If you’re one of the growing number of people who need a CPAP machine to deal with your sleep apnea at night, you may be worried about how you’re going to bring it aboard with you for a cruise vacation. The good news is, cruise lines are very accommodating of medical needs and devices, and CPAP machines are always welcome on your ship.
There are, however, some guidelines involving them. Always check your cruise line’s website for their specific instructions and restrictions, but here’s a list of five general tips that will most likely apply across the board, no matter what ship you’re sailing on.
1. Fill Out The Form
You are most likely going to be required to fill out a form or let the cruise line know in some way that you’re going to be bringing a CPAP machine with you. This is to let them know what they can provide for you, what you’ll be carrying on that might be unusual, and so they can do the best job possible of making sure you have an awesome cruise.
2. Carry It On
I haven’t specifically looked at every cruise line’s website, but Carnival for example requires that you put your machine in your carry-on luggage when embarking. Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s always a good idea to carry important electronics in your bag with you during the whole boarding process, so that you always know where they are and how they’re being handled.
3. Bring An Extension Cord
Most cruise ships do not have an outlet near the bed, so it’s important to make sure you bring an extension cord for your CPAP machine. Normally they wouldn’t be allowed, but medical devices are an exception to that rule. If you do end up forgetting a cord, don’t worry. Your cabin steward will probably be able to bring you one.
4. Bring Distilled Water
Like the extension cords, many cruise ships will be able to provide distilled water for your machine, either for free or for a small price (Carnival charges $3 for a gallon). But if you don’t want to buy it, or just want to feel more secure about having your own right from the get-go, you can bring it on. Just make sure the cap is sealed.
5. Have Cleaning Supplies
Make sure you bring a little bit of whatever it is you normally use to clean your machine on the ship. Even if you only end up cleaning it at the beginning or end, it’s always better to have a bit of soap or a little vinegar (or whatever your preference is) in case something spills in your bag, or you knock your room service drink over near it, etc. You want to be prepared when it comes to a machine designed to help you sleep!
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