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Lola

Injuries on board

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First, we love cruising and have no intention of stopping. We realize there are certain risks one takes when traveling at all... and we love to travel.

Anyway, we went on a great cruise jan 2 - 12 (caribbean) that was just a fun getaway. We were so glad to be able to cruise again (hub was in car accident 5 years ago and that was our first attempt since then). Anyway, we booked another for 2/26...a 7 day relaxing caribbean, different ship, same line. That week immediately followed my MIL visiting and we thought we could use the R&R.

While on the cruise I was getting my hair washed in salon. The back of the chair I was in FELL flat out to the floor and the (apparent) sprain to my back was excruciating and progressively got worse. I just didn't move after getting into another chair, then (since I have double fusion in neck) put on neck brace hub brought me and I went to purser to see what I should do. he said doctor and directed us there. Safety Officer met me there.... took report, said he'd do full report 'for me' etc. Doc gave me muscle relaxants, oxycodone and tramadol along with advil 800mg. They continued to provide me with meds for the remaining 3 days of cruise. I wasn't able to do much more than start a meal though....rest of the time in cabin. Ok, fine.

Here's the part that's mildly distressing....I say mildly because I KNOW cruise ships are not well prepared for medical emergencies. I know that, and I understand (like...where do you draw the line?). But there wasn't a single brace of any kind on that ship. The doc wrote down the type brace I should wear to immobilize my back for safety until getting home (flying home was a bad idea he said because Cozumel has zilch for medical assist and transport would be more dangerous than staying on the ship taking it slow and easy). Made sense to me.

So...for our cozumel stay we canceled excursions and instead went in a taxi from pharmacy to pharmacy until we found one with braces, then bought one.... it did help immediately, by the way so that was nice.

The rest of the trip I got tramadol injections regularly and took all these meds and it was tolerable. Once home, x-rays showed no broken bones. Yay! I canceled trip planned for trip to help friend with alzheimers mom and am now (after 2 weeks of painkillers and muscle relaxants) doing PT which is an 1/8 inch at a time getting me more mobile. Pain still overwhelming but meds do help.

I asked the cruise line if there's any chance of refund or something. I mean, I did have plans for this cruise and I didn't intend to spend my spring in a back brace getting PT instead of living my life...and even that still doesn't even answer if there's damage...we wont pursue that till I can move close to normal again. They said ...um,nope. But...please send letter with your request to risk management.

Now, I also need a copy of the accident report for insurance but of course they now say I have to sue to get that. I don't get it? they don't want to just simply help me through this rough patch? We have 32 days of cruising planned with this cruise line for in the fall...I'm not pissed. They are responsible though. I guess I'm mostly confused.

I guess I'll just send them a letter explaining the inconvenience and ask for.... well,how do they fix a few months of my life? Another cruise would be nice I guess. It just feels like they want me to get an attorney to handle all of this and that rubs me wrong. An attorney? I just want a refund for a cruise that got screwed up to their nonfatal negligence. Big deal.

All I know is.....when on board ship do not expect any kind of medical support no matter who the doc is (he was a good guy). They have very little in the way of supplies/equipment ....definitely less stocked than a typical ambulance. No way to immobilize? great. if there had been a break, i'd be paralyzed. As it is, there appear to be 2 or more blown out discs that we dont know what will have what longterm effect.

So enjoy your next cruise but DO NOT FALL. I guess I just write the letter?

Lola

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Hi Lola!

Welcome to Cruise Crazies! I'm sorry to hear about your accident. Not a good way to spend a cruise, for sure. I don't know what to tell you, except to send your letter to the proper department, or even the CEO of the cruise line, with copies of all your bills and explaining what happened and what you have been going through. If this doesn't help you, you may need to get an attorney. I hope you are feeling better, soon!

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Welcome to Cruise Crazies. We're sorry to hear about your accident, and hope you recover quickly.

In addition to contacting high officials of the cruise line, you need to contact the operator of the salon--presumably Steiner. The accident was probably their fault, and the cruise line may try to pass the buck to them.

Good luck in obtaining some redress!

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Hi Welcome to Cruise Crazies.... I too want to wish u a speedy recovery..

If in fact you do need an attorney.. you will probobly need one that can work out of the home office city..ie Miami area..(just keep that in mind) I hope it wont come to that

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Lola, I am so very sorry to hear of your misfortune. . I had no idea that the ships don't carry simple things like braces- that is very surprising. I would think that after what happened to you, the cruise line would bend over backwards to make you happy but I guess I'm just naive. I don't know what else to say except I will keep you in my prayers for a very speedy recovery.

By the way, we're very glad to have you as a member here. We hope to see you posting often.

Welcome aboard, Lola.

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I have been involved with insurance claims, of all types, for more than 40 years. I am going to give you advice that goes against my better judgment, but, in this case, it is necessary. Consult an attorney that deals in maritime law. You will not be charged for the consultation. The statutes and case law surrounding cruise lines, and cruise ships, is very specific and only an attorney will be able to help. Basically, short of litigation, the cruise lines resist these types of claims with all they have available....

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Lola,

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I hope you are getting better and that things will go more smoothly on your next voyage. I think that the cruise line is taking a hard stance on this because they are smelling a pending lawsuit. With today's rules of law, they may have their hands tied as to what they can give out without being subpoeaned. I think it might be time for you to stop playing so nice and go to see a qualified attorney. I hate to say that in our sue happy world, but sometimes steps need to be taken in order to ensure that they are held to a reasonable standard when it comes to the safety of their passengers. I wish you luck and hope that it can be worked out with as little strain on you as possible.

Dennis

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Lola,

Welcome to Cruise Crazies.

I'm sorry to hear about your accident. If your accident was the result of faulty equipment (the salon chair) I'm surprised that the cruise line would give you such a rough time. You may have to go after the spa operator if they are independent from the ship.

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I just realized something. The salon is probably, in fact most assuredly, a sub-contractor on the ship, much like the photographer, shore excursions, gift shops, etc; The salon is not operated by the cruise line but by a company such as Steiner. While the cruise line is, in "legalize," vicariously liable for the negligence of the salon operator, the operator is primarily liable. Most of the salon operators, like the casino operators, are based in England, not the U.S. It's really a complicated can of worms and, as much as I hate to say it, you need an attorney....

This advise from a claims adjuster whose life has been made miserable by PI attorneys.....

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Jeff, I'm glad you noticed what I said this morning: any cause of action has to include Steiner. Once both the cruise line and the spa operator have been joined, neither of them will be able to say; "it's the other company's fault. Also, it's possible that Steiner won't stonewall as much as the cruise line.

Best of luck, Lola.

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