband who has terminal brain cancer on a cruise in a couple of weeks once radiation ends. He is in a wheelchair and dependent on help for all daily activities except feeding himself. We have tried to encourage them to cancel the cruise and plan a get together close to home due to the seriousness of his illness and they won’t hear of it. Just curious how cruise lines handle this type of situation. Would they prevent them from boarding if he appears unwell? I doubt they will tell them the diagnosis.

 

 

 

Wishing them well. Now is the time for them to do everything they want and can

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on a number of longer cruises with medical evacuations that required the ship to change course and go back on the first day or make a major detour to a nearby port. Sometimes the other passengers lost an entire port stop while other times it really didn't affect the cruise.

 

On our recent transatlantic cruise, we had two returns/rerouting on the first two days for very ill passengers. Once the second patient was evacuated in a terminal state (kept alive in a vegetative state), the captain cautioned the rest of us to stay healthy as from that point on he had no options as we sailed straight to the Azores.

 

On another transpacific cruise, an Alzheimer's patient was kept in her cabin but was left alone on at least one occasion. She was found wandering the halls hysterical saying her sister had died. The people who found her were a doctor and EMTs and called for medical help on her behalf because they thought perhaps there was a dead body in her cabin. When her son returned to the scene, he was furious that his deception was discovered instead of being grateful. He was trying to get his mother back home to Australia and her sister back in Australia had recently died. A passenger like him may think they have the situation all figured out, but obviously didn't.

 

While this wife may think she can handle every part of her husband's care, it is very likely she will be asking for and expecting lots of the crew's help.

 

Has anyone asked her if she will ask for extraordinary medical help and is she prepared to allow him to possibly die onboard?

 

While some people want this last cruise, I think they may be asking for too much from a cruise line.

Edited by Markanddonna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have never needed a letter from my doctor to buy insurance

 

What company does that?

 

You don't need a doctor's letter to purchase insurance as you point out. However, most insurance policies have pre-existing medical exclusion clause and an attending physician's statement would probably be required in the event of a claim.

 

I doubt this individual will be able to acquire any travel insurance considering his medical condition. Be extremely wary of the small print as the insurance companies are quick to deny claims if the can.

 

Another issue could occur prior to boarding a flight and a doctor's certificate stating the individuals ability to take the flight may be required. I have witnessed this request being made in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I doubt this individual will be able to acquire any travel insurance considering his medical condition. Be extremely wary of the small print as the insurance companies are quick to deny claims if the can.

 

I sometimes wonder if people read the thread.

 

It was said that the person purchased insurance BEFORE the diagnosis.

 

So not a pre-existing condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another point of view. If you know you have a terminal illness then you have accepted your fate. I don’t understand why insurance is necessary because what is, is.

 

I doubt very much that the pax wishes to be a burden to anyone especially their traveling companion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have another point of view. If you know you have a terminal illness then you have accepted your fate. I don’t understand why insurance is necessary because what is, is.

 

I doubt very much that the pax wishes to be a burden to anyone especially their traveling companion.

 

Just because a person has a terminal illness doesn't preclude a need for medical attention. While they wouldn't be seeking treatment of their primary illness, they may need treatment for other problems that arise. Palliative medical treatment is aimed at promoting the person's comfort, as much as possible. And if the person should die during the cruise, insurance would pay for repatriation of the remains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I sometimes wonder if people read the thread.

 

It was said that the person purchased insurance BEFORE the diagnosis.

 

So not a pre-existing condition.

 

She also said

 

" He is at risk for many medical complications".



This may complicate an nsurance claim is all I am saying.

Edited by jayjaycan
error correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just because a person has a terminal illness doesn't preclude a need for medical attention. While they wouldn't be seeking treatment of their primary illness, they may need treatment for other problems that arise. Palliative medical treatment is aimed at promoting the person's comfort, as much as possible. And if the person should die during the cruise, insurance would pay for repatriation of the remains.

 

 

 

I get that but if one didn’t already have the insurance and they wanted to go, not having insurance shouldn’t stop them. Jmo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I get that but if one didn’t already have the insurance and they wanted to go, not having insurance shouldn’t stop them. Jmo.

 

If they are wealthy enough to handle the potentially very large costs of any needed medical treatment and/or evacuation/repatriation, then sure. But I'd imagine that they've probably already spent a lot of money on his current treatment, based on how much my recent bout with cancer cost me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope things work out, Laf1381. I understand your concerns that you may be the one to have deal with any problems that arise. Do you have a passport and plenty of liquid funds? The insurance the cruisers have may not cover much, the last cruise line protection plan I looked at paid only $10,000. Medical transportation home is expensive.

 

 

 

With a fast growing brain tumor, his condition will only worsen. A family member canceled her cruise after receiving a similar diagnosis. She'd have boarded with a rollator and been disembarked on a stretcher. Even if the cruise line had let her stay on board, her traveling companion would have been unable (and unwilling) to change her diapers and bathe her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope things work out, Laf1381.

With a fast growing brain tumor, his condition will only worsen. A family member canceled her cruise after receiving a similar diagnosis. She'd have boarded with a rollator and been disembarked on a stretcher. Even if the cruise line had let her stay on board, her traveling companion would have been unable (and unwilling) to change her diapers and bathe her.

But no one knows how quickly it will worsen - and that's the extra kick in the pants of this disease. You could be a rock star on tour 9 months after your diagnosis, or be confined to a bed unable to sit up within 4 months of your diagnosis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But no one knows how quickly it will worsen - and that's the extra kick in the pants of this disease. You could be a rock star on tour 9 months after your diagnosis, or be confined to a bed unable to sit up within 4 months of your diagnosis.

 

Exactly.

 

I'm not sure anyone here, myself included, is qualified to answer without knowing the patient involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Exactly.

 

I'm not sure anyone here, myself included, is qualified to answer without knowing the patient involved.

 

Sadly, not even people who do know the patient (including his doctor) can answer - not even his doctor knows how the disease will progress in this patient, and not even his family and caregivers know what he'll be like tomorrow, let alone next week or next month. So, why worry about things that no one can predict?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Well, doctors can predict as best they can based on symptoms and scans and such, but of course you are right - no one can say with absolute certainty. That was my point.

 

Karen ---> now living the dream in month 17 of a 6 month prognosis :D:D:D

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I get that but if one didn’t already have the insurance and they wanted to go, not having insurance shouldn’t stop them. Jmo.

 

 

The travel insurance was purchased before diagnosis so that could still be effective I imagine.

 

Travel insurance was already in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The insurance the cruisers have may not cover much, the last cruise line protection plan I looked at paid only $10,000. Medical transportation home is expensive.

 

Royal Carib insurance is $25,000 for med evac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...