Q – Thank you for FINALLY telling the truth, the whole truth, the cruise truth! I hope you can answer the question I have. My Mother just disembarked from Singaport on a flight to Dallas Texas after a 52 day segment of the Seabourn’s world cruise ( Seabourn Quest). She was taken from the airport to the emergency room where she was admitted with a severe case of double lobe pneumonia. The culture shows it is not due to the pneumoccoxis (sp?) organism, but is something else they haven’t been able to determine. Is there any way to find out what organism has been found aboard the ship-that might have caused this illness? My parents are in their late 80’s and spent the last month in their stateroom, unable to leave due to my mother’s illness on board ship. The ship’s doctor apparently only administered 3 days of antibiotics and then did nothing more to make sure that Mom’s condition was improving. She should never have remained on board untreated. Frankly, I don’t know how she made it home from Singapore. Any insight you can give me is sincerely appreciated. 

A – We are all so sorry to hear about your mother’s condition and trust she will have a quick recovery.Here is what to do:

 01 – Call your travel consultant immediately – today, at home, if at all possible. This is a medical emergency. Have your agent contact Seabourn as soon as they open and get in touch with the Director of On board Medical Services. Your agent should explain that this is a medical emergency and that the results of any on board testing and diagnoses is being immediately requested by your Mom’s doctors. 

 02 – If the response is not immediate and helpful, have your agent trace the Director of Guest Services and ask that you be contacted immediately. This should all happen before noon tomorrow.

03 – If  your agent does not get you the information you are seeking we think you should call Seabourn personally. Document the call  and keep records of all conversations/times. If this fails, your attorney needs to contact the line’s Chief Executive.

In cases like this, it is important to understand that the ship’s on board medical team does not work for the cruise line. That would create potential mountains of liability. Doctors on cruise ships are independent contractors and they are often hired by the “entertainment” department. It may take a while for your Mom’s medical record  to be retrieved from the ships Medical Officer. Keep careful records including any treatment records your mother retained while aboard her cruise. We do not expect that you will need to get personally involved as your agent made a significant commission on a 52-day sailing and should be quite pleased to work on your mother’s behalf. Please let us know how this turns out.