Alaska Cruise Passenger Racks Up Big Bill For Sea Sickness

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An experienced cruise passenger was surprised when she began to feel sick from the rough seas on the first night of her recent Alaska cruise on Norwegian Bliss.

But what was even more shocking was the cost of seeking care from the onboard infirmary – with the charges totaling over $2,000 (USD). 

“Just returned from my Alaskan cruise (which was otherwise fabulous!) and the first night at sea was in very rough waters! I was wearing the scop patch and have never had a problem cruising with it before, but I’m not sure what happened because I was sick as a dog!,” Diana wrote on Reddit in a now viral post. 

In the morning, she dragged herself to the 4,000-passenger vessel’s medical center, where she was seen by the doctor and given IV fluids and anti nausea medication to alleviate her symptoms. 

“Mustered up my last ounce of energy to make my way to the ship infirmary the next morning and was seen by the doctors. Cost a pretty penny, but the IV fluids and Zofran were a lifesaver!,Diana continued. “I do have insurance so I’m not too worried, but if I didn’t that would be a HUGE hit lol.” 

Diana posted a photo of her final bill, which called for a payment of $2,297.00 for supplies, medications, and services rendered.

On most cruise ships, the final payment for medical bills like this is typically due before guests disembark the ship at the conclusion of their cruise, although passengers who invest in travel insurance – as Diana did – can submit a claim to their insurance provider for reimbursement. 

Worth Reading: Sick Cruise Passenger Got Stranded at Caribbean Cruise Port

Even though Diana won’t be entirely out of pocket, Reddit users were still stunned by the upcharges they saw in the bill she posted to the forum, calling out markups like $219 just for admission to the clinic, $109 for placing and reading the pulse oximeter on Diana’s finger while also charging for the nurse’s time, and $131 for all three IV bags.

Norwegian Bliss Medical Bill
Norwegian Bliss Medical Bill (Credit: Dianabayyebii)

“Yes but to charge for a nurse reading the oximeter WHILE also charging for the nurses time by the hour??” commented one Reddit user. 

“They’re charging 218 just for letting him in the door so not surprising that they’ve inflated the price of something that takes about 10 seconds to do. You could actually buy a pulse oximeter and pay a nurse to take a reading for less,” said another user. 

Thankfully, the expensive visit didn’t take away from Diana’s vacation. The redditor concluded her post by saying that other than this hiccup, she loved her cruise and Alaska.

Norwegian Bliss Spends The Summer in Alaska 

Diana specifically joined the Norwegian Bliss for a 7-night, roundtrip sailing out of Seattle, Washington, which embarked on June 8, 2024. 

Her subsequent medical visit was on June 9, during a sea day, and got her back in tip-top shape for the first port call of the sailing at Sitka, Alaska, on June 10. 

The Breakaway Plus-class cruise ship also called on Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia, before disembarking on June 15. 

This was just one cruise of many, with the 168,028-gross ton vessel sailing nearly identical Alaskan itineraries until the end of October – operating as one of five Norwegian Cruise Line ships sent to the region to meet the demand of this particularly busy season.

Norwegian Bliss in Alaska
Norwegian Bliss in Alaska (Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive)

She will then reposition to Long Beach, California, to spend the winter and early 2025 cruising the Mexican Riviera – with the first of these sailings embarking on October 29, 2024, just in time for Halloween. 

Read Also: What’s the Best Cruise Line for Alaska?

It’s also worth noting that for most Alaska sailings, particularly while cruising through the protected waters of the Inside Passage or Glacier Bay, the ocean is smooth and calm – so sea sickness is not much of a concern. 

But future passengers may want to keep in mind that the open waters of the Pacific Ocean can be very choppy, especially when ships must cross the Gulf of Alaska, which stretches from the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island in the west to where Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage are found in the east. 

For guests who are prone to motion sickness, this is a time to play closer attention when selecting a cruise cabin for the voyage. Choosing a stateroom in the middle of the ship and on a lower deck will help mitigate the rocking motion.

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