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outrageous medical expense on NCL Escape cruise

outrageous medical expense on NCL Escape cruise

Old May 28th, 2022, 01:35 PM
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outrageous medical expense on NCL Escape cruise

We were on NCL Escape from NYC to Rome from April 25th to May 11th. My wife caught pneumonia on the ship, was admitted to the medical unit on May 3rd, then transferred to a hospital at Cadiz, Spain morning of May 5th and stayed at the hospital for 4 days and was discharged on May 8th and flew back to the USA.

For the 2 days she was in the medical unit on the ship she was administered IV, antibiotics and insulin. She received the same treatment in the hospital in Spain. For the two days on board NCL Escape, we were charged $22,900 and were only charged $3,800 for four days by the hospital in Spain.

NCL charged us ten times as much as a real hospital in Spain charged us for the same treatment. The medical unit on NCL Escape also did not tell us how much the charges would be until we were leaving the ship. But $22,900 for two days for administering IVs, antibiotics and insulin is outrageous.

Hope someone can help us figure out how to deal with NCL
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Old May 28th, 2022, 09:29 PM
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I was getting prepared to say you should have expected it to be high and to have insurance, but read to the end and you are right. If that had been for the four day hospital stay, it would be understandable because that bill was really low. The NCL bill is crazy high, but I really do not know what rates are for hospitals on cruise ships. Wonder if there is a way for you to find out what the standard is.
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Old May 28th, 2022, 10:33 PM
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Lucky that they were prepared to treat your wife onboard and not need a medevac during the crossing.

My friend caught a bug on our flight to Florida which developed into a bronchial thing. Luckily she could stay in her room but she said her bill was outrageous. Of course Medicare does not cover this, and neither did her health insurance that she though was so great. I hope you had travel insurance. They should reimburse you.

Last edited by mlgb; May 28th, 2022 at 10:48 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 05:02 AM
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Right, Medicare doesn't cover treatment outside the US. Some of the Medigap plans do, although with a lifetime cap at $50,000. I believe some Medicare Advantage plans have some coverage. My employee health insurance did cover me abroad, but if you have a PPO or HMO it may not, and it would be out of network rates.

I don't leave the country without medical and medical evacuation/repatriation insurance, but if you did you may be stuck.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
I was getting prepared to say you should have expected it to be high and to have insurance, but read to the end and you are right. If that had been for the four day hospital stay, it would be understandable because that bill was really low. The NCL bill is crazy high, but I really do not know what rates are for hospitals on cruise ships. Wonder if there is a way for you to find out what the standard is.
I would post on cruise critic under the NCL Board forum, perhaps on an upcoming sailing Roll Call for that ship. Someone might be willing to go down and get the information if charges are posted in the center. IIRC the cruise ships may charge hourly for this type of care, on top of treatment charges. Didn't you get an itemized bill? Many of them just offload passengers at the next port and aren't able to keep them in sickbay. Or they have to call in an emergency medevac.

On a three week cruise from Los Angeles to NYC prepandemic there were one or more passengers offloaded nearly every day, including one where they pulled into the bay at Huatulco (not a stop) and were met by a small transport boat. It may be due to COVID the ships now have more staffing in those medical centers (which are NOT hospitals but more like an urgent care clinic). Your wife must have been quite ill if she couldn't remain in her room (or it was too dangerous to move her until they were in port).

Last edited by mlgb; May 29th, 2022 at 06:33 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 06:38 AM
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11+ k per day seems outrageous.

Have your tried to appeal this?

Alternatively is there a local lawyer or consumer rights organization you can call to hopefully get a direction to go in?

Good luck.

As you have gleaned from this next time and really every time get travel insurance.

My wife had to be hospitalized in Bangkok for 5 days. The bill was just under 6 k but my travelers insurance (Allianz) paid it all.

We had insurance thru AE when super storm Sandy altered our flight back to the US. UAL pushed us back 5 extra days which we could not do for work reasons so we had to purchase separate ticket home. i appealed to AE and was fully reimbursed.

Usually our trip insurance costs around 10% of the total of the trip itself but the coverage is quite good too including emergency evacuation.

Very sorry to hear about this situation you are in.

Again good luck.






Last edited by jacketwatch; May 29th, 2022 at 06:52 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 07:21 AM
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https://abc7news.com/7onyourside/

This is a link for ABC news. I know they operate out of NY, SF and Chicago.

Hopefully you can find some help.

NCL like most reputable businesses NCL does not want bad pub though contractually you are stuck and if the ships medical facilities are billed thru independent contractors it becomes an even greater obstacle.

Again good luck.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 09:04 AM
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For two days of this sort of basic hospitalization on land in the US, one would would expect to pay $5000 to $10,000-ish depending on variables. So $23,000 does seem extremely high.

This might be a situation where I'd contact Christopher Elliott. https://www.elliott.org
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Old May 29th, 2022, 09:10 AM
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It is certainly outrageous (as is the on-land price in the US). However, I feel sure that there is wording in the contract that commits the passenger to paying whatever is charged. And probably some language that would preclude a court case.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 01:34 PM
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I found this list of charges on a different NCL ship (Encore) on Cruise Critic
outrageous medical expense on NCL Escape cruise-image.thumb.png.61edc66e20a52cf63d88d28440db3d6e.png
outrageous medical expense on NCL Escape cruise-image.thumb.png.9d65e0275eae34215c130ae325ebf63f.png
The poster said it was on the door of the medical center.


If you do not have an itemized bill, ask for one.
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Old Jun 1st, 2022, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
I found this list of charges on a different NCL ship (Encore) on Cruise Critic
Attachment 7207
Attachment 7208
The poster said it was on the door of the medical center.


If you do not have an itemized bill, ask for one.
Thank you for this.

I did the best I could with limited information to add up the fees and the ICU hourly rate ( assuming this was an ICU care level) after the initial hour at $299.00 per hour is the killer. That is $6877.00 for 23 hrs after the initial one hr. fee of $599.00 so thats $7476.00 for the first 24 hrs for just this service. And that is for day one! Then there is a $349.00 ICU admission fee, cardiac monitoring at $29.00 per hour or say around $1392.00 for 48 hours. This is simply crazy. If the patient required ICU level care cardiac monitoring comes with it or should.

Then there are meds as well.

Were you accompanied by a medical professional From the ship tot he hospital? If an MD went with you thats another $1199.00. If it was a nurse then its $699.00.

Reminds me of buying a car in Singapore where the tax the taxes. Outrageous. Thats why a 20k econobox ends ups at around 100k.

Good luck getting some satisfaction on this.

Last edited by jacketwatch; Jun 1st, 2022 at 06:02 AM.
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