First Carnival had the infamous Poop Cruise and a string of other disasters. Now it’s another cruise line’s turn: this week, Royal Caribbean is in the news for seemingly abandoning an American passenger with a broken hip and his wife in Turkey, and for ending an Alaska cruise early because of a problem with the ship’s motor.
An 89-year-old couple were cruising with Azamara, a company owned by Royal Caribbean, when the husband broke his hip. WFTS reports that the couple are huge fans of cruises, and they were were on the Azamara cruise as compensation for their previous Royal Caribbean trip in April. That ship caught fire during their cruise. They didn’t expect another disaster on the sea, but the husband fell and broke his hip. The ship left him in a hospital in a remote part of Turkey that can’t perform the needed surgery, and his wife feared infections from the lack of cleanliness. Not that women are really allowed in the hospital.
Royal Caribbean’s insurance company has been extremely unhelpful. It was only the intervention of their U.S.-based travel agent that helped, since she called on a colleague in Turkey who speaks English, who in turn got assistance from the American Embassy. The man is now in Istanbul, where he at least can have the surgery he needs. Will the couple have to spend his months of rehabilitation and recovery in Turkey, or will they get home somehow?