There are several different types of medical cruises, although they tend to fit into two categories: there are cruises that focus on medical education (generally in the form of conferences on board a cruise ship), and there are cruises that emphasize passenger health (by offering fitness classes, healthy meals, and so on). There are also cruises for specific medical conditions, like cancer, and hence there are cruises for cancer patients in particular. There are a few of these cruises for cancer. One of them, the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, is about raising awareness and money for cancer research, and the other, the Breast Cancer Wellness Cruise, focuses more on uniting patients and survivors of this form of cancer. There are also “cancer cruises” that have nothing to do with cruise ships, like Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, which is a motorcycle rally for cancer. However, we are only concerned with cruise ships that offer cruises for cancer, so we’ll focus on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer and the Breast Cancer Wellness Cruise to give you an idea of what these cruise are all about.
The Buckeye Cruise for Cancer is, as the name implies, affiliated with Ohio State University. The proceeds from this cruise benefit the following cancer research institutions: The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Several famous Buckeyes participate in the cruise, like AJ Hawk, who now plays for the Green Bay Packers. The cruise has raised over two million dollars to date to help fight cancer, and last year alone it generated over one million dollars. Next year’s cruise takes place from Thursday Feb. 21st to Monday Feb. 25th. It leaves from Tampa Florida, stops by Key West the next day, and then arrives in the Bahamas the day after. This is followed by a day at sea, and then the cruise concludes the next day, when it returns to Tampa.
The Breast Cancer Wellness Cruise is aimed at survivors of and patients with breast cancer. The cruise seeks to unite individuals who have battled (or are currently battling) breast cancer. The fight against breast cancer is, needless to say, long and draining, so the cruise advertises itself as a celebration of life – a time for healing, fellowship, and fun. It has happened every year since 2007, and it takes place in the spring, around May or April. (This year it was at the end of April – from the 21st through the 26th – and last year it was in mid-May.) This year’s voyage took place on the Carnival Elation. The ship left from New Orleans and then sailed to Mexico, stopping at Progreso, Yucatan and Cozumel before returning home. The annual cruise is very popular and well-regarded, at least according to the enthusiastic reviews posted on discussions boards about the event.
Both of these cruises for cancer happen every year, and they seem like excellent cruises that are designed with the best of intentions. If you or someone you know feels like participating, be sure to mark your calendars.