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Royal Caribbean International Statement

The Cortes family claims that they were kicked off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and left stranded in the Bahamas after their 7-month-old child became sick.

You can watch their side of the story, Tuesday morning on "FOX & Friends."

In response, Royal Caribbean International released the following statement:

While Royal Caribbean strives to provide all guests with exceptional vacations, our first priority is always the health and well-being of those on our ships.

At 7:30 p.m., April 22, the parents of seven-month-old Zoe Cortes telephoned the Guest Relations Desk onboard Majesty of the Seas, to ask about bringing their daughter to the ship’s Medical Facility, because of their concerns regarding her health. The parents were urged to bring Zoe to the Medical Facility as soon as possible.

At 11:20 p.m. that evening, the parents brought the infant to the Medical Facility. Upon examining Zoe, the onboard medical team learned she was experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Because of this, and her young age, the onboard medical team was concerned she might also be experiencing some level of dehydration. Again, because of her young age, the onboard medical team felt strongly that Zoe needed an additional medical evaluation by a pediatrician at a land-based hospital. The parents were also told that the ship would be at the company’s private island in the Bahamas the next day, where there is no land-based hospital. All of these issues were explained to Zoe’s parents, who agreed to her departure from the ship.

At approximately 11:45 p.m., an ambulance was ordered to take Zoe to Doctor’s Hospital in Nassau, where the ship was docked at that time. Because the ship was scheduled to depart Nassau shortly thereafter, the ship’s staff offered to assist Zoe’s parents if one of them would like to remain onboard and care for their two other children, while the other parent escorted Zoe to the hospital. The parents declined that offer and decided the entire family would escort Zoe to the hospital. The ship’s staff then asked the family to gather their belongings to go ashore.

Royal Caribbean assigned a Guest Care specialist to contact the Cortes family in Nassau, to offer support and assistance, which included complimentary hotel accommodations in Nassau. The parents were also instructed to contact Royal Caribbean’s Corporate Guest Relations staff to coordinate a resolution to the unused portion of their cruise.

Prior to going to the media on April 25, Mr. and Mrs. Cortes had not contacted the company’s Corporate Guest Relations staff. Instead, that day, the Guest Relations staff pro-actively contacted Mr. and Mrs. Cortes to explain the details of the credit they were to receive for the unused portion of their cruise.

Despite the company’s strong disagreement with the manner in which the Cortes family's situation has been recounted in the media, as a gesture of good will, Royal Caribbean is providing the Cortes family with a refund of its cruise fare and reimbursement for its flights home.

Unfortunately, on October 27, 2007, while booking their cruise, the Cortes family declined to purchase travel insurance, which would have compensated them for expenses related to this matter. Similarly, Royal Caribbean strongly recommends that all of its