Family asked to leave Disney Cruise ship due to sick 4-month-old baby


A 4-month-old baby and her parents were asked to leave a Disney Cruise ship and disembark in the Bahamas. The family was part of a larger family group of 31 people, traveling as part of a “bucket list” cruise for the baby’s great-grandmother, who has cancer. The baby began spitting up while on the cruise and her mother, Jennifer Moak, took her to the doctor on board, where she was given medicine for seasickness. Several hours later, the family received a phone call from the medical office, saying another checkup was needed. The family says they were then asked to leave the ship. Moak said, “He said because of her age, she wasn’t supposed to be on the ship and that they would be – I think the word that he used was ‘terminating’ our stay on the ship.” They said the medical staff said because of the baby’s age and need for safety, she would have to be taken off. Previously, babies had to be 12 weeks old to sail with Disney Cruise Line, but the policy changed January 1 to 6 months old. The Moaks had a reservation before the policy change, so their reservation was not to have been affected. The Moaks and Jennifer’s father, Dave Berg, packed to leave. They claim that they expected Disney would take care of their hotel accommodations and flights home, but that they felt unsafe once they were off the ship. Moak said, “I know that they thought it was safer for her to be off the ship, and it could have been, if the situation was dealt with in the right way. Her safety is my No. 1 priority, and they were saying her safety was their No. 1 priority, so we should have all been on the same page.” She says she had to “plead” for a car seat for the baby for the taxi to the hotel, described by Berg as a “fleabag motel.” There was no baby bed, so she slept in the bed between her parents, which Moak says she knows can be dangerous. Disney eventually did pay for the hotel and the family’s flights home, after much discussion. A port agent was assigned to help them, but failed to get in contact with the family. Berg also said that they were charged gratuities for the three nights they weren’t on the ship. The baby was taken to a Bahamian hospital and diagnosed with gas; the bill was $1,200. Berg said, “No one would care if they took us off the ship and we were in complete safety in comparable accommodations and brought home. 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 in dangerous.” Disney Cruise Line is unable to comment because of medical privacy. The official policy when guests must disembark is that a port agent is to help them with the process. The representative did say, “When a decision is made for medical reasons, a guest’s age and overall condition might play a factor if medical personnel on board do not feel they are equipped to handle the guest.” The family says they want Disney Cruise Line to apologize and “possibly find some way to make it up to them.” Moak said, “I’m happy that nothing happened that’s going to permanently affect my family, but unhappy that Disney feels they owe us nothing. I will never be able to have the experience that I should have had with my family. My grandma and grandpa are both very ill and this was our only trip together, and that makes me very sad.” News source: Orlando Sentinel

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