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ajm

Liver transplant

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I am looking for general information from anyone that may have gone on a cruise after a liver transplant (or any other organ transplant).  I know that after the transplant, the immune system is compromised due to the anti-rejection medications so I'm particularly interested in tips on how to be in areas with so many people and still limit exposure.

 

I'm asking this since I am currently on the transplant list and hope to get one soon.  My wife has gone through a lot in helping me with all of this and she absolutely loves cruises.  I'd like to be able to take her on one as a show of my gratitude.  I obviously will get support/permissions from my transplant team before doing this but I also want to hear from others who may have gone through it to understand their experience as well.

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7 hours ago, ajm said:

I am looking for general information from anyone that may have gone on a cruise after a liver transplant (or any other organ transplant).  I know that after the transplant, the immune system is compromised due to the anti-rejection medications so I'm particularly interested in tips on how to be in areas with so many people and still limit exposure.

 

I'm asking this since I am currently on the transplant list and hope to get one soon.  My wife has gone through a lot in helping me with all of this and she absolutely loves cruises.  I'd like to be able to take her on one as a show of my gratitude.  I obviously will get support/permissions from my transplant team before doing this but I also want to hear from others who may have gone through it to understand their experience as well.

 

I cannot comment with any direct experience, but here are a few thoughts...

 

First, obviously, you'd later have the physician's approval to travel, right?

Assuming that is the case, then get that in WRITING and the same day, get Travel Insurance.  You'll need to be "fit to travel" the day you purchase that.

Then, if your condition deteriorates, you'll be able to get reimbursed.

 

Here is a link to the CC section on travel insurance:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/


We suggest CALLING www.TripInsuranceStore.com and discussing (in detail, in your case) what the most suitable policy would be.  Don't withhold info from them; you don't want to end up with a policy where IF there is a claim, it is denied b/c the policy wasn't suitable for your circumstances.

Don't rely upon the online summaries.  The fine print can REALLY matter here (well, and most places!).

 

Second, consider a suite where you could have Butler service, including *proper* meal service of your choice (not just a minimal "room service" menu).  This assumes that your medical team says to minimize time with "lots of others", etc.

You might ask if you should wear a mask when you are unable to avoid crowds.

 

Hopefully your medical team would have all sorts of suggestions (and perhaps "directives") for safe travel, if you do well after surgery.

 

And here are hopes for a successful surgery!

 

GC

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Thanks.... I will definitely look into getting travel insurance.

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3 minutes ago, ajm said:

Thanks.... I will definitely look into getting travel insurance.

 

Good :classic_smile:

 

But please MAKE SURE that you have a signed letter from physician that you are medically cleared to travel as of the date of the letter... and then get travel insurance started *that* day.

 

We were in a situation sort of like this, when DH had just had a medical emergency that caused a last minute cancellation of a major cruise and land trip.  We had insurance, for the first time (!) - thanks to my reading here on CC.

 

So I wanted to re-book a trip for when he'd be fully recovered (either with or without a disability; we were lucky, it was with very minimal residual problems, thank goodness).

I called Trip Insurance Store and happened to speak with Steve (owner; ask for him if you have ANY specific issues, problems, etc.).  I told him the dates (6 months in the future) and amount of initial coverage needed.

*HE* (thank goodness again!!!) started to take the information, then paused, and said something like, "Uh, wait... is DH fully recovered from the emergency last month?" or some such.

Reasonable facsimile of the conversation:

Me:  "No, but the physicians say he WILL be ready to travel again by June.
Steve: "Okay, but can he travel TODAY?"

Me:  "No, but he WILL be able to...."

Steve:  "He needs to be able to travel TODAY if you *start* a policy TODAY; it doesn't matter when the travel is supposed to start."

Me:  "Ooooooooooops!  Thanks!!!!"

 

I can't imagine if we had taken out that policy, taken *that* June trip, and needed insurance.  Yikes.

 

Two months later, physician said, in response to my question, "Yup, he can travel today if he wants to."

Me:  "Would you give us a letter to that effect?"

And we got a letter right then and there.

 

We went home, and I started the planning again.

 

Note:  Because the replacement trip wasn't going to be a cruise, there wasn't the same "deposit due today", to start the insurance.  So I had our TA arrange to prepay one night at a hotel.  It was refundable, and later, closer to travel, we changed it anyway to a different hotel.

 

And we had a wonderful time!

 

GC

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That's great advice.  Obviously I can't "travel today" but hopefully that will change soon.  Thanks again!

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Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. When a bug gets people sick on the cruise, it travels quickly. Use your knuckles to ring for the elevator, try not to hold on to hand rails, and just stay away from anyone who appears to be sick. Good luck with the surgery.

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DH is coming up on his 3rd year anniversary with his Gift of Life (liver transplant). We waited over a year to start cruising again, but have now successfully and healthy completion of 3. Words to the wise: pack at least 1 extra weeks worth of meds along with a med list and phone numbers for the transplant center/coordinator just in case in a carry on. I pack hand sanitizers and chlorox wipes (for the cabin) but insist on hand washing and sanitizer wipes after elevators- menus and all utensil handling in the buffets. Better yet, put all tv remotes in a zip lock bag before use. Lots of high level SPF/hat/t shirts since sun doesn't mix well with most of the immuno-suppresent meds. I am a nurse and in light of the transplant have ramped up our travel routines post-transplant and continue to be vigilant but we are back on the high seas again, and loving it. My prayers that you receive your gift of life soon, DH likes to say, he lives each day as if his donor is watching. Best wishes for you soon!

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Thank you all for the information.  It is very helpful.  I'm especially happy to hear that cruising after transplant is indeed an option.

 

I received my transplant the end of November and everything went great.  I haven't formally brought up the topic of travel yet but informally they did say it shouldn't be a problem.  I still want to give it some time to reduce my immuno-suppressants.  I was warned to stay away from buffets so it is interesting to hear that you were able to go to them.  Maybe that is just until the meds start to reduce.

 

Thanks again!

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9 minutes ago, ajm said:

Thank you all for the information.  It is very helpful.  I'm especially happy to hear that cruising after transplant is indeed an option.

 

I received my transplant the end of November and everything went great.  I haven't formally brought up the topic of travel yet but informally they did say it shouldn't be a problem.  I still want to give it some time to reduce my immuno-suppressants.  I was warned to stay away from buffets so it is interesting to hear that you were able to go to them.  Maybe that is just until the meds start to reduce.

 

Thanks again!

 

VERY glad to hear you got your transplant and all went well.

You are already a "winner" :classic_smile:

 

GC

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4 hours ago, ajm said:

Thank you all for the information.  It is very helpful.  I'm especially happy to hear that cruising after transplant is indeed an option.

 

I received my transplant the end of November and everything went great.  I haven't formally brought up the topic of travel yet but informally they did say it shouldn't be a problem.  I still want to give it some time to reduce my immuno-suppressants.  I was warned to stay away from buffets so it is interesting to hear that you were able to go to them.  Maybe that is just until the meds start to reduce.

 

Thanks again!

Congratulations! Wonderful news. Glad to hear that you are doing well. May you have wonderful healthy years ahead and you will love getting back to cruising!

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