Should a guest require medical attention while aboard one of our vessels, the Medical Center staff is available to assist 24 hours a day. The on board medical centers are staffed and equipped to treat routine medical conditions as well as to initiate stabilization of more serious conditions. Physicians are available to render services at a customary fee. While at sea or in port, the availability of medical care may be limited.
Medical Center Hours
The Medical Center has daily office hours which are listed in the 'Fun Times' newsletter. The medical staff is on call 24 hours a day for emergencies. Routine hours are subject to temporary change due to extenuating circumstances:
- Embarkation day: 8:00am-9:00am and 3:00pm-5:00pm
- Sea days: 9:00am-12:00pm and 3:00pm-6:00pm
- Port days: 8:00am-10:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm
A charge for medical services will be billed to the guest's Sail & Sign® Account and a receipt will be provided for the guest to submit to their medical insurance provider upon return for possible reimbursement.
The physicians on board are independent contractors and are entitled to render services at a customary fee which may vary from ship to ship based on the time of day. The basic fee does NOT include medication, tests or treatment.
Note: Guests who purchased Carnival Vacation Protection™ may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $10,000 for covered medical-related expenses and up to $30,000 for necessary Emergency Medical Evacuation expenses should they become ill or injured or require medical evacuation while on their cruise vacation. The medical benefits are secondary to coverage the guest may have through their regular health insurance provider(s). Refer to https://www.carnival.com/about-carnival/vacation-protection.aspx for additional details.
Over-the-Counter medications for cold, cough, upset stomach or other minor illnesses can be purchased at the Medical Center during business hours. In addition, the shops on board may carry some of these items.
Prescription drugs and vitamins may not be readily available, either on board the ship or in the ports.
Meclizine, motion sickness pills can be purchased at the Medical Center, Guest Services or through Room Service. The cost is $3.29 USD for four pills. We do not carry motion sickness patches or wristbands. A motion sickness injection is available for a fee at the Medical Center but will only be administered to those who are actively vomiting and not as a preventative measure.
Staterooms on a number of ships are equipped with non-stocked mini bar units which are designed to maintain the temperature of beverages. Please do not use them to store medications that have specific temperature requirements. Should you need to store medicine that needs proper refrigeration, medi-coolers are available on board in limited quantities, and on a first come, first serve basis - please visit our Guest Services Desk once on board; a $75 refundable deposit is required. If a medi-cooler is not available, our ship’s Medical Center will arrange storage - please contact them once on board. Note: A small, personal-sized cooler no larger than 12” x 12” x 12” for the purpose of housing medications is permitted as carry-on luggage.
Medical Staffing and Equipment
In order to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for our guests, our medical centers meet or exceed the standards established by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
Our medical centers are staffed by qualified physicians and nurses who are committed to providing the highest quality of shipboard medical care. Medical staffing is correlated to the size of the ship and varies from one physician and three nurses to as many as two physicians and five nurses.
Ship’s physicians meet or exceed the credentialing guidelines established by the cruise ship medicine section of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). In addition, doctors must demonstrate competent skill levels and hold current certification in basic and advanced cardiac life support and cardiac care, have experience in general medicine or general practice including emergency or critical care, and have one to three years clinical experience and minor surgical skills, and board or similar international certification is preferred. The doctors on board are independent contractors.
Shipboard medical facilities are set up to provide reasonable emergency medical care for guests and crew. In cases of extreme emergency where more comprehensive facilities are required, patients are referred to shoreside facilities.
In addition to standard lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators and external pacemakers, our medical centers carry some of the latest in medical technology including thrombolytic therapy, electrocardiograph machines, lab equipment, pulse oximetry and x-ray machines on many of our ships.