Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
vacationlover_mn

Dying onboard

Recommended Posts

We were talking travel insurance in carpool today, since I’ve finally started buying insurance 🙂. My friend had a few morbid questions, that I’m sure at least one of you know the answers to 🙂

1) if you die onboard a Caribbean cruise and live in the states, roughly how much does it cost to get the body home?

2) If you die in the middle of the cruise, do they keep the body in the morgue till you get to the home port, or do they offload you to the next port, to be flown home?

 

thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's where cruise insurance comes in to cover the cost.

Cruiselines carry body bags and have a small morgue.

If you are within a week of returning to your home port

they will allow the body to remain onboard.

If not the off load will be done at the next port that

arrangements can be made with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, lesson learned is 7 night or shorter cruises only. 

Then again the Allianz All Trips Premier annual travel insurance includes up to $500,000 for repatriation of remains.  Hard to picture repatriation costing anywhere near that amount.  Switzerland required $50,000 in repatriation insurance to get a work permit a couple years ago.  Thinking repatriation is typically less than $50,000 and the $500,000 is a make believe limit of the travel policy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A woman died on our NCL cruise to Bermuda this past May. They held her body in their morgue until we returned to port in NYC. When we disembarked we saw a hearse at the port presumably waiting for her body. My daughter was on the elevator on the ship and her husband broke down and told my daughter that his wife had died that morning. Poor soul having to wait the rest of the cruise until they returned to port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, barb65 said:

A woman died on our NCL cruise to Bermuda this past May. They held her body in their morgue until we returned to port in NYC. When we disembarked we saw a hearse at the port presumably waiting for her body. My daughter was on the elevator on the ship and her husband broke down and told my daughter that his wife had died that morning. Poor soul having to wait the rest of the cruise until they returned to port.

 

Now that is truly sad.  

 

I hope no one ever has to find out about this.  Happy cruising.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy all! emo22.gif

 

Regarding cruise travel insurance, medical, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, at this time Cruise Critic has a special Q&A forum where you can post cruise insurance questions to someone in the insurance field.

 

Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com

Everything you've always wanted to know about cruise insurance -- will be answered by Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com.   Steve will be here through November 30th answering all your questions.  Please limit to U.S. based travel insurance plans.

 

If anyone has any travel insurance questions, please check out the special Q&A forum.

 

Host Kat emo32.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Host Kat said:

Howdy all! emo22.gif

 

Regarding cruise travel insurance, medical, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, at this time Cruise Critic has a special Q&A forum where you can post cruise insurance questions to someone in the insurance field.

 

Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com

Everything you've always wanted to know about cruise insurance -- will be answered by Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com.   Steve will be here through November 30th answering all your questions.  Please limit to U.S. based travel insurance plans.

 

If anyone has any travel insurance questions, please check out the special Q&A forum.

 

Host Kat emo32.gif

Steve and his associates are just amazing...His company is our go to for trip insurance always !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on a lengthier cruise where the husband of one of the speakers died unexpectedly. His remains were kept in the morgue until the next port where it was practical to fly him (with his wife accompanying) home. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that it costs several thousands of dollars to transfer remains between states, I can only imagine how much it costs to transfer between countries. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Ashland said:

That's where cruise insurance comes in to cover the cost.

Cruiselines carry body bags and have a small morgue.

If you are within a week of returning to your home port

they will allow the body to remain onboard.

If not the off load will be done at the next port that

arrangements can be made with.

This may or may not be correct.  When someone dies onboard, the ship must report this to the authorities in the next port, and those authorities will determine if they want the body disembarked for a coroner's inquest or not, or if there are local laws regarding the transportation of remains, so that is the predominant deciding factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the Chief in that an earlier response was an over simplification of the process, which has many variables - primarily the ship's Flag State Regulations, where the vessel is home ported and the requirements of the ports of call.

 

In the event of a death on board the Master must make an entry in the ship's Official Log, with Flag State Regulations dictating the information required. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, the Master may also have to transmit a preliminary report to the Flag State, followed up by a written report on the prescribed forms. In addition, we had to complete Registrar Forms, often referred as Hatches, Matches & Dispatches Form.

 

The next PoC, during the request for Pratique, the death will be reported. The port authorities may, or may not request any remains to be landed. The ship generally has no say in the matter.

 

In addition, when home ported or bound for a US port, the Master must also follow US reporting requirements.

 

It was way easier in my deep sea days, as with agreement of the family, most remains were committed to the deep the next sea day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, for a US citizen dying outside the US, there are reporting procedures with the nearest Consulate or Embassy.  I don't think they apply if the body is returned to the US, but if it is disembarked...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transporting a body is REALLY expensive.  It will be held in the morgue until you reach your home port....then you can have it shipped wherever, or contact a mortuary, do a cremation, and take the ashes home yourself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cb at sea said:

Transporting a body is REALLY expensive.  It will be held in the morgue until you reach your home port....then you can have it shipped wherever, or contact a mortuary, do a cremation, and take the ashes home yourself.

