Avoid the Constellation on board health clinic if you can!

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16 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We were looking forward to try Galaxy cruise line having been on Princess for nearly 8 times, 5 times on Norwegian and 2 times, 2 times with Carnival and 2 times with Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately my experience with this cruise line gave us the worst first time experience ever.

We were given an inside cabin with a common wall to the general electrical switch board next to our bed. My room mate had heart arythmia ailment and couldnÕt sleep for many nights. You see he has a Heart Defibrillator/Pace maker implanted. He was not even recommended to pass the metal detector at the airport least sleeping next to a main electrical switch board. We late found out when cabin with the electrical switch board make too much noise. A complaint was lodge and I was shock to find this big electrical panels sharing the same wall next to our bed when the engineer open the door next to our cabin to investigate. It took us 2 days to get another cabin.

Having said that my room mate suffered a second degree sunburn while on the deck. Blisters appeared and we went to see your ship doctor who whipped up nearly $1500 medical bill. I found out that we were aggressively billed and over tested. One instant we were over billed by 7 dressings more. I pointed that out and it was subsequently corrected. I also suggested that I can do the dressing myself(I have a nursing friend on board who can help me) but was turned down. The Doc said my cabin is not sanitized. My room mate had to have 2 dressing changed everyday. I later spoke to a nursing friend and he said having the burnt area bundled all up will actually impede the healing process. In real practiced the Doc should applied silver sulfadiazine cream and leave the wound open for faster healing under a santized environment. No wonder the wound took longer to heal as it cannot breath through layers of bandages and the medical staff had a hay day billing us. Over or wrong treatment and testings add up the cost too. When my room mate had his blood pressure read I request the nurse to test mine too but she wants $25 for the extra service. Cheeky them nickling and dimming us. Beside that we saw others being victimized too eg. A old lady walked into the medical office and produced a prescription for some drugs she ran out. She said her Doc. gave her that as those drugs can be obtained easily anywhere when she rans out. The nurse took one look and return it. She said she cannot honor that prescription and she can only sell her the drug after the Ship Doc examined and tested her that she really needed that medication for her ailments. That would cost about her $650 after the consultation fee and all the testings she said. Hearing that the old lady shook her head and walked away bewildered and in despair. I felt so sorry for her.

We were sure glad to leave the ship as we find ourselves becoming a captive audience to a highly mercenary medical staff. Everyone I met think the ship should be more reasonable with medical fees charged. Now we are waiting with our fingers crossed to see if our Insurance will agree to pay us back nearly $1500 for a sun burnt treatment.

I am appaled at how merchenery this cruise line is.
9,778 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I saw this person on another cruise board complaining. The story has changed a little. Second degree burns are nothing to fool with and if his friend had developed an infection because the wounds were not dressed and changed properly in a sterile environment, I'm sure we'd be hearing about a lawsuit instead of medical charges. The last time the nursing friend said zinc oxide should have been used. I really doubt that the medical staff is mercenary. It seems they are trying to take good care of the passengers.

We just recently returned from a cruise on Constellation and two of our party had to use the medical center and were treated very well and only charged for what was necessary.

If they booked an inside cabin it certainly is possible that a wall could be near an electrical panel. I never heard of an electrical panel bothering a pacemaker. It's usually magnetics that cause the problem. Did they say they had a problem with a pacemaker when they booked? I never heard of an electrical panel making a lot of noise either.

I'm sorry this was a bad experience, but the story doesn't make a lot of sense.
355 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
If you are staying inside I would guess you could leave your wound uncovered, but when going back into the sun(as you would on a cruise) I would cover the area so it would not get burnt again. If you thought you didn't need all those treatments, why did you keep going back. I never met anyone who used a doctor on board(I'm sure some people do have too)
and everyone you met USED the doctor. You have been on 19 cruises and was shocked about your room. You booked it so you had to know it was an inside and were it was. You said this is what they gave you, no this is what you booked.
If this is a true story, I hope your friend is feeling better.

