It can happen to anyone. We arrived in Nassau and left our cruise ship to enjoy the beautiful tropical city. We were not prepared for the unexpected. Here are 6 things to be SURE you take when you leave the ship.
Cruising Can Be Great!
Traveling by cruise ship is one of the ways I enjoy seeing great tourist sites with all the amenities provided. How great is it when your moving hotel takes you there, right? There are definitely some advantages to seeing the world one port at a time.
Tours and excursions are available through the cruise line or at the port. We weren’t interested in any of the Carnival excursions at Nassau, so we opted to see what was available at the port.
Fun Shore Options in Nassau
We found a bus tour that was filling up, and it would be perfect for seeing the local sites. It would be about 2-3 hours long, and we would go to Atlantis for lunch. We were on our way!
The Unexpected Injury!
But at our second stop, one of my traveling companions slipped and fell and seriously injured her arm while taking a photograph. Our tour driver quickly took us to the ER so she could be treated.
As she was being evaluated, I was making phone calls. No one in our group (or on the tour bus!) had the number for the Carnival port emergency contact for Nassau. I remember that it was provided to us on the ship, printed on the back page of our newsletter about daily onboard ship activities. Yes, we should have taken the newsletter with us or at least have taken a picture of the information……
Emergency Number is on the Daily Newsletter
No problem. I’ll call Carnival and ask to speak with someone on our ship. I wanted to make them aware of our situation and that medical care was being sought at the ER for my travel companion.
I also wanted to confirm the time the ship would sail. Was it 5:00 back on the ship, or 5:00 departure time?? Yikes! That might be important now!! (When we left the ship after breakfast, we expected to be back onboard within a few hours.)
Ship, I Need Your Number
A Google search on my phone put me in touch with a Carnival hotline. I explained the situation and asked how to contact the ship. But after conversations with several Carnival departments, I learned that I would not be able to call or contact the ship directly. The good news though was that there was a process in place. A member of the Carnival Care Team relayed our information by email to the local Carnival agent and to our ship.
Our ship’s Guest Services called to let me know they were aware that we were at the hospital and that the Carnival Nassau agent would be coming to meet us and provide transportation back to the ship. (Cash on hand for a taxi to the ship would have been needed if this service hadn’t been provided.)
Meanwhile, my friend was having her dislocated elbow put back in place and her fractured arm put in a cast. The hospital staff was very caring and helpful to administer her treatment in a timely manner. With cruise ships at Nassau nearly every day, they understood our interest to be back on the ship to continue our cruise.
The physician determined that my friend was able to travel, and all of the paperwork was completed for us to provide to the ship doctor.
Travel Insurance Consideration
And it was no surprise that the hospital bill had to be settled at the time of discharge (the Commonwealth of the Bahamas hospital was not interested in her U.S. health coverage). We did not purchase travel insurance for this cruise, but it is something to consider for any travel outside the U.S. If your health coverage doesn’t cover you abroad, check out TravelInsurance.com, SquareMouth.com or InsureMyTrip.com to compare plans for medical coverage and medical evacuation (other benefits too).
The Carnival agent picked us up and took us to the cruise pier. When we boarded the ship, we were taken to Medical Services so that our injured companion could be evaluated. The doctor explained that he had to determine her fitness for traveling because of limited medical care available at sea. She got the green light, and we were happy to be onboard and continuing the cruise.
6 Things to Take With You | Just in Case
So be ready for the unexpected. Here are 6 things to be sure you have when you leave the cruise ship for a tour or excursion:
- Emergency contact information provided by the cruise line
- The time you must be back on the ship
- Passport and ship card
- Health coverage information
- Cash and credit card
- Cell phone