The Unintended Journey: When a Dream Cruise Turned Into an Airlift Adventure

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Imagine setting sail for the serene waters of Norway, bidding farewell to the mundane routine of everyday life to celebrate two milestones – your 40th wedding anniversary and your beloved wife’s 60th birthday.

This was the dream vacation of Stephen Cassidy, 60, a vivacious soul who found himself on an unexpected detour, 800 miles away from home.

Stephen’s dramatic helicopter rescue on the Princess Cruise

Unexpected rescue

As our protagonist embarked on this special four-week journey, hosted by Princess Cruises, his joy knew no bounds. Unbeknownst to him, an unforeseen twist awaited halfway through the voyage.

A persisting pain in Stephen’s left thigh – worried it could be connected to a previous hip replacement – compelled Stephen to consult the ship’s doctor.

The doctor, following an x-ray and physical examination, deduced that Stephen was grappling with a potential hip infection. He was put on an IV drip, and his condition was monitored daily as the ship journeyed towards its next dock in Iceland.

Unfortunately, circumstances prevented the ship from making the scheduled stop, and Stephen’s medical situation took centre stage.

Medical misdiagnosis

The scenario escalated as the ship’s doctor conducted a digital consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon. While the report indicated no cause for immediate concern, a sudden turn of events saw Stephen being airlifted to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland.

The whirlwind events left Stephen feeling like a captive, whisked away from his wife and the dream holiday they had so meticulously planned.

Once at the hospital, a twist in the tale unfurled – the pain in Stephen’s hip was not due to an infection as initially diagnosed but was instead a pulled muscle.

The realization came as a jolt to Stephen, who was now stranded in Shetland, a staggering 800 miles away from home, having to shell out £870 for an unplanned stay and flight home.

Reflecting on his experience, a perplexed Stephen questioned the actions of Princess Cruises, citing the dramatic turn of events as an unpleasant disruption to what was supposed to be a celebration.

His opinion echoed in the sentiment that the cruise company should bear the cost of his unexpected detour, given the misdiagnosis.

Importance of onboard care

Princess Cruises, in response to Stephen’s claims, maintained its stance of providing well-equipped medical teams and effective care protocols on board.

While refraining from commenting on Stephen’s specific case, a company spokesperson dismissed the allegations as without merit.

It’s definitely an interesting story – you don’t want to waste money with a misdiagnosis, but it’d be much worse if a cruise line didn’t play it safe and you had a serious health problem at sea.

Who do you think should bear the cost in this case?

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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8 thoughts on “The Unintended Journey: When a Dream Cruise Turned Into an Airlift Adventure”

  1. From the moment he put his fitness in the hands of the doctor the company became his carers unless he said otherwise. They had a duty to get him home safely at a reasonable cost to his insurance company

  2. Same happened to us

  3. We had the same problem A mis diagnosis on pain on a PO ship a couple of weeks ago and was put off the ship in Palma left to fly home they seem to be scared of being sued not having the passengers interest dont
    Sign anything in the medical centre it will cost you dear

  4. I think the persons insurance should cover the cost. The doctor, in light of a hip replacement was quite right to question a hip infection and could have been sued if he’d missed that.

  5. The cruise company did exactly the right thing. If it was a severe infection, he could have died.

    Buyers remorse here.

  6. What did the insurance company say?

  7. If you are not unconscious or bleeding wait until the next port!!!!! You are not going to die from a sore LEG!

  8. Think the Company should pay all expenses. That doctor should also have malpractice insurance that the passenger could collect under. Don’t know why these Cruise Companies always give people seeking treatment such a hard time. Their good will would go much further. Cruising isn’t what it used to be. Seems like they’re just interested providing as little as possible.

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