I really don't think this is a true story. The english and spelling are not very good. It sounds like the person wants you to think they don't speak good english. Its great they can spell big words but not little ones. The room story sounds made up also.
Brentwood, Northern California
1,288 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Here it is again with someone's post #1 with a really weird and wild story. Maybe some of it is for real, but come on, $1500 in medical charges? And, don't most people on a cruise know to stay out of the sun before they get these kind of burns? Sounds pretty odd to me...
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lake almanor, calif
1,654 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by cruisintwinsmom
Were they on Galaxy or Constellation? Sounds like someone is looking to make things interesting!
Mom, they were on the cruise line Galaxy, havent you ever heard of that line? Maybe it is owned by carnival, but they keep it a secret.

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San Antonio, TX
8,791 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
The "story" notwithstanding I kind of got a kick out of "having been on the Princess for nearly 8 times" comment. Nearly? Only 7 but missed the 8th?

Now, assuming we're not getting jerked around again there are some aspects of the posting that worth discussing. First of all, I'm not going to second guess the doctor on the ship. It seems reasonable that a patient presents with second degree burns and is wearing a pacemaker requires a bit of checking out. Liability laws being what they are today causes medical staffs to be that way. Do they sometimes over test...probably but that's part of the costs of all the law suits. Would also suggest that the lady with the scripts to be filled is really not that different of a situation. Without access to the national register for the prescribing doctor and no other medical information I think it's quite reasonable to want to check a patient before renewing a medication. The lesson.....take sufficient medications for your cruise/trip. Ships are not the same as a shore based pharmacy and may not have your particular medication, valid script or not.

Certainly it's possible to get second degree burns by not paying attention to time, etc., but then again the author claims something like 19 cruises. Would indicate they'd been there, done that before and should have some idea that one can get roasted pretty quickly.
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Virginia, USA
2,979 Posts
Joined May 2000
This is certainly suspect -- first post, bad grammer and spelling. Sorry, I don't believe a word of it. And, again, I agree with other posters, "nearly 8 cruises", "Galaxy cruise line" -- just trying to stir the pot.
High Point, NC
7,015 Posts
Joined May 2000
And I would assume that the cruiseline is Celebrity and the ship's name is Galaxy. No secret to that. My friend used the medical facility while we were on Celebrity Century and not during normal office hours. Cost? $130 total for extreme sun-poisoning. I can only imagine what the bill would have been in a land-based hospitol emergency room. And why would anyone travel without an adequate supply of meds?
Lake Norman
1,268 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Not so fast my friends...the screen name (Song) could indicate someone of Asian discent whose first language may not be English. Having said that, I am skeptical about why someone with such a medical condition would go on a cruise, expose themselves to an obvious hazardous condition and then complain about too much care??
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Sparks, NV USA
1,802 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
We were on Mercury for an 8 day cruise out of San Francisco in March of this year. My girl friend was not feeling well, but was determined to go despite the fact that we had insurance.

She was running a temperature of 101, and on our second day, while walking around in Monterey, her back went out. A day later her temperature was spiking at 102 to 103 degrees. The Medical staff and the doctor on Mercury were very thorough in their examination and tests. The doctor prescribed a strong antibiotic. After several days, the symptoms persisted, and we made another visit to the medical facilities on Mercury, and again the doctor was very thorough, and prescribed a different antibiotic.

In the mean time, I used a wheel chair to move my girl friend all over the ship, so that she could experience as much of the cruise as possible under the circumstances. The experience was enhanced because we were in a Royal Suite, and our butler Keith was just tremendous in seeing that she was comfortable and well cared for.

There was one other visit to the medical facility for the cruise [a total of 3], and the entire bill for this medical attention was $475.00, which I considered to be very reasonable. Contrast that with perhaps the charges for one visit to the emergency room at a major hospital!
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Clearwater, FL orig. Seattle
305 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I think I will take this one with a grain, or a few hundred grains, of salt until I have some additional information. I had occasion to visit the clinic on the Summit and they were very helpful and, believe it or not, didn't charge me for the time with the doctor and nurse(s) or any of the medication.

I'm not saying that this story is false but it does remind me of a few other "events" that have been on the boards that weren't as they seemed.

