By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 10/27/2020
Posted: 4/28/2008
Topics/Keywords: #Cruise #RoyalCaribbean #Travel Page Views: 5827
If you must travel on Royal Caribbean, for gods' sakes, don't get sick.
Roayl Caribbean

You might remember, gentle reader, that I and my family took a cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship this past January. During the trip, Michael became ill and we were charged $1000 for his medical care onboard ship. Supposedly the trip insurance was going to cover that, although we have yet to see a check. Now it looks like we were lucky to be kept on board. The Luis Cortes family of Orange County, Florida, wasn't so fortunate.

The Corteses, a family of five, included Zoie, a seven-month-old baby, who was a bit under the weather when they all boarded the Majesty of the Seas in Miami on Monday. Tuesday evening, before the ship had left Nassau, the family took the baby to the ship's doctor because she was throwing up and had diarrhea. The doctor diagnosed her as "dehydrated" and said she would have to be taken to a hospital.

Michael, you may recall, was also diagnosed as dehydrated; he was easily treated on board the Monarch of the Seas with intravenous fluids. Because cruise ships visit places where tourists frequently find themselves exposed to non-sterile water with unfamiliar germs, diarrhea and vomiting, which lead to dehydration, are common complaints and ship sick bays are accustomed to dealing with them.

But no, the nightmare was just beginning for the Cortes family. Still in their pajamas, they were ordered off the boat. Given just ten minutes to pack, they found themselves off the ship in their nightclothes and without their passports, lost in an unfamiliar city at an unfriendly hour.

They made their way to the U.S. Embassy but had to fork out $455 for emergency passports. They spent another $650 on plane tickets back to Florida. Their emergency room bill was $600 to discover the baby wasn't dehydrated at all. All she had was a cold! The Cortes family spent more than $3,000 on their vacation from hell.

And remember, all this was because of a misdiagnosis by the ship's doctor.

Royal Caribbean offered tickets for a "replacement" cruise but will not pay for the passports or tickets home because the family didn't have trip insurance. Well, like I said, I did have trip insurance and it hasn't done me any good so far. But, trip insurance or no, Royal Caribbean's doctor made a mistake and that's why the cruise line should give the Corteses a refund. Yes, the doctor erred on the side of caution for the sake of the baby. Nevertheless, it was a mistake for which the cruise line should take responsibility.

Who could imagine the the Cortes family would ever dare to use those replacement tickets?

I know that you couldn't drag me onto another Royal Caribbean ship at this point.