Gosh - Sorry about your FROZEN INSULIN!

Sorry this happened to you, bsc, and hope that all in all your trip was still great. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Mexico and it’s always a part of my heart. I think you handled it well. Our insulin is a touchy subject to us if somebody messes with it. I remember once when I lived in Guatemala and had just started on insulin, the young kid they had working behind the counter gave me Apidra instead of Lantus, or the other way around I can’t remember. She said it was the pen I wanted, right? I lit into her about how she could have killed me, and when you tell someone off in another language it gets pretty repetitive…lol. I practically had the poor girl in tears. When I stopped and realized I ended up apologizing for my overreaction.

Glad the cruise ship came through for you though.

I would assume that if I had a fridge in the room it would WORK. We’re going on a cruise in September and are paying extra to have a fridge. It damn well better work.

I’m glad that what could have been disastrous turned out relatively okay. Personally, I won’t let my insulin out of my control. That assumes, of course that I’ve remembered to pack it. Doh!


Welcome home. Sorry that happened but glad it worked out alright and didn’t cause a big health crisis in the end.

We’re going on a cruise in Alaska next week, and I’m planning to keep all my son’s insulin in our room at room temperature. We’ll have a fridge in our cabin, but since we have a land package for 4 days before we get on the ship, his supplies will have already been kept out for several days anyway. His “back up” insulin that I don’t plan to use will probably be thrown away unopened when we get back home, but, since he changed from shots to a pump recently, we have lots of pens on hand that will expire before we can use them anyway.

Of course, the temperature in Alaska is quite different than the temperature in Mexico this time of year, so I’m not too worried about his insulin overheating. Can’t wait for those 60 degree days after too many too count days in the 100s here!

Sorry to hear of the trouble. I cruises last Sept and used the ice bucket method. I was frustrated though because I specifically called regarding nutritional info on the food and was assured they would have more info on the boat. Problem was they had calories and fat info on select items only and I needed carb.counts. it worked.out just required a lot more guesstimating.

It seems you handled things well. I would have been in a pickle. I do not tolerate NPH well gives me horrible lows unless i do everything perfect which on vacation is rarely possible.

Thanks bikette. Layers are definitely in the plan, though it’s so hard to think about putting on jeans or a sweater right now - ugh! We are planning to see Denali - we have 2 nights and 1 full day there. We’re doing a plane around McKinley and landing on a glacier, a whitewater rafting trip and the standard bus tour offered by the cruise line.

Thanks for the clothing advice!

BSC I’m just glad that the cruise line took steps to make it right. I do have one question, as I’m still learning about diabetes, and that is what is a frio pack?


I;ve been in a hotel at least 14 nights since April. I have yet to trust a room frig.
I keep my trusty Polar packs in my hard skin insulated cooler 14x10 or so along with my extra vials. My every day stuff is in Frios.
I hope if we have a tornado that Homeland Security passes out frozen Polar packs. 4 of them in the box and I’m good for 5 nights.

I’ve been on a few cruises and my room fridge has always been fine. I’m sorry this happened, but I’m glad they resolved it.

Take it as a lesson learned for both you and the cruise line.

Why do you distrust fridges when you travel? Just curious.

My distrust stems from numerous frozen cans of soda, filled syringes, & ugly ice cubes. Mold.

https://www.accu-chek.ca/ca/manage-your-diabetes.html a free Frio Pack for us Canadians …the link was posted a while back on the Canadian site …hope still available for those interested .

Yeah, I went back and saw the OP mentioned fridges as heaters. I guess I’m just more of an a$$. :wink: I’ve asked for fridges or my room to be changed before. The last hotel I was in had a small fridge (the over-priced bar ones that are always in rooms), but I asked for them to bring another up for my insulin. They did.

I’m planning a cross-country/moving home train trip though, so I’m going to have to trust Amtrak for a few days. Now I’m scared.

Thanks for the link. :slight_smile:

I was in Italy for 2 1/2 weeks recently, first vacation since I was diagnosed… I kept all my insulin in the Frio pack while travelling and then took the insulin out and put it right in the fridge in the apartment we rented. It worked fine. I’ve found that the Frio pack is almost too effective… it keeps the insulin cold for over a week, I’ve tried drying mine since I got home but it still feels cool and damp…

I took a look at this discussion from another of Brian's posts pointing to it.

It got me thinking... Peltier (thermoelectric) coolers have come a long way in the last 15 years. There are some pretty compact ones. In fact, I found this pretty cool combo cooler/warmer, and ordered one:

USB Thermoelectric Cooler & Warmer

Seems like a great solution to keeping insulin cold when traveling. Because it's powered from standard 5V USB, there are gazillions of places you can plug it in, and most of us have 5V USB power blocks these days from smartphones, tablets, iPods, etc. etc. Also, such power options are ubiquitous throughout the world.

Think about using this on a long car trip too.

In any case, it appeals mightily to my strong libertarian tendencies... This way, I can stay independent and in control of my own issues, rather than be at the mercy of someone else who doesn't know, understand, or care anywhere near as much about such things as I truly need them to.

Just bought one. Twenty bucks.

Freezing, that’s the big concern at hotels. And just give away the backup not your daily supply. I put insulin in an ice cooler until I’m confident of the fridge.

I won't store my insulin in hotel fridges, that is my concern, they have terrible temperature control. And that is why I didn't want to store my insulin in my cruise cabin fridge, but in hindsight I should have just kept it in my cabin room rather than entrusting it to the infirmary.

What was strange in hindsight is the cruise actually had a doctor on board who gave me some R. I never thought to ask them where they kept their insulin stores and why they weren't frozen as well.

I use Frio's when traveling, but I never refrigerate them. I just reactivate them every couple of days by soaking them in water. They've kept my insulin safe on 2-week trips even when I was traveling by car and the car (with my insulin in the Frio pack) sat in the hot sun for up to four hours (or more)at a time with outside temps near 95 degrees, which means the temp in the car was probably well over 100 degrees. The Frio still kept my insulin safe.

Also, I usually over-soak the Frio's a bit, so that they swell up to the point where I really have to push the insulin bottles in. I only have to re-soak them every couple of days.

And the reason I don't store the Frios (or my insulin) in a mini-fridge is exactly because of what happened to you...the room mini-fridges are not safe, and I've had my insulin frozen when I used to request a room fridge. From my experiences, I trust my Frio pack way more than I trust those mini-fridges!


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Even for 3-4 week vacations, I agree. Room temp is fine. I never let insulin out of my sight. If it was very warm I would use a Frio.

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