My spouse and I sailed on the Seabourn Quest – “21 Day Ultimate Antarctica and Patagonia”, from January 12, 2017 through February 2, 2017. Anyone that has sailed with Seabourn knows the trips are ridiculously expensive and should expect to receive exceptional service and the trip you expected. We enjoyed our experience but are disappointed that Seabourn reduced the Antarctic portion of our cruise from the scheduled six days to four days due to the illness of two of the passengers onboard. While we are most sympathetic to the circumstances of these individuals and their families, is seems unfair that the remaining 400 plus passengers were so negatively impacted. We question whether or not this situation could have been addressed earlier when there would have been less impact. Specifically, there was clearly better access to medical facilities during our stops in Montevideo, The Falkland Islands and perhaps even in the South Shetland Islands.
Although information provided regarding the status of the sick individuals was limited, understandably to protect their privacy, it is our understanding that both were seniors (86 and 90 years old) and that the 90 year old ultimately passed away while on the ship. We were directly familiar with the circumstances of the 86 year old woman, given that she and her family had their cabins located close to ours and, consequently, we got to know them during the cruise. As a result, we are fully aware that the woman took sick immediately after boarding (if not sick prior to boarding) and was either in her stateroom or in the ship’s infirmary during her entire stay onboard. We therefore question whether or not it would have been possible for staff members to identify her emergent medical condition earlier in the voyage. Many of the passengers we spoke to on the ship wondered if Seabourn had other options to deal with the sick passengers prior to departing from the Falklands.
We question where Seabourn’s protocol for passenger embarkation on trips to remote locations takes into consideration the passenger’s age and the increasing likelihood of illness as the passenger gets older. This is especially relevant when sailing to areas like the Antarctic when the ship is not in close proximity to medical facilities, and in this case for 10 days. Presumably this is why International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators recommends having passengers complete a medical form prior to sailing to the Antarctic. Does Seabourn follow this protocol? Seabourn refused to answer us on this!