Medically fraught

by Ray Wyatt
1 Review written
CMV Columbus CMV Columbus
8 days, round-trip Majestic Fjordland
Departure date: 26 Aug 2019
Spa & Fitness
Staff and Crew
Shore Excursions / Tours
Value for Money

At her first dialysis session on Deck 11 during the first morning of our cruise my wife had difficulty breathing. This is a reasonably common problem among dialysis patients and it is easily fixed by providing a small amount of oxygen from a cylinder. But the head dialysis nurse refused to do this, and the supervising doctor was not present despite his contract saying that he would be. The result was that half an hour later my wife collapsed with a full cardiac arrest - no breathing and no pulse. She was then revived, apparently, by staff called up from the ship's Medical Center on Deck 4. We were both then immediately and dramatically disembarked by ambulance to a hospital in Rotterdam where the ship had just docked, and during this commotion I was handed a number of forms to sign as well as a closed envelope. I opened this envelope two days later to discover that it contained an invoice from the ship's Medical Center for 2,500 pounds for less than one hour's work, which is surely a ridiculously high fee. Moreover, on the very same day as our disembarkation the Medical Center staff had taken this amount from my credit card. We then enjoyed a pleasant, eight-day holiday in Rotterdam instead of being on the cruise. But despite extensive subsequent correspondence with the cruise operator to point out both the negligent treatment and the greedy price gouging that we endured, compensation has never been offered - neither for our completely non-redeemed cruise tickets, nor for our never honored, super expensive, shipboard dialysis fees, nor for the huge amount taken from my credit card by the ship’s Medical Center, nor for our repatriation flights to London. Consequently, I am many thousands of pounds out of pocket. There is something intrinsically wrong when dialysis is performed in a “Crafts Studio” situated on Deck 11 so far away from the equipment in the ship’s Medical Center on Deck 4. But despite my subsequent complaining, the dialysis unit’s medical staff do not even acknowledge that they failed in their duty of care. Instead, they hint that their doctor was present at my wife's dialysis session when he was not, and they imply that my wife suffered the trauma of a full cardiac arrest because she had a heart condition. Given the extensive tests before, during and after her incident which show that she has always had, and still has a perfectly healthy heart, this is clearly untrue. To summarize, this cruise might have been good. I do not know. We paid for it but, through no fault of our own, we never experienced it. Nor have we ever been refunded anything despite the gross negligence of the dialysis staff and the rapaciousness of the ship's Medical Center. So if you have any kind of medical condition, stay well clear of this ship unless you have extremely deep pockets.

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