If you are planning to do any international travel with oxygen, there are a lot of details you will need to sort out before you leave. However, if you will be using your oxygen on cruise ships, it might surprise you how easy it can be. The ease of use and requirements will vary with each oxygen delivery system, but taking a cruise with your oxygen can be as easy as using it at home. Read on to learn how.
Can You Take Oxygen Concentrators on a Cruise Ship?
Travelers who use supplemental oxygen are welcomed aboard most cruise ships! If you will be traveling with oxygen on a cruise ship, all you need to do is ensure that you have adequate supplies to last the entire trip. If you use an oxygen tank, that means bringing enough oxygen for the full trip, which can be unwieldy. If you use a portable oxygen concentrator, you will just need to ensure that you have adequate access to a power source and several batteries.
*Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. Click on the link to find a list of Cruise Lines, members of CLIA*, that have information in their websites regarding the supplemental oxygen use during their trip. Click on the cruise line and you will be transferred directly to their relative page. (Cruise lines that don’t have any relevant information online are not mentioned).
Travelwithoxygen.com recommends the following tips when traveling by cruise ship: 
If you will be bringing oxygen on cruise ships, follow these tips for before, during and after your trip and it will be smooth sailing!
Booking a Cruise in Order to Travel with Oxygen
- Contact the cruise line or your agent early to inform about your oxygen needs and for the devices you will take onboard.
- Ask if there is any prescription or doctor’s declaration need to be submitted.
- Make sure you have enough oxygen tanks/cylinders.
- If you have a portable oxygen concentrator device make sure you have enough extra batteries.
- Ask if there is a doctor on board in case you will need him/her.
- Book a cabin near an elevator if possible.
Before Your Cruise
Call the cruise company and airlines to ensure all of your oxygen equipment is approved for use onboard. Only FAA compliant oxygen devices can be used on an airplane. Talk to the Special Needs Department at the cruise company to confirm what you can bring on a cruise.
- Visit your doctor to inform him/her about your trip. Also inform the doctor if there are extreme weather conditions at your destinations (high humidity, extreme cold, extreme hot, high altitude, air pollution) can make breathing even more difficult or/and can worsen your symptoms. Take a new prescription if necessary.
- Make sure you have all the medicine you need.
- Make at least one copy of your medicine and oxygen prescription and always keep it with you.
- Research and find doctors and hospitals at your destination(s) in the event you may need it.
- Always have an oximeter with you to check your oxygen levels.
- If you are travelling abroad, check if your insurance covers you in case of emergency.
- If you are using your portable oxygen concentrator device, fully charge all your batteries.
- If you are using oxygen tanks/cylinders, always have more than you will usually use.
- Be sure you have the right power convertors/adaptors.
- Take your CPAP or Bi-PAP machine with you.
- Always be prepared for possible delays and have extra oxygen/batteries with you.
- If you don’t have your own oxygen device or oxygen tanks, you can always rent. There are companies that can supply you with oxygen devices or tanks almost everywhere in the world.
Arriving at the Port with Portable Oxygen
- Ask for assistance with your luggage.
- Arrive to the cruise ship early because seaport authorities might want to check your portable oxygen concentrator device before you get onboard and that may take some time.
- Try to avoid the lines and remember that you have priority.
- Inform the staff that you are travelling with a portable oxygen concentrator device or oxygen tanks/cylinders.
- If you have arranged for a rental oxygen device or oxygen tanks/cylinders to wait for you at the port, contact the supplier to inform about your arrival.
During Your Cruise
- If you are using a portable oxygen concentrator device try to use power supply, whenever you can e.g. in the cabin, in the dining areas etc.
- Always have fully charged extra batteries.
- Bring a pulse oximeter along to check your oxygen levels regularly.
- Always place the device properly, and make sure that the air filters are not blocked.
- When you‘re going on shore make sure you have extra fully charged batteries or extra oxygen tanks/cylinders with you.
- Keep in mind that some cruise ships may have supplemental oxygen that can be used only in case of emergency.
- Try to avoid crowds when it’s possible.
- The cabin that you will stay in, must be clean and dust free.
- Chlorine is bad for the lungs, so ask during your booking or at the reception to clean your room with chlorine free products if it’s possible.
- Avoid swimming in indoor pools. The smell of the chlorine might intensify the symptoms of your lung disease.
After Your Cruise
- Ask for assistance with your luggage.
- Try to avoid lines and remember that you have priority.
- After returning from your trip, make sure you get adequate rest and check in with your doctor to see if any adjustments need to be made to your oxygen therapy program.
Hopefully this helps to provide peace of mind if you are wondering, “Can I bring my oxygen equipment onboard my cruise ship?” Our Inogen One models are indicated for use in a home, institution, vehicles and various mobile environments. In your cabin, plug your Inogen One into an AC electrical outlet just as you would at home to recharge your batteries. Your Inogen One will provide travel portability for your active lifestyle . With Inogen oxygen therapy patients can experience peace of mind when outside their home and away from their stationary concentrator.
Contact us to find out more today.