A newlywed couple from Baton Rouge, Louisiana experienced what is described as a “medical nightmare” aboard the Norwegian Pearl during a recent cruise to the Caribbean.

WWL- TV and the New Orleans Advocate in Louisiana report that NCL passenger Brant Aymond was injured during a paddle board accident while the Pearl stopped in Roatan. A piece of coral sliced both of his feet which required medical treatment on the cruise ship. The couple had purchased insurance which covered the shipboard medical care, but NCL still charged them $2,000 upfront. The ship doctor, Norwegian Pearlidentified as Dr. Gomez from Mexico, stiched up Mr. Aymond’s feet. The ship doctor reportedly missed that he suffered a severed tendon in the accident.

As it turned out, Dr. Gomez reportedly also left two pieces of coral sewn inside Mr. Aymond’s foot, according to emergency room physicians back in Baton Rouge who performed emergency surgery to avoid possible amputation.

Mr. Aymond’s foot became infected partially because the ship’s medical team gave him the wrong spectrum of antibiotics, typically used to treat gastrointetinal problems.

In addition to the bad shipboard medical care, NCL reportedly stonewalled the couple when they tried to find out information about the qualifications of the ship doctor and nurse. It appears that NCL refused to deal transparently with their guests, something that we regularly experience with this particular cruise line.  Ms. Aymond stated during the interview:

Norwegian won’t answer my calls, won’t return my e-mails, they won’t respond to the claim, they – absolutely – have just iced us out . . . 

The news station interviewed the past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians who was critical of cruise ship healthcare. He indicated that hospitals in Louisiana are often required to treat returning cruise passengers who have been neglected by what is described as the “medical mess” left by the cruise lines.

Over 1,000,000 people traveled last year from the port in New Orleans.

Ms. Aymond suggested that that if you are injured during a cruise, “get off the boat . . . figure out a way to get back to the states to seek medical care if it is … serious.”

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Video and photo credit: WWL

http://interactive.tegna-media.com/video/embed/embed.html?id=8003501&type=video&title=Louisiana couple's honeymoon cruise turns into medical nightmare&site=269&playerid=6918249996585&dfpid=32805352&dfpposition=embed_preroll§ion=home

  • Jason T Knapp

    So in this case, or any case of injury, what would be the passengers’ recourse? I’m sure that the cruise ticket contract would dictate some sort of arbitration. Would the passengers has a claim to file suit?

  • The terms and conditions in the cruise ticket require that the injured passenger notify the cruise line in writing of the incident within six (6) months and file a legal claim in the location specified in the terms and conditions (i.e., federal court in Miami for the Southern District of Florida) within one (1) year. Arbitration is required for injured crew members . . .

  • tinikini

    I am confused as to why they had to pay $2000 up front if they had insurance??? Isn’t this why you take out trip insurance so you are treated without incident and money drama?

  • Jason

    They likely had insurance with secondary coverage, meaning the provider — ship or otherwise — are not paid up front, but reimburse the passenger for whatever is not covered by their regular insurance. I buy Allianz, which is primary…first call is to them and they take it from there.

  • Lori McCutchen

    Would you be able to help someone in this situation? Is this something we as passengers could contact you to handle should we find ourselves facing the same situation?