Do Cruise Ships Have Doctors?

Do cruise ships have doctors?

Do cruise ships have doctors on board?

This is a question that no traveler hopes to ask while onboard a cruise vacation. However, it is important for cruisers to know about the health and safety resources available to them in the event of an emergency. So, do cruise ships have doctors? Yes, most cruise ships sail with at least one doctor and two nurses onboard, alongside a medical staff who is on call 24 hours per day.

It is important to keep in mind that if an injury or ailment is severe enough, the cruise ship’s medical staff will refer guests to a facility on land for care. In less severe cases, guests in need of care will be ushered to one of the cruise ships medical facilities, usually located on a lower deck.

A cruise ship’s infirmary must follow American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) guidelines, which dictate that all medical facilities must carry the proper equipment to perform a variety of treatments and diagnostics. This equipment includes but is not limited to wheelchairs, a stretcher, a back board for spine immobilization, lab capabilities for tests, oxygen, EKG capabilities, two defibrillators, cardiac monitors, and other tools to monitor vital signs.

Royal Caribbean issued this statement regarding doctors and medical practices on their ships:

“Every Royal Caribbean ship offers limited professional medical services through licensed physicians and nurses. All Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. ships have shipboard medical facilities that are built, staffed, stocked and equipped to meet or exceed guidelines established by the American College of Emergency Physicians Cruise Ship & Maritime Medicine Section.”

While nobody wants to imagine the possibility of becoming ill or injured on vacation, travelers and cruise lines alike must expect the best but prepare for anything. For more information on medical assistance at sea or to book your dream vacation today, call The Cruise Web at 1-800-377-9383 and speak with one of our expert travel consultants. Or, visit us 24 hours a day online at

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