Disney Cruise Ship Removes 4-Month-Old Infant, Ends Family Vacation

A Disney cruise is supposed to be fun for people of all ages, but one family from Florida is upset because family vacations apparently have an age limit. Disney Cruise Lines recently changed their lower age limit for passengers, banning babies under 6 months of age when they had previously allowed infants 12 weeks and older on board. The policy was suddenly enforced when the 4-month old visited the ship’s doctor.

The infant was part of a 31-person family group enjoying a last vacation with an elder family member who has cancer. When the group made their reservation, infants up to 12 weeks were allowed on board, so there was no problem. The policy changed to 6 months as of January 1st, but families that had already made reservations weren’t affected by that policy. Everything went fine until the great-grandbaby became ill and visited the ship’s doctor.

The cruise line declined to discuss the family’s specific situation with TV station WPTV (Warning: auto-play video) since it involved medical treatment on board the ship, but said that a travel agent helps families home when they have to disembark for medical reasons. The family says that they were sent to a “fleabag” hotel that didn’t have a safe infant bed available, paid $1,200 to a Bahamian hospital to learn that their daughter had gas, and only paid for the hotel and emergency travel home after the family negotiated with the company.

“No one would care if they took us off the ship and we were in complete safety in comparable accommodations and brought home,” the baby’s grandfather told the TV station. “They were deceitful about it. No one can believe that Disney would send a 4-month-old baby off into the dark in a foreign country.”

The family isn’t upset about being kicked off the cruise, but about how they were treated and how Disney, as the baby’s mother puts it, “feels that they owe [the family] nothing.” Meanwhile, the cruise line billed the four family members for gratuities for nights that they were no longer on board.

Disney Cruise Line forces family off ship; officials say 4-month-old baby too young to be onboard [WPTV] (Warning: auto-play video)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.