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Rx Meds For Unplanned Cruise Quarantines


Nyjack
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My wife and I are both over 55 and take a good number of Rx meds on a daily basis. For past trips of all type (not just cruises) we’ve always taken a few extra days of all our meds, just in case. But with the Corona Virus dominating the news, this time it seems to be different. We are about to embark on an 8 night Caribbean cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale next week (we’re flying to FLL a few days prior to sailing).  The cruise line has notified us that they are being quite proactive to avoid infection. However there are no guarantees. We want to try to be prepared in the event that someone on the cruise gets sick and our ship is quarantined for an extended time. We’d like to ovoid going “nuts” overthinking this & possibly upsetting our enjoyment of the cruise. We could just do as always & bring enough for a few extra days. We could bring a 30 day supply of each, though that comes with its own problems. I’d like to hear what others are planning to do. 

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We typically bring a 30-day supply.  However these days, if we had a 2-week cruise, would bring an additional week to give us a 3-week buffer.  We always pack those in our hand-luggage so they are never out of our possession while in transit to/from the ship.

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I have always taken my meds in a organized weekly pill boxes to help me keep track of them.  I also have pill bottles with an additional 30 for each RX that is always packed along with just in case medicine that my Dr wants me to carry in case I have a flare up of one of my conditions.    Now I might stuff the 30 day bottles full to the top for my next cruise.  

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Thank you all for the quick reply! The 30 days guideline makes sense. The only problem we have is that between my wife and I we take 20 prescription meds per day, some doses are 2 pills at a time, some of them are taken twice a day. We would have to take more than 600 pills (I feel like we’ll look like we’re running a pharmacy). For me alone I take 8 different meds, 3 of them twice a day. That’s 330 pills just for me! And my wife takes more meds than I do. We usually keep our meds in 2 weekly pill sorters each for 2 weeks. We will be arriving in Florida 3 days prior to sailing and staying 3 days after which, of course, adds to our needs. I wonder what is happening with the folks on a quarantined ship with their meds during “normal” times? 
 

 

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Yes, it takes quite a lot of room in my, backpack to carry all the medicine. That is why I organized my medicine in the smallest containers possible and have made a custom windowed nylon multi pocket medicine travel bag to keep everything organized. It is also why each trip I take less clothes and stuff because I always need my medicine and medical devices with me, just in case. But each person is different and each of us should decide what is a priority.  For me not having my medicine and equipment is my priority.  Happy safe cruising.

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On 2/9/2020 at 9:40 AM, Nyjack said:

Thank you all for the quick reply! The 30 days guideline makes sense. The only problem we have is that between my wife and I we take 20 prescription meds per day, some doses are 2 pills at a time, some of them are taken twice a day. We would have to take more than 600 pills (I feel like we’ll look like we’re running a pharmacy). For me alone I take 8 different meds, 3 of them twice a day. That’s 330 pills just for me! And my wife takes more meds than I do. We usually keep our meds in 2 weekly pill sorters each for 2 weeks. We will be arriving in Florida 3 days prior to sailing and staying 3 days after which, of course, adds to our needs. I wonder what is happening with the folks on a quarantined ship with their meds during “normal” times? 
 

 

 

The passengers on Diamond Princess h.ave had their prescriptions refilled so to speak. They provided list of meds, confirmed, and supplies were delivered to ship yesterday to be sent to cabins

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I imagine it's like what happened in Gander on September 11th.  Many of the people who were stranded there need prescription refills.  It was a complex venture as each request had to be "translated" to the equivalent in Canada, both in terms of actual medication and dosage.  Then the prescribing doctor had to be contacted to fax over a script before it could be filled.  The pharmacy managed to assist every passenger who was running out of meds and made sure all were taken care of.  I imagine the same thing is happening on the quarantined ships with the local health department. 

As far as supplements such as vitamins, typically no one is going to die or have ill health by missing those for a few days or even a few weeks.  In rare situations where they are a medical necessity, I'm sure it's being managed.  

Edited by ducklite
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We leave on a 3 week cruise to NZ this weekend. I'm trying my best to pack for it and not be endlessly & anxiously distracted by current situation.
I've just returned from my local Walgreens drugstore. After requesting additional meds, MY ins (BCBS) is allowing a 2 week add-on advance- but not more.
So, I guess my advice, if you have enough time to plan ahead... check with your insurance.

I now know mine allows 2 prescription "overrides" a year. If I'd had more time I could have gotten these 2 weeks and then a few months later 2 weeks more...
What they DID give me- is fresh duplicate prescription bottles in 1 month size to carry. (My normals are larger 3 month size). They printed out all labels for me and said you must travel now with list as well.

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Good tips - something I hadn't thought much about (I'll be taking another cruise in 2 weeks).  I ran low on one of my meds on a Mediterranean cruise last October.  I was traveling with one of my kids who is a clinical pharmacist.  He dragged me into a pharmacy in Greece, and spoke to the pharmacist.  It turned out my prescription medicine is actually available over the counter in Greece, for about the same price!  Anyway, it makes sense to bring at least one extra week of pills.  Thanks for all the ideas!

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Personally, we aren't worrying about COVID-19 since our cruise is Mexican Riviera - might be different if we were travelling in Asia.  If you are just in the Caribbean I wouldn't fuss much either.  We usually take along an extra few days (4 or 5) of our prescription meds, and hubby takes a scrip from our doc for antibiotic he often needs for a recurring infection.  Let's face it, cruise ships only really go to places that are easy and often cheaper to get medications from.  Unless you are taking one of those cruises up the Amazon to small villages, I don't think you need to get 'over-prepared.'  The world is actually a small place and technology makes it easy to get what you need almost anywhere.

Edited by canadjineh
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All of my prescriptions come in a 90 day supply (Kaiser) and I just bring the bottle with me.   I do have one prescription for Glaucoma Drops that require refrigeration before opening but last for 30 days.   I usually bring an extra bottle with me.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Like others who have reported I take more medications than needed for the trip. I take them in their original bottle and they \usually last 90 days. I have heard that bringing a prescription for your medications might good in case things last longer than planned.

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My DH (dr'spin) and I put together a full additional month in new organizers, for a four-week cruise. So two of these for him (big pills, but only once a day):

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And one of these for me, plus a bottle of Allegra.

image.png.a9c07bfc26b7f9c7d98758f21c52a4d5.png

The big ones are from Walmart, the wallet I found on eBay. We ignore the Morn/Noon/etc notations.

Edited by crystalspin
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It seems to me that the easiest thing, especially if you get 90 day supplies like many insurance companies push, is to take all prescriptions in their regular bottles, and then take your planner thing along and fill it on the ship. That way there should be no running out unless you are really close to refill time.

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  • 4 months later...

Has  anyone traveled with an insulin pump?  When traveling in US I usually count the days figure out what  I need and then multiply it bu 2 or 3.  I was planning on a 36 day cruise and that means a lot of supplies.   I was hoping someone might have some hints,  Thank you

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4 hours ago, traveled said:

Has  anyone traveled with an insulin pump?  When traveling in US I usually count the days figure out what  I need and then multiply it bu 2 or 3.  I was planning on a 36 day cruise and that means a lot of supplies.   I was hoping someone might have some hints,  Thank you

May I suggest that you post your question as a new thread in the Disabled Cruiser's section https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/114-disabled-cruise-travel/ ? You'll probably get more and better answers :) !

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3 hours ago, traveled said:

Diabetes is a disease not a disability.  Except not being able to go thru body scans no one would know.  Also type 1 is an auto immune disease,

I was just trying to help get you more answers.  Diabetes has been discussed in the Disabled Forum.  And I am familiar with it. "Piggy-backing" on a thread that's not diabetes specific won't get you as much help as posting a separate post.  

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/14/2020 at 3:31 PM, traveled said:

Has  anyone traveled with an insulin pump?  When traveling in US I usually count the days figure out what  I need and then multiply it bu 2 or 3.  I was planning on a 36 day cruise and that means a lot of supplies.   I was hoping someone might have some hints,  Thank you

I have!

#1 strategy is to pre-fill the insulin reservoir tanks.  That alone cuts 1/3 of the trash and bulk.  I put all the filled units in a small baggie along with a flattened box with its Rx label, and carry it in my test kit.   

 

Test strips also in a teeny baggie rather than the canister, or combine strips into fewer canisters.

 

I am experimenting with a small/snack size Pringles can for the infusion sets.  If each infusion set is in it's own baggie, I don't worry about them getting greasy or bent up. But, those darn (Medtronic) CGM are in giant packets and the insertion tool is HUGE.  Don't have a good solution for that.

 

Not a huge space-saver, but every little bit helps.  Remember to ask your cabin steward for a SHARPS container. 

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On 2/16/2020 at 1:22 AM, canadjineh said:

Let's face it, cruise ships only really go to places that are easy and often cheaper to get medications from.  Unless you are taking one of those cruises up the Amazon to small villages, I don't think you need to get 'over-prepared.'  The world is actually a small place and technology makes it easy to get what you need almost anywhere.

Please DON'T rely on advice like this. Some meds that are routinely prescribed in the USA are either illegal or very difficult to get in Europe and Asia. 

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