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    Essential Emergency Supplies for Every Cruise

    Your food is included, and sometimes even the drinks are as well. One of the best things about going on a cruise is the total freedom from worrying about having to pay for anything during your stay. Unfortunately, incidental charges add up and have to be paid for at the end of the cruise, and one of the worst can be for a simple medical consultation. Seeing a doctor onboard for something as basic as seasickness medicine or blisters on your heels can cost upwards of $100, according to Frommers, none of which is needed when you pack your own basic medical supplies. No one expects you to set your own broken bones, but for minor medical problems your own emergency kit can save you time and a lot of money.

    First Aid for Everyone

    You don't need to pack an entire comprehensive first aid kit just for a short cruise, but bring along some of the more commonly used items. Bandages for small cuts are useful, as is moleskin to prevent blisters on your feet. Pack over-the-counter medication such as pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medicine, insect bite spray and antihistamine for allergic reactions. Antibiotic wipes and hand sanitizer are handy and take up little room, and sunscreen and lip balm are basic necessities for any cruise.

    Care for Your Eyes

    Eye drops are handy for eyes that are out in bright sunlight and salt spray all day, and they'll also take care of dry, itchy eyeballs if you're suffering from allergies or long nights of partying. If you wear corrective eyewear, it's doubly important to pack emergency supplies for your eyes. If you wear glasses, bring along another pair in case of breakage. Check with your eyewear professional to get an inexpensive replacement pair just for traveling. Contact lens wearers should always travel with extra pairs of contacts. Sites such as visiondirect.com allow you to purchase inexpensive supplies online, saving you time and money.

    Personal Medical Conditions

    If you have any kind of chronic medical condition, it's important that you carry extra supplies of medication with a complete prescription in your name attached. It might seem convenient to transfer some of your pills into one of those tiny keychain pill bottles, but anyone traveling in international waters is subject to search. Unlabeled pills will probably be confiscated and discarded, leaving you without a supply of your needed medication. A copy of your medical records can be helpful if your condition has a possibility of worsening during your cruise. Do some research about your medication and the countries you'll be touring, Some ingredients are banned in some countries, while being perfectly legal in others. For example, codeine is banned in the United Arab Emerites, and penalties can apply if you're found with banned substances on board. If you will run into a problem with one of your medications, check with your doctor about alternative medicine options while you are on the cruise.

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    Great suggestions, Jason! :thumbup:

    You are definitely right about packing your own OTC stuff like Tums or Immodium for any stomach-related issues. One cruise, I had made friends with a couple and we were all at the poolside party going on one night. The couple had eaten lots of stuff like tacos and nachos, and the girl had gotten heartburn. She made the innocent mistake of asking the waiter for some Rolaids or Tums or something. He did as he had been instructed and got a supervisor, they both questioned the girl up one side and down another, and she spent more than 20 minutes narrowly avoiding a quarantine by convincing them that she did not in any way have or was coming down with a Norovirus-type illness.

    It was an eye-opener, and I always pack that stuff now!


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    Great advice, Jason! Gina, that's interesting...you wouldn't think you would get investigated for just taking some Rolaids or Tums. I do always bring all of that and more...LOL Marc always says I'm bringing too much, but he has needed some of the things I bring, and has been thankful that I brought it. Just being away from home and eating differently can bring on stomach troubles, etc.,and it's good to have the things you would need along. Sometimes you can find them in the shops to buy, and sometimes not.

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    The older I get, the bigger my travel bag of meds, too, since I've graduated to the large economy size bottles for Advil and Tums!

    Great advice. As an example, my youngest daughter wore new shoes on our cruise last week, not heeding my advice to break them in first. Sure enough, blisters appeared, and she was very grateful for the band aids and antibacterial ointment I brought along.

    One thing to add to the above ... keep an emergency kit with Rx meds and any other essentials in a convenient, easy-to-grab-fast location in case of an emergency situation where you might have to abandon ship.

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    I started carrying a first aid kit when I was on vacation once and fell down some stairs. It was not fun driving around VA Beach bleeding at 10pm trying to find an open drug store. From that trip, my kit includes triple antibiotic ointment, bandages of all sizes, gauze, tape and even a small bottle of peroxide. It is the first thing that goes in my suitcase every trip. My portable medicine cabinet is next. It has something for everything from upset stomach to a cold. I have been stuck at sea with congestion and flu before, so that is a must have in my suitcase as well. We learn by experience.

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