 

Sorry, wrong yet again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This may or may not be correct.  When someone dies onboard, the ship must report this to the authorities in the next port, and those authorities will determine if they want the body disembarked for a coroner's inquest or not, or if there are local laws regarding the transportation of remains, so that is the predominant deciding factor.

 

That's consistent with what I've seen.  

 

Odd story...I remember a death aboard a Carnival ship prior to porting in Key West.  The body came off in KW along with the deceased wife.  Because it was a PVSA violation, both were charged $300. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

 

That's consistent with what I've seen.  

 

Odd story...I remember a death aboard a Carnival ship prior to porting in Key West.  The body came off in KW along with the deceased wife.  Because it was a PVSA violation, both were charged $300. 

Yes, I had the same thing at NCL.  However, the line provided her with the CBP file number and the documentation needed to show that her husband had died, to get the fine waived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

This may or may not be correct.  When someone dies onboard, the ship must report this to the authorities in the next port, and those authorities will determine if they want the body disembarked for a coroner's inquest or not, or if there are local laws regarding the transportation of remains, so that is the predominant deciding factor.

This topic came up in a real world discussion and someone much more knowledgeable than I mentioned that whether or not the deceased has a passport is also a consideration.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Elaine5715 said:

This topic came up in a real world discussion and someone much more knowledgeable than I mentioned that whether or not the deceased has a passport is also a consideration.  

I can't speak for other countries, but for the US this isn't true.  What is required is that the death be reported to the closest US consul, who will make out a Consular Report of Death Abroad, and that is what is needed to accompany the remains.  Provided kin has made the identification of the remains, the consul will fill this out with typically any photo ID.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a death on our cruise from the UK to Canada, a code alpha was called early morning and police officers came aboard and accompanied the body off on a tender. We didn't hear any other details as to the nature of the death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During our cruise on Harmony OTS in January, a teenager died in Labadee. I saw when they rolled him of the ship when we dis-embarked in Fort Lauderdale. A very sad story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 million people cruise every year.

 

A quick search says that about 200 people die per year on cruise ships.  

 

There is even a website keeping track of cruise ship deaths - https://www.cruiseshipdeaths.com/

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2019 at 2:02 PM, evandbob said:

Would it be possible to get cremated in the nearest port of call?  

“Possible”? Of course, but depending upon that port of call, it’s requirements, whether advance approval request can be made - probably not.  It is fairly likely that port authorities would require certain arrangements made/approvals granted before permitting the bringing ashore of a body — so “nearest” might not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2019 at 4:46 AM, chengkp75 said:

I can't speak for other countries, but for the US this isn't true.  What is required is that the death be reported to the closest US consul, who will make out a Consular Report of Death Abroad, and that is what is needed to accompany the remains.  Provided kin has made the identification of the remains, the consul will fill this out with typically any photo ID.

 

This is not entirely true either -- yes, if you die abroad you need to report the death to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate, where they will process a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA). But in order to get the CRODA you need to have a local death certificate completed, which in a case where someone has died on the ship while you're in international waters is very complicated (although not as complicated as if you die on the pier, actually...) because the country likely doesn't have jurisdiction or a process for issuing that death certificate. 

 

What I have seen happen in most of these cases that I've worked with in the Caribbean is that the deceased remains in the cruise ship morgue until they return to the US, at which point a Death Certificate is generated by the local authorities there, and the remains are taken to a morgue or funeral home for disposition and transport. This is different than what happens if someone dies overseas -- for example, on an excursion while you're cruising. In that case, they are subject to the jurisdiction of the country they died in, and so the remains go through the normal process for that country. Unfortunately, in some Caribbean countries, processing a death certificate for an unexpected death overseas can take months and even years (generally because of laws that require certain pathology tests to be run and backlogs getting those completed) so you'll work closely with your Embassy to get the death certificate issued -- at which case (if you're American) you'd then get the Consular Report of Death Abroad and work with a funeral home locally and back home to coordinate remains transfer. The last thing that has to happen is the Embassy has to issue a "Mortuary Certificate", which is used to clear the remains through customs. Then they end up on a commercial plane and are picked up by your local funeral home. 

 

The process can cost anywhere from about $15-30K in the Caribbean. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SimplyMarvie said:

But in order to get the CRODA you need to have a local death certificate completed, which in a case where someone has died on the ship while you're in international waters is very complicated (although not as complicated as if you die on the pier, actually...) because the country likely doesn't have jurisdiction or a process for issuing that death certificate

Well, again, it will depend on the country where the remains are to be landed.  In many countries, including many states in the US, any licensed physician can issue a death certificate, so the doctor onboard, whose credentials are approved by the flag state, can issue a death certificate for the flag country.  Whether the port state accepts that death certificate is what would determine whether the remains are landed, but the US consul could proceed with the Consular Report based on the ship's doctor's death certificate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...