Cruising with a CPAP Machine

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A couple of years ago, I became the “not-so” proud owner of a CPAP machine.  A CPAP machine is used for treating sleep apnea and stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

 After years of waking up feeling like I didn’t get enough sleep and my travel roommates complaining about my snoring, I finally visited a sleep physician and received a CPAP machine.

Shortly after receiving my CPAP machine, I was set to sail on a 7-day cruise on Carnival Glory to the Caribbean and this marked my first vacation with my new CPAP machine.  It comes with a case to house all pieces of equipment so that you can travel with ease.  The most challenging part was the fact that the machine requires distilled water.  I currently by distilled water by the gallon, at home, and wondered how I was going to get small bottles of distilled water.  I searched my go-to website, Amazon, (as I do for everything) and searched for travel CPAP distilled water bottles and found some.  I was so excited!  I ordered them!  Boom!


Here are the 5 things I learned from cruising with a CPAP Machine.

  1. Do not purchase anything without discussing with the cruise line first. After ordering the small bottles of distilled water from Amazon, it then occurred to me to call the cruise line (Carnival Cruise Line) and find out their policy.  I was told that I was only able to bring an unopened 1 gallon jug of distilled water onto the cruise.  I would need to hand carry it onto the cruise ship with me when I checked in.
  2. Since the cruise ship rooms are not, normally, ready until after 1:30pm, I was responsible for lugging a gallon jug of water around with me. Luckily, my carry-on bag had wheels on it.  I re-arranged the items in my carry-on so that I could put the jug of distilled water inside the carry-on with wheels.
  3. An extension cord was needed. There is only one plug in staterooms and that plug is housed on the desk/vanity.  On the Carnival Glory, my stateroom’s outlet was across the room from my bed.  I asked the cruise line for an extension cord, which they provided for the week.  On my next cruise, I will be sure to pack my own extension cord in the event they cruise line is unable to accommodate me.
  4. Do not pack your CPAP machine in your checked luggage. This is an expensive piece of equipment and it should be carried onto the plane with you, as a carry-on luggage.  Treat it like your medications and keep with you when you travel.

My first travel experience with my CPAP machine was not as bad as I thought it would be except for the gallon jug.  Lucky for me, I had arrived into Miami the day before my cruise and was able to swing by a grocery store prior to setting sail.  The small travel bottles of distilled water will not go to waste because I plan to pack those for my upcoming trip to Mexico. 

It all works out!

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