A large family decided to all take a sailing together aboard one of the Disney Cruise Line ships right after Christmas. The cruise was heading for the Bahamas, but a few members never made it that far as they were asked to pack up and disembark the ship in Nassau after their baby got sick.
According to WPTV, Dave Berg of Naples, Florida, hopped aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship and departed from Miami on December 30. Actually, Berg departed with 31 family members, one of which is his cancer-stricken mother-in-law who was doing the cruise as part of her bucket list.
On Thursday morning, Berg’s four-month-old granddaughter began spitting up. She was brought to the ship’s infirmary by Jennifer Moak, Berg’s daughter, and the infant was given medicine for seasickness.
Later in the day, the Disney Cruise Line infirmary contacted Moak’s husband to advise them that another checkup was needed for the baby. Once arriving downstairs, Moak said the family was told they would have to disembark the ship.
“He said because of her age, she wasn’t supposed to be on the ship and that they would be — I think the word that he used was ‘terminating’ our stay on the ship.”
Per the family, the medical staff aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship said that the age of the baby and safety needs were reasons that the family couldn’t stay on board.
Early in 2014, Disney Cruise Line had changed the policy for infant travel and pregnant women. Babies used to be able to travel at 12 weeks of age, but Disney did change things.
“For reservations made after July 17, 2014, on sailings commencing in 2015 and beyond, the minimum age to sail aboard any Vessel is 6 months of age on most itineraries, and the minimum age for Transatlantic, Hawaii, and Panama Canal itineraries is 1 year of age.”
The reservation of the Moaks was not to be affected, which would allow them to travel with the baby younger than six months old.
Per the request of the doctor, Moak, her husband, and Berg packed up everything to leave and thought Disney would take care of all accommodations. The family states their experience was unsafe and not at the level of their rate paid for the Disney Cruise, and Moak wasn’t pleased.
“I know that they thought that it was safer for her to be off the ship, and it could have been, if the situation was dealt with in the right way. Her safety is my No. 1 priority, and they were saying her safety was their No. 1 priority, so we should have all been on the same page.”
Berg described their hotel accommodations as a “fleabag motel” and said there was no place for the baby to sleep. The family said they argued back and forth and finally had Disney agree to pay for the hotel and their flights back home.
They also said an agent was to be assigned to them at the port to help them, but the agent never contacted them. Berg also said the family was charged for three nights of gratuities for nights they weren’t on the ship.
There was also a bill of $1,200 from a hospital in the Bahamas after the family had the baby checked out again. The hospital staff advised them the baby just had gas.
“No one would care if they took us off the ship and we were in complete safety in comparable accommodations and brought home. 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 that they say in their brochures is dangerous.”
A representative from Disney Cruise Line did not comment directly on the incident with the family and the sick baby due to medical privacy reasons. The rep did state that policy is for an agent to help the family get home if asked to disembark a ship.
Berg said that his daughter and family just want an apology from Disney Cruise Line and for something to be made up to them. They hate that “Disney feels they owe us nothing.”
[Image via Naples Daily News]