For individuals who require the aid of dialysis, there are a number of cruises and one independent service dedicated to ensuring that you can enjoy a relaxing cruise with your loved ones regardless of your medical condition.
This is a fantastic way for dialysis patients to visit some of the most beautiful and exotic destinations in the world and experience the luxurious splendour of some of the seas’ most celebrated cruise ships.
Dialysis at Sea
Dialysis at Sea Cruises is dedicated to providing haemodialysis care to patients whilst on board cruise ships. The company provides patients with a specialist care team including a nephrologist, dialysis nurses and certified technicians on specially selected cruises.
The service also includes the most advanced and best maintained medical equipment and supplies, subjected to strict maintenance protocols to ensure that they are always operating at optimum level.
The largest provider of dialysis services aboard cruise ships since 1977, Dialysis at Sea have helped thousands of dialysis patients enjoy holidays they previously thought they may not be able to.
Which Cruises Can I Take?
Dialysis at Sea Cruises works closely with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. These cruise lines can accommodate dialysis patients on cruises to a wide range of different destinations throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and the Americas.
Will I Still Be Able to Take Part in On-Board Activities?
One of the great benefits that large, modern cruise liners traversing the planet afford you is their huge range of activities that are available on board. The cruise holiday is specially designed to provide enjoyment and entertainment for all demographics, whether you like to take it easy or enjoy immersing yourself in new experiences. It is up to you and your medical staff to decide upon the activities that you can take part in.
These dedicated medical practitioners will also be able to guide you as to whether the on-shore excursions are safe for you to experience. Being on dialysis doesn’t automatically preclude you from being able to get involved, Dialysis at Sea is all about making your holiday as enriching, enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
If the above cruise companies do not travel the route that you wish to take, it’s always worth contacting the companies that meet your travel requirements as to whether they can help provide the means for dialysis treatment at sea. Many of the respected cruise companies will try in earnest to accommodate your needs. Additionally, speak to your medical practitioner as they may have knowledge accrued from other patients who have previously travelled on cruises.
How Do I Book the Dialysis Service on a Cruise Ship?
If you’ve got a date and destination in mind, give Dialysis at Sea a call on 001-727-372-7490 or send over an email – their trained sales representatives will be on hand to talk you through your cruise dialysis needs with ease. Since Dialysis at Sea will also be boarding your cruise, those travelling with yourself in the same cabin must book their cruise through Dialysis at Sea Cruises.
Book and travel with them in confidence – in the hands of experienced, fully trained medical professionals, all your treatment is taken care of during your time sailing the seas. What’s more, you can utilise the shipboard dialysis staff, as well as the ship’s dedicated treatment room 24/7 – your freedom is of the utmost importance to the Dialysis at Sea staff while you travel. And to ensure optimum comfort, the on-board dialysis treatment is designed to mirror your land-based unit. Your requirements are always taken into consideration and strictly adhered to.
How Long Do I Need to Book in Advance?
Since the availability of their dialysis appointments and cabins on their respective ships are limited, Dialysis at Sea suggest booking as early as possible to ensure that a slot is available, in order to avoid disappointment.
The service takes up to 16 patients per cruise, with dialysis times operating on a first come, first served basis.
Will NHS Cover my Dialysis Treatment On-Board?
After meeting with the British Kidney Patient Association, NHS England has agreed to reimburse the cost of dialysis treatment onboard cruise ships, subject to specific conditions.
For example, if the majority of the ports you visit on your cruise are within the European Economic Area, or the country has formal healthcare agreements with the NHS, then the amount will be reimbursed per the National Tariff – your Holiday Dialysis Co-Ordinator will be able to tell you of the exact amount. Additionally, you’ll need to get approval from your renal team before you go on your cruise, as they will help to reimburse you when you get back to the UK.
Cruises that take place outside of these countries, i.e. those not covered under Article 56, are not exempt from the total cost of dialysis, and this will have to be paid for by yourself.
For more information, take a look at NHS England’s frequently asked questions regarding dialysis away from base.
This guide is just one part of Cruise1st’s healthy cruising series. Each part has been carefully planned to offer advice and guidance about a different aspect of staying fit and healthy during an amazing cruise holiday.
If you’re loaded up with all the information, but just need to get the cruise booked now, check out our amazing selection of cruise deals visiting every corner of the globe on our homepage or call us today on 0800 230 0655.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Liwenli, Bernt Rostad
Note: This post has been updated in September 2017 for timeliness and accuracy.