Royal Caribbean Bars Pregnant Passenger, Then Apologizes

News sources in Canada are reporting that Royal Caribbean barred a woman from cruising with her family after she admitted that she was pregnant but didn't have a note from her doctor stating that she was fit to travel. 

Global Toronto states that Michelle Ligori, her husband and their two sons were booked aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale.

According to the television station, the following exchange took place between Ms. Ligori and a cruise line representative. 

Oasis of the Seas"The girl at the counter said, ‘Any chance you're pregnant?'" Ligori said. "And I was taken off guard and said, ‘Yes, I found out a few days before we left,' and she said, ‘Do you have a note?' She told us you cannot get on without a note."

The station further states that Ligori was positive on a home pregnancy test but she had not seen her family doctor yet. She and her husband did not want to say anything to family members or their two young sons because the pregnancy was at the very early stages. She was in compliance with the cruise line's pregnancy restriction which prohibit cruising after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

"We were treated like parasites," Ligori said of Royal Caribbean.

Ms. Ligori scrambled to obtain a doctor's note but the cruise ship sailed. The couple spent $1,200 for additional hotels, taxi fares and a flight for her family to catch the cruise in the Bahamas two days later.

Royal Caribbean initially refused to compensate her until the media began covering the story. When the case went public, the cruise line contacted the family to offer an apology and refund them for the missed days and their expenses. 

We have written about cruising while pregnant before: Pregnancy & Cruising: What To Expect If You Are Expecting.

 Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Baldwin 040

 

 

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Lynn - July 25, 2014 12:53 PM

Honestly, this woman should have said "no" when asked if she was pregnant. Finding out just a few days prior to the trip on a home pregnancy test and that early I would have just said "NO". She obviously knew the policy since she knew about the 24 weeks, and the policy states that you must have a note from your doctor. You can't take part of the policy and not the rest of it.
I'm glad that RCCL is stepping up to reimburse them, but honestly they didn't have to.

tinikini - July 25, 2014 2:48 PM

Sounds like discrimination to me. If you are going to make one passenger prove they are fit to travel then you better make them all prove they are fit to travel. Jim always tells us when the Coast Guard is called to the ships due to medical issues, where were their notes???

Bottom line is the cruise lines don't want to have to pay for better doctors on the ships and spend more money on equipment and facilities to help save people's lives. Evidently the cruise lines think that a note from your doctor solves all the medical problems that could arise. What a joke. There are unexpected medical conditions that could arise with ANY passenger AT any time on ANY cruise and if you are going to run a floating hotel/city with thousands of people on it you damn well better be able to take care them when you are in the middle of nowhere on the ocean, or anywhere for that matter.

Cruise lines are owned by people who live in the USA, the majority of the cruise ships leave out of the USA and I think that I am safe to say that at least 50 percent of cruisers are American. We Americans demand proper medical care on land, why would we not demand it from a cruise line, when we are away from land and the USA?

Stir Fry - July 29, 2014 9:58 PM

Lynn:

It is to this passenger's credit to have given an immediate honest answer and some people still value honesty despite the unfortunate examples in today's culture.

Clearly, she was not 6 months along which one can simply tell by looking. She also gave the details of finding out a few days prior at home so that is 6 weeks tops.

Sounds to me like this cruise line employee grossly misunderstood the 24 week policy and doctor's note or was on some sick power trip.

Jim: Do we know if there was more than just this one cruise line representative at the counter that was involved? Seems to me that a decision like this would involve at least a supervisor. If you know or can find out, please post. Thank you.

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