There is a story in the Naples Daily News about Disney deciding to kick a 4 month old baby off one of its cruise ships that leaves me scratching my head. When the parents booked the cruise, Disney permitted infants 12 weeks or older to cruise but it later changed its policy to 6 months or older effective January 1, 2015.
The newspaper says that the extended family sailed out of Miami on December 30th with 31 family members. The baby’s grandmother is sick with cancer and the cruise was part of her “bucket list.”
But when the parents took their baby to the infirmary and the ship doctor treated the infant for seasickness, the cruise took a turn for the worst. The ship doctor said that the child was too young to be on the cruise and had to immediately leave the ship along with the parents, notwithstanding a Disney representative’s assurances that all parents who had existing reservations would not be affected by the changes in Disney’s policy’s about the permitted age of infants.
The parents were sent into Nassau (a port I named the most dangerous port in the world) and forced to stay in what the parent’s say was a “fleabag motel” after paying a $1,200 bill from the local public hospital.
The Naples Daily News quotes the father saying:
“No one would care if they took us off the ship and we were in complete safety in comparable accommodations and brought home,” he said. “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.”
It seems inexplicable to me that a cruise line which says that it caters to families with kids can send a 4 month old and his parents into Nassau under these circumstances.
I posted the story on the Cruise Law News Facebook page and received several dozen comments, ranging from criticism of the cruise line to blaming the parents.
My take on the issue is to simply ask, is it any surprise that the cruise industry has an image problem?
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