Cruising Tips 86: On-Board Medical Treatment Liabiity

Cruise Ship Coming into Sydney Harbour

Cruise Ship Coming into Sydney Harbour

Gary Bembridge author of “The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook” provides another 60-Second Cruise Tip. For more visit and subscribe free to the podcast on iTunesStitcher Radio and TuneIn Radio

Cruise Contract Watch-outs: Non‐Liability For Medical Treatment

Although there will be a medical centre on board on ocean cruise ships, it is usually provided by a third party or specific organisation within the overall cruise corporation. The medical team are unlikely to be direct employees of the cruise line itself. In the contract you agree to when buying your ticket it is likely to state that if you access the service on board the line itself will not be liable for any aspect of medical treatment provided – including the advice, diagnosis, medication or treatment.

If the cruise line has to refer you or transfer you to a medical facility in a port they will not provide any warranty, guarantees or be held liable for any treatment you receive.

You need to understand that while there is medical facilities on board that are ready to deal with most incidents and accidents, you are accessing them at your own risk. If you are unhappy with the treatment you receive you will find you are unlikely to have direct recourse to the cruise line itself. You can, of course, make complaints and there is likely to be a process but your rights may be limited based on the terms of the contract.


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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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1 Response

  1. Lauren says:

    Thank you for sharing this important information about medical treatment while on board a cruise ship. It is important to research this information for the particular ship you will be traveling on before beginning your cruise.

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