My husband and I would like to book a cruise. Can my husband get dialysis off the ship in one of the cities we dock at?
–Rosemary, Dallas, Ga.
A: You’ll be pleased to know that you have two options if you wish to take a cruise but need periodic dialysis.
The first option is to take a cruise on which you can actually get dialysis onboard. The company Dialysis at Sea offers cruises to different places around the world all year long. Each cruise is accompanied by a board-certified nephrologist and one or more dialysis nurses, plus a range of dialysis supplies and equipment. The medical professionals mainly cater to people who need hemodialysis, but they also support patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis.
Your other option is to have dialysis where you dock. There are a couple of companies that publish worldwide directories of dialysis centers, so you can find ones near your port cities and arrange appointments in advance of your cruise. The first is Dialysis Finder, which can be reached toll-free at 866-889-6019 or online at www.dialysisfinder.com. The other is Global Dialysis, and you can research their directory online. Also, if you’re on Medicare, you can find Medicare-participating dialysis centers at www.medicare.gov.
My instinct would be to take a cruise that provides dialysis onboard. That way, you can actually enjoy your shore outings and not spend valuable excursion time hooked up to a machine. Remember, too, that no matter which option you choose, make sure that before you leave, your physician gives you the go-ahead to travel.