Summer is the perfect time of year for a cruise, but those
cruise-happy travelers who have obstructive sleep apnea know the pain of
traveling with the condition. They are left with two choices: either fight
through vacation without their CPAP machine or find some way to bring the
device with them.
Thankfully, most cruise line companies allow CPAP machines
on board, which will make the trip worth it for CPAP users. If you are planning
on taking a cruise in the near future, follow these tips to make your trip more
Know the Rules
While most, if not all, cruise lines allow passengers to
bring CPAP machines on their cruise liners, the rules that must be followed can
change from company to company. Many companies have guidelines listed on their
website — you can see Carnival’s guidelines here — but if you can’t find any information on the company’s website,
make sure to call them ahead of time and see if any preparations need to be
made before boarding.
Some cruise lines have restrictions on the types of adapters
that can be used, others require that you bring your own extension cord and
other CPAP accessories.
It’s also a good idea to check to see if the cruise line will have distilled
water on board (if you use it). Some companies do, but they usually require you
to purchase it. Others will allow you to bring your own.
No matter which company you choose, it’s always best to
bring a copy of your CPAP prescription and/or a note from a physician. You
never know when you will need to provide documentation that demonstrates you
are authorized to carry and use a CPAP machine.
Are You Flying?
If you need to fly in order to get to your cruise
destination, be prepared to follow all rules set forth by the TSA as well as
the airline you are flying with (read more about flying
with a CPAP machine here).
Bring Plenty of Supplies
You will not easily be able to acquire supplies and spare
parts while you are on the cruise. Even if the cruise makes a few stops, the
last thing you want to be doing on your vacation is hunting down a store that
may sell them. That’s why it’s best to come prepared with spare:
Masks and tubes
Make Life Easier with a Travel-Sized CPAP Machine
While it’s possible to pack and bring a standard CPAP machine with you wherever you go, there are travel-sized CPAP machines that are smaller and easier to travel with. They have all the power and features of full-sized CPAP machines, but they are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.