Dialysis cruise

Ever taken a cruise that offers dialysis? What was your experience?

I know someone who did, its a bit expensive…sad part that she didn’t like it at all(the dialysis on ship)…came back sick and said she would never do it again…

Oh thanx for that cheering news, Gus :lol: , as I have been looking at them on the Web lately. Was thinking of a Med. one. But yes, they are expensive and ‘dropping back’ to 3 x 5 (AND having to pay for it!! :shock: ) is a definite downside.
I always used to say I’d never go on a cruise, as it was a waste of time you could be spending IN the places you’re visiting! I guess dialysis has reduced my…er…I dunno resistance?/cynicism?/criteria?
O.K. Gus - find me a resort in the Maldives, with in-house nocturnal dialysis and a nice left-breaking wave outside the front door! :lol:

I’ve known patients that enjoyed dialysis cruises. Then again, I’ve known people who aren’t on dialysis who hated everything about cruising – the rooms, food, service, shore excursions (you get the idea). And some people get seasick on ships. I don’t think you can make a decision about whether you’d like a cruise based on one person’s experience. You probably need to talk wtih several people. Also, I think to some extent, it depends on the type of person you are and what your expectations are.

Probably 10-15 years ago a friend of mine who was a home dialysis nurse at the time (now she’s a diabetes educator) worked on two dialysis cruises – one to the Caribbean and one to Alaska. She worked with an LPN doing hemodialysis when the ship was at sea, at night, or whenever people needed dialysis so they could enjoy shore time. There was a nephrologist on board and the patients and the staff seemed to have a terrific time. I’ve seen smiling happy pictures of everyone dressed up for the captain’s night with the staff and patients all having a good time together. My friend had to pay her way to where the cruise disembarked and she wasn’t paid for her time, but she got the cruise free for doing dialysis.

I don’t know how much the dialysis cruise companies charge nowadays. Medicare won’t pay for dialysis on board ships in international waters. However, other insurance may. You may not need to have a “dialysis” cruise if you’re able to take your machine and supplies on the ship and do “home” dialysis there. However, this is something to talk with your nurse and the company that makes your machine and supplies.

Hmmmm…I can’t see me hauling a Fresenius 4008B across the globe by air & then onto a European cruise! :roll: :smiley:
Maybe when I get an NxStage? :smiley:
Interesting you mention o/night dx on the cruise, as I’ve only seen reference to daytime dx…but that’s probably because the people were 3x5ers anyway.
I wish there were more resorts that did something similar to the cruises!
Incidentally, having e-mailed the lady @ the Italian-based Fresenius cruise co. I got a dx price of E320 a sesh. Adds a bit to the cruise price.
Remember U.S. people may well have insurance that covers them for o/s dx, but Europeans are less likely to, relying on their EHIC facility which the cruise people do NOT accept. SO they (like me) would have to pay full whack.

I suspect that most U.S. travelers who do dialysis cruises have to pay out of pocket too because a lot of them have Medicare and Medicare supplement plans, neither of which pay. I think if you want to cruise, you plan for it and just figure the extra cost for dialysis is like taking a land tour or two.

When my friend did the dialysis it wasn’t overnight. It was late night…after dinner – like 9-1 or 10-2 something like that when some people were out partying. I don’t even remember the kind of machines they had on the cruises that she took. I do remember the cruise was through Dialysis at Sea.

Bear, have you contacted http://www.dialysisescapeline.com/ They do an Aussie cruise and also a land destination where they set up machines somewhere where there isn’t a unit usually within Oz once a year. Their website is in need of updating although there latest brochures for 2006 look okay., if you are interested.

NO, in all my searches I’ve never come across that one - thanx Beachy, I’ll check em out!

I was in the navy for a few years. Sailed out in the Pacific and on the west coast (of Canada and the U.S.) quite a bit. You know why they have so many activities on cruise ships? Because after the first half day, sailing around the ocean is B-O-R-I-N-G. There’s nothing but endless, mostly grey, sometimes blue ocean. It’s only interesting and exciting when you pull into a foreign port. Personally, I would rather just fly there and spend the time on land :slight_smile:


Hehehe, :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, you really was in the Navy?..I guess living on a ship for sometime is no fun! …what if you were on a yacht hunting for Swordfish or sharks? …would that be fun? Or would you rather sit on a parkbench under a shade and reading a book or wireless laptop?

I sure was, Gus. I was a deck officer. I did sail training on a tall ship, and I sailed mostly on destroyer escorts and minesweepers. I have great memories of time spent in foreign ports :slight_smile:

I didn’t make a long career out of it though. I served my 5 years and then got out. Later on, I was in the army for about 10 years. In between, I was a public servant in the federal government, and I operated my own translation and publishing business. Now I’m just a bum :slight_smile:

Seriously though, I do devote a lot of time to my IgA nephropathy foundation.

