April 5, 2001
More strides in on-board medical technology that mean passengers with maladies more serious than a bump or bruise can be treated: Carnival’s newest ship, the Carnival Spirit -- launches April 29 -- will have a “tele-radiology system.” This permits ship’s doctors to transmit x-rays digitally, along with electrocardiograms to U.S. hospitals via high-speed satellite. As cruise lines are rolling out new ships, many are placing as much emphasis on developing cutting-edge on-board medical programs as they are on art collections or flashy boutique eateries. Recently, Holland America announced it had installed a “telemedicine” system on the Amsterdam; this also facilitates communication with U.S. based doctors. The true pioneers of this more sophisticated pairing of U.S.-based hospitals with cruise physicians were Princess, which on some ships offers real-time consultations with staff at Cedars-Sinai, and Renaissance, which has a similar partnership with Johns Hopkins Hospital.