Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Questions about doctors and older travelers on European River Cruises (

lucy_d Jun 10th, 2007 12:03 PM

Questions about doctors and older travelers on European River Cruises
Iím exploring the possibility of going with my mother on an 8 or 9 day European River Cruise to the Christmas Markets in 2007 (Danube or Rhine.) Neither of us has been on a river cruise. I want to be realistic here. Sheís 80 years old, and sometimes she requires oxygen when she gets tired or hot. Also, she occasionally sleeps with oxygen at night.

Iíve done some preliminary internet research, and it seems that few ships have on board doctors. Do I need to search further, or is this generally the case for the smaller river cruises? An on board doctor would be a requirement for us.

I would really love to make this happen for us. She likes tours for the same reasons that have been discussed here many times (convenience of having someone else take care of the details and the luggage). With a cruise, we would only have to unpack once and have all meals served on the ship. At first, it seemed like an easy decision, considering her age but now Iím wondering if itís not such a good idea.

Appreciate all help and input.

Am posting also on the Cruise forum, but it doesnít seem to get as much traffic as Europe.

Barbara_in_CT Jun 10th, 2007 12:16 PM

I doubt that you'll find many River Cruises that have a doctor on board. But the good news is that it is a river and that you are never far a town with a doctor. I would go for it.

SeaUrchin Jun 10th, 2007 12:46 PM

There were doctors on board on every river cruise I have taken in Europe. Since it is a requirement though in your case I would ask the line to make sure it is still the policy. You probably don't want to rely on guesswork.

On a cruise through Germany waterways I was bitten by a wasp or a hornet and the doctor treated me. There was even a little first aid room.

SeaUrchin Jun 10th, 2007 12:46 PM

I meant one doctor per cruise.

djkbooks Jun 10th, 2007 12:49 PM

We took a river cruise with Viking Rivers in Russia. There was a doctor on board (with a nominal charge for a visit).

Your best bet is to contact the cruise companies directly to determined whether they can accommodate your mother.

lucy_d Jun 11th, 2007 12:13 PM

Thank you for the responses. I've been doing more research, and I think this may be doable. :)

Underhill Jun 11th, 2007 12:50 PM

Consider buying travel insurance, as Medicare doesn't cover people outside the U.S. The web site is excellent for evaluating different policies.

lucy_d Jun 11th, 2007 12:56 PM

Thanks for the link, Underhill. Good advice!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:40 PM.