Day 9 of our three-week Europe travel series with three young kids sees us leave Rome by cruise ship. What was meant to be a fun and relaxing 10 cruise around the Mediterranean with family had a difficult start with a medical emergency with one of our kids and a much more serious medical emergency when we were on board that required a medevac on the Carnival Pride. Thankfully both incidents had happy endings, everyone came out of it healthy, and the cruise continued normally as scheduled.

Ethan Splits His Head Open at The Best Western

Rome Restaurant La Bottega del Peperoncino1
Rome Restaurant La Bottega del Peperoncino3
Rome Restaurant La Bottega del Peperoncino2
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Rome Restaurant La Bottega del Peperoncino4
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We arrived at our tiny but well-appointed room at the Best Western Rome Airport Hotel in high spirits. Erika and I marveled at how compact the room was – definitely the smallest room we stayed in during our entire European trip. But that was to be expected given the commuter-style nature of accommodations at the Best Western Airport Hotel in Rome. This brief stopover set the stage for our upcoming adventure on the cruise ship.

We had dinner that night at an excellent little place near the airport called La Bottega del Peperoncino (highly recommended!) It was when we came back to the hotel room after dinner that an unfortunate accident happened with our middle child, Ethan. He and his older brother Aiden were leaping around the hotel room beds as they always do, despite repeated warnings from Erika and myself, only this time Ethan slipped and hit his head on the glass nightstand next to the bed, cutting it open pretty badly. Erika spoke to her cousin who is a surgeon via video chat and he recommended we get Ethan stitched up, or at least cover up the wound ourselves with some liquid bandage.

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Ethan injury1

Ethan and I drove around the next morning to a nearby urgent care facility only to find it packed with waiting patients, which we had to leave since we had to catch our cruise ship that afternoon. Thankfully the injury was above Ethan’s hairline, and we eventually resorted to our trusty liquid bandage to close the wound. Despite the setback, we managed to reunite with Erica’s family and set sail for our eagerly anticipated cruise.

Travel Tip - Emergency Medical Care
When traveling, access to emergency medical care is crucial. Prioritize researching local healthcare facilities and understanding insurance coverage abroad. Carry essential medications and a first-aid kit. Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and language translations for medical needs. Remain vigilant, follow safety protocols, and consider purchasing travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage to ensure peace of mind during unexpected health crises.

Meeting The In-Laws at The Roma Cruise Terminal

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Boarding Carnival Pride3

Amidst the pre-cruise excitement, our family reunion at the Roma Cruise Terminal marked the beginning of our ten-day cruise adventure. Erika’s brother-in-law, Carlos, was prone to seasickness and we took great delight in teasing him about it while we waited to board. Eager and thrilled we finally set our sights on the Carnival Pride, ready for adventure on the high seas.

Cruise Ship Travel Tip - How to Deal with Seasickness
To combat seasickness on a cruise, take proactive measures. Choose a cabin located in the ship's center for minimal movement. Stay hydrated, consume light meals, and avoid alcohol and greasy foods. Utilize over-the-counter remedies or seasickness bands. Spend time on deck to acclimate your body. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist. Above all, maintain a positive mindset and embrace the journey.

Boarding the Carnival Pride & Family Dinner

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Excitement filled the air as we navigated our way through the terminal and boarded the Carnival Pride. Safety checks and lifeboat familiarization were part of the process, but soon we were all settled in, enjoying our first on-board meal together. Celebrations were in order as we commemorated a special birthday on board, adding a memorable touch to our cruise experience. Everyone had a great time, even Ethan, the cut on his head long forgotten amid all the laughter and joy.

Emergency Medevac on the Carnival Pride

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However, amidst the joy, we faced a heart-wrenching moment as the ship halted due to a medical emergency later that evening. A young guest required immediate evacuation, causing a brief delay and a sobering reminder of the fragility of life. Me and a few hundred other passengers watched in rapt attention as an Italian Search and Rescue vessel sidled up to the much larger Carnival Pride and a stretch carrying the blanketed figure of the sick passenger was transferred from ship to ship

Witnessing the professionalism of the emergency services reassured us that all necessary steps were taken to help the young boy. We were reminded of the importance of compassion and understanding in times of crisis. I was, however, dismayed and annoyed to hear some of the other passengers’ lament at the delays all this would cause to their trip itinerary.

Cruise Ship Travel Tip - Emergency Medevac Facts
Medevac procedures on cruise ships prioritize swift, efficient medical care. Trained onboard medical staff assess and stabilize patients, coordinating with onshore medical facilities if necessary. Helicopter or boat evacuations may be employed in critical situations. Passengers are briefed on emergency protocols during embarkation. Travel insurance covering medical evacuations is advisable, ensuring timely and comprehensive assistance in unforeseen emergencies.

Captain’s Address to the Passengers

The next day the captain addressed the ship about last night’s emergency medevac on the Carnival Pride. He reminded us that his top priority is always on guest safety and well-being and despite last night’s disruption, the rest of the cruise schedule will not be affected. Also, we were notified that the medevacked child was safe and doing much better in a hospital back in Rome – which filled us all with great relief. It was the like we were given permission to relax and enjoy the rest of the trip – which we definitely did!

Final Thoughts on a Rough Day

Our Europe adventure, with all its highs and lows, continues in the next part. Day 9 of the trip, our first day on board the Carnival Pride, was a testament to the resilience of family bonds and the fickle nature of travel. It’s only when you face adversity that you gain a profound respect for the unpredictability of life’s journey. For the previous entry in our 3 Weeks in Europe with 3 Kids series, click here.

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