I like simple, peaceful things, mostly. I live in the city, downtown, and there’s a nice urban park a couple of blocks away I like to sit in. It’s over a hundred years old. I like bicycles, sailboats. But I would say one of my favourite activities is watching classic old movies.


Pierre. a “classic” French fifties film we love is “Mon Oncle”. Have you seen it? We can’t get enough of its quirkiness and usually end up in stitches from laughing too much! Only trouble is the music keeps going around in your head for days afterwards! :lol:

Oh yes, the one by Jacques Tati. I love it, and his other films too. Did you ever see “Mr. Hulot’s Vacation”? That’s the one where he spends a vacation at the beach.

Yes, once they had a Tati festival on TV here. Loved it! Must email the station and see whether they will put them on again. No chance of dropping in to the local video hire place and picking up a copy here, they mainly only keep American blockbusters. :cry:

Jeez, I haven’t seen either of those Tati films for years. Timeless, I reckon.
Anyone notice how many of Hollywood’s 1/2-decent films (so few…so few… :smiley: ) are re-makes of French films? :- Bird Cage, Assassin, & so on.

I love French films, but, with a name like Pierre, I may be a little biased :slight_smile:

Another Tati film I like is “Jour de Fête”.


I like Spaghetti western classics, and currently am working on an online multiplayer game which we adults can join and play either the lawman or the outlaw…

P.S. perhaps my next online game would be Kidney Racers from the west…hehe… :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi All,
As a travel agent I tried to get some information about the dialysisatsea program. Thinking my husband(who is on dialysis) and I could do it.
I was never so rudely treated as I was from them. :evil:
Also as an agent I know that when you book groups you get a better rate for the group. They were using almost rack(brochure) rates. That added to the fact that we would have to pay for the dialysis which with insurance was going to be $1500 for the week. I can not wait for the NXSTAGE so we can just put it right on the ship and do it ourselves!
I do know that there is a husband and wife Nephrologist team that run cruisess for dialysis patients.
I will never book or advise anyone to book from dialysis at sea, because of their attitude and there over zealestness to earn $$$.
I guess I am a cheap skate but I look at my clients and treat them the way I would want to be treated, as well as getting them the best price I can.
OH well enough of my soapbox.
Have a wonderful EASTER/PASSOVER to all. :lol:

I went on a Dialysis at Sea cruise in 1998 – from Dover to Copenhagen via Russia and Scandinavia. When I checked last year – for a trip from Chile to Argentina via Antarctica - the pricing worked this way: the length of the trip, divided by two is how many treatments you are sold, and the price of each treatment is $425 US per run. So for a 12 day cruise you’d have 6 treatments for a total price $2,700.

I was looking at a 23 day cruise so that was 11 treatments for nearly $4,700. My insurace through the Carpenters Union would reimburse 90% of the dialysis cost - back in 1998 it was a 100%.

On the one hand I like to dialyze more frequently but by imposing this treatment schedule (and other profit enhancing rules that Pat pointed out) Dialysis at Sea prices many dialyzors out of the cruise vacation market. You don’t have to dialyze for all the treatments you pay for but you do have to pay and it is hard to swallow having to pay the undiscounted cost of the cruise itself.

There is an alternative – an island land vacation. Holiday dialysis is available on several tropical islands in the Caribbean. Check out http://www.globaldialysis.com/centres.asp for a complete list.

Comparing dialysis on board the ship to dialysis on the islands I have visited - St. Maartin, Bahamas, Ibiza or Hawaii - the land dialysis is better. Beth described the way they get staff - free cruise accommodations. This means that the staff have their own expectations for the cruise - they’re looking for a fun vacation. If everything goes okay then you get the smiling faces but if something goes wrong the free cruise suddenly feels like work.

On my cruise in 1998 they were one staff person short and they started the cruise with the wrong blood tubing. This lead to a great deal of extra work and stress for the staff. The staff responded with professionalism but I am sure they needed a vacation after the cruise. Consider that often - and it was true on my cruise - the staff has never worked together. At a land based unit if something comes up the ability of the staff to work as a team is what can make the difference.

I’d consider a cruise to areas without land based dialysis units - Alaska, Antarctica - but for the Caribbean and Europe - I would much rather stay on land. Especially Europe where the intercity transport and the dialysis is so good.

If you have Medicare and don’t mind staying on land, remember that Medicare will pay for dialysis (80% as a primary payer) in the U.S. and its territories. This includes tropical locales like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.