Royal Caribbean cruise lines urges potential customers to "Start Planning Your Adventure. Book Online Today!"
But, for one family in Orange County, FL, the promised adventure turned into the "Cruise from Hell".
The family told Eyewitness News on Friday that the cruise line kicked them off the ship late at night and abandoned them in the Bahamas when their 7-month-old child became sick. They think they were kicked off the ship because her symptoms were similar to the Norwalk virus.
The family booked five tickets and was supposed to be gone for five nights when their trip was cut short. They had to spend thousands to get home.
The Cortes family actually said that their Royal Caribbean cruise was "a living hell." After boarding in Miami on Monday, they enjoyed the splendor of a RC cruise--until they were kicked off the boat Tuesday evening in Nassau.
"Everyone was crying and pleading that they wouldn't throw us of the boat, begging them if we could stay," Luis Cortes said.
Their 7-month-old child, Zoie, was throwing up and had diarrhea. A doctor on the ship said she was dehydrated and had to be treated in a hospital. The family said a security guard gave them 10 minutes to pack their bags and get off the boat. It was 11 o'clock at night.
On their website, Royal Caribbean promises "All cruises are not alike." Luis Cortes would certainly agree with that blurb. Their cruise ship wouldn't even let them get out of their pajamas before being booted.
"I asked if my wife could get out of their pajamas and there was no time for that. We had to leave," Luis Cortes said.
A doctor in a Nassau emergency room made the diagnosis.
Zoie had a common cold, not dehydration. The doctor cleared her to travel and signed a form stating that.
However, the Royal Caribbean ship had already cruised away, leaving the Cortes family stuck in the Bahamas with no passports and only memories of their Royal Caribbean cruise holiday.
"We had to find our way to the U.S. Embassy. All of this on foot. A family of five in this town we knew nothing about," Cortes said.
The embassy issued them emergency passports for $455. They spent another $650 on plane tickets back to Florida. The emergency room bill was $600. All together, the Cortes family spent more than $3,000 on their disastrous vacation and they want a refund.
"I don't want this to happen to another family," Cortes said.
Royal Caribbean said they will give the family a credit to use on another Royal Caribbean cruise trip and will not pay for the passports or plane tickets because they didn't pay for trip insurance.
So, it would seem that if you're booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, the trip insurance is definitely a must--especially if it's a family outing.
No word on when the Cortes family planned to use their credit.
Source: Family Says Cruise Ship Kicked Them Off Boat Because Child Was Sick
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