There are few things in life more decadent and luxurious than a cruise vacation. Unless of course, you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise and your child gets a cold, and then a paranoid crew kicks you and your family off the ship at night in your pajamas at a foreign port where you then have to spend thousands dollars for passports and tickets to get home. It sounds like a nightmare but that’s exactly what happened to this Florida family according to WFTV. Read the details of their misadventure, inside…
Last Monday night, the Cortes family boarded the Majesty of the Seas for what was supposed to be a lavish, 5-night cruise. On Tuesday, the Cortes’ 7-month-old Zoie, started getting ill and the ship’s doctor was dispatched. With symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, little Zoie was diagnosed with dehydration and the doctor said she needed immediate treatment, but off the ship. According to the family, a security guard gave them 10 minutes to pack their bags and leave the ship. “I asked if my wife could get out of her pajamas and there was no time for that. We had to leave,” said Luis Cortes. The Cortes’ speculate that the doctor suspected Norwalk virus since Zoie exhibited symptoms similar to the virus’.
At 11pm the Cortes’ rapidly disembarked into Nassau and sought treatment at a local emergency room. However, Zoie was diagnosed with a cold, not the Norwalk virus. Additionally, the family said she had seasickness. The Nassau doctor deemed Zoie fit for travel, however the cruise ship had already left. “We had to find our way to the U.S. Embassy. All of this on foot. A family of five in this town we knew nothing about,” said Cortes. The expenses that ensued were to the tune of $3000 for the cost of the emergency room, emergency passports (passports are not required on Caribbean cruises but RC recommends them), and plane tickets back to Florida. Royal Caribbean responded to WFTV saying that they were concerned because the child was so young and didn’t want to take chances. Royal Caribbean is giving the family free vouchers for another trip, but will not reimburse the cost of the passports and tickets “because the family didn’t purchase trip insurance.”
We’re not impressed, Royal Caribbean. It’s difficult to understand why you would have to kick a family off the boat within 10 minutes because of a case of “dehydration.” And now you won’t even pay for the family’s trip back to Florida? We would think that the reimbursement would be a small amount compared to the money you could be losing from any passenger with a slight cough who may now be afraid to board your ships. We understand that Norwalk virus is the bane of cruise ships but your knee-jerk reaction put this family through a boat-load of unnecessary grief. What would have happened if the ship was at sea? Plank time?
Update: According to Fox News, Royal Caribbean has recanted on not reimbursing the Cortes family. Royal Caribbean says, “Despite the company’s strong disagreement with the manner in which the Cortes family’s situation has been recounted in the media, as a gesture of good will, Royal Caribbean is providing the Cortes family with a refund of its cruise fare and reimbursement for its flights home.”
Family Says Cruise Ship Kicked Them Off Boat Because Child Was Sick [WFTV] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
Royal Caribbean International Statement [Fox News]
(Photo: Getty Images)