Did anyone catch the news about the law suit against RCL? The complaint is that the crew gave alcohol to a 16 year old girl and then made unwanted advances or more. Wasn't there a thread not too long ago from someone stating that this exact situation had happened to them on an X ship last year. Of course they didn't report it to anyone.

Sounds like we all might have been part of a fishing expedition.
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Smarr, Ga, U.S.A.
1,471 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Seabee
Not so fast my friends...the screen name (Song) could indicate someone of Asian discent whose first language may not be English. Having said that, I am skeptical about why someone with such a medical condition would go on a cruise, expose themselves to an obvious hazardous condition and then complain about too much care??
Very good observation, Mr. Holmes! I hadn't taken that into consideration. Now I'll take it with (2) grains of salt.
Portland, Oregon, USA
1,241 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
I thought I had seen this before. There is a review over on the "addicts" site, the story is similar, but words and descriptions have changed slightly. Look under Constellation reviews.

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9,778 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
That's the one I meant. In that description his friend was sitting in an air-conditioned room playing cards and got burned through the windows. On this one he was on the deck...which was it?
811 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We had a similar experience though not nearly as extreme on our second RCCL AOS cruise, my son, newly 4 at the time, came down with a mild fever ~101 deg. F on the last night. We tried to find some childrens motrin to comfort him and were told to call the infirmary. When we called we were told they were closed and that it would be $75 to open the door and another $35 for the motrin, (the child needed to be examined before the motrin could be dispensed), needless to say we went without the motrin and used damp washclothes, a cool bath and lowered the AC to bring down his body temp. I assume that our insurance would have covered the visit, (we had cruise insurance and I have extended international medical coverage through my employer), but we couldn't see going through all of the hassle for a couple of childrens motrin. Anyway, we learned our lesson and on the following cruise we brought every conceivable med we could think of.

Ma Bell, just an FYI, where there is electricity there is magnetism, follow this link to enlighten yourself, http://www.fms-corp.com/mag-fields-101.htm

My grammar may also be pathetic but I'm a pretty good engineer.
S Florida
866 Posts
Joined May 2004
Just as a "guesstimate", we were on Legend of the Seas in Asia and hubby developed a really nasty illness...I guessed it to be a severe sinus infection 'cuz he flew with a headcold. So, I sent him off to the ship's doc (of course hubby would never have gone without my prompting, but hey, isn't that what we spouses are for?)

Yes, it turned out to be a sinus infection--they did a blood test (culture for bacterial infection) on the first visit to the clinic, started him on antibiotic supply, and asked him to return for follow-up visit something like 4? 5? days later. He went back for the follow-up and got the results of the sinus infecton--it was bacterial on his blood test--and by that time he was feeling better. Total cost: $155-
Moorpark, CA
3,972 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I had a simliar experience on an Alaskan cruise. I needed a fairly large butterfly bandaid for a leg I scraped in the gym. I went to the ship's Medical Office, explained that all I needed was a large butterfly bandaid. I was told that I needed to have the doctor examine me ($45.00 at the time) before I could receive the bandaid, but that I could get one free at the purser's desk. I went up to the purser's desk and all they had was the regular bandaids we all have in our medicine cabinets at home, for very small cuts. I ended up walking into town and getting some bandaids. Now I do understand the ship's medical office's point. No matter what, the doctor needs to examine you to make his best guess as to what you need. Afterall, he does not have your medical records in front of him. But in my case I thought $45.00 was a bit much for what I needed. What site is this other review on? Can someone point me there, I would love to compare the two statements. BTW, I am a pretty good engineer myself and have no comment about electrical panels and pace makers. I would need more facts (EMF measurements, pacemaker specs., etc.) before I could even begin to come up with a statement on that particular electrical panel and it's effects, if any, on this particular pacemaker. As for geeting sunburned, I live in a very sunny climate and got burned like that on several occassions as a teenager. It is very easy to do as you don't really feel the pain while you are getting burned. Experience is a good teacher, I now make sure I use some form of a sunscreen when out in the sun for any length of time.

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