Cruise Ship Delayed By Medical Emergencies

The Celebrity Mercury returned to Hilo, Hawaii, with two sick passengers a few days ago, delaying its return to San Diego and the start of the next cruise. The cruise that was supposed to start today won’t begin until tomorrow.

This kind of thing does happen once in a rare while, but it is usually because of weather. Sick passengers can usually be airlifted off or brought to a nearby port without losing much time. But Hawaii is a far piece from anywhere, and the Mercury was well out to sea before the passengers became ill — apparently independently of each other.

I must say, the question of illness occurred to me when the husband and I took a cruise to Hawaii starting with a five-day passage from Vancouver to Kauai. Couldn’t help thinking how his appendix had ruptured very unkindly last year, and wondering what would happen in that circumstance 1,000 miles out to sea. (Also, it bears mentioning that the average age of the passengers on that cruise was about 107.)

The question occurred to another passenger, who put it to the cruise director at a question-and-answer session. First, he stressed that the ship had two doctors and a well-equipped infirmary. And, he added, there’s a morgue with room for three.


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