Cruise Line Denied Cruise Ship Passenger Boarding Due to Pregnancy
Was this a legitimate customer complaint or concern for passenger safety? Michelle Ligori denied boarding Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship February 8, 2014.
One of the top travel FAQs from Royal Caribbean Cruises website is,
Q: "Can I cruise if I am pregnant?"
A: "Royal Caribbean International cannot accept guests who will have entered their 24th week of pregnancy by the beginning of, or at any time during the cruise or cruisetour. A physician's "Fit to Travel" note is required prior to sailing, stating how far along (in weeks) your pregnancy will be at the beginning of the cruise and confirming that you are in good health and not experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. The "Fit to Travel" note should be faxed to the Access Department at 1-954-628-9622. Please contact us at 1-866-592-7225 or at email@example.com if you have already booked a cruise or cruisetour and do not meet this requirement."
February 8 2014, Michelle Ligori, her husband Frank and their two sons, began telling their story to the media after she was denied permission to board Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines,"Oasis of the Seas." During the standard pre-board check in, a customer service clerk asked her if she was pregnant. At the time Ligori had recently found out she was less than two months into her term and she replied, "Yes."
The events that followed the Ligori family were, "nearly two days of their cruise lost and an around and additional $1,500 travel expenses." Their long-awaited family vacation became a "disaster" and led Michelle Ligori on a crusade to warn other women about the ordeal and question if she would travel with Royal Caribbean in the future. Explaining that Royal Caribbean was reviewing its policies and would consider further discussions with their family about their experiences.
After the experience that began with the clerks question about her condition and that they needed a doctors note that clearly stated she was in good condition for travel. She reached out to an on-call physician who sent the cruise line a note stating that Ligori’s condition sounded stable. Because the note was not based on an in-person consultation the staff at Royal Caribbean could not accept the document.
Ligori then went to a local hospital where she successfully obtained the doctor’s document but returned after the cruise ship had left. Royal Caribbean said it would honor the family’s tickets if they wanted to go on a cruise set to leave the following day provided space was available. Ligori and her husband instead chose to catch the ship at it's first port of call and flew the next day to the Bahamas. Where they succeeded in catching, "Oasis of the Seas" and boarded to continue the remainder of the cruise.
It is very sad that she went on to have a miscarriage in March. That said, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has unjustly been the focus of rage over this incident. The fact that this cruise ship passenger had a miscarriage, fortifies Royal Caribbean's policy on the pregnacy issue and the cruise line's dedication to passenger safety. Had this woman had a miscarriage on the cruise, we would be hearing an entirely different war drum being beat by the anti-cruise industry sector of the web.
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