Most cruise lines will accommodate passengers who are cruising with oxygen. Although cruise ships don’t provide supplemental oxygen, passengers are able to bring their own portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) or have oxygen delivered to the cruise ship.
If you’re using supplemental oxygen and plan on taking a cruise, consider the following tips to help you prepare:
1. Call your cruise line: Inform your cruise line that you’ll be traveling with supplemental oxygen at least 30 days before your trip. Inquire about traveling with oxygen on board and what medical information they require from your doctor. Ask your representative about travel insurance and what it covers, it may help with expenses if an emergency occurs with your medical equipment while cruising.
2. Talk to your doctor: Contact your physician, confirm its ok to travel and obtain a copy of your oxygen prescription. In some cases you will need to provide a written note by your physician on their letterhead indicating your medical needs to the cruise line.
3. Batteries: Ensure you have enough battery power for your device. Show up to the port with a fully charged battery and enough extra batteries to last during shows, shore activities, dinning, excursions, etc… To conserve battery, plug in your portable oxygen concentrator into an electrical outlet, whenever possible, specifically during dining or shows. Call ahead of time for reservations and ask to be seated near an electrical outlet. Different altitudes may affect your oxygen flow rate. It’s possible you may need to increase your flow rate during your cruise to maintain your oxygen saturation. If you do need to increase the rate of your oxygen flow, it will deplete the battery quicker.
4. During the cruise: Your portable oxygen concentrator may need to be inspected prior to boarding the ship, so arrive as early as possible to prevent any unforeseen travel delays.
Ensure you have your user manual for your portable oxygen concentrator with you on your cruise in case you need to troubleshoot a problem during your trip. It’s also a good idea to have someone who knows how to operate your oxygen equipment in case you need help. Keep a pulse oximeter on hand to ensure you maintain the proper oxygen levels.
Enjoy your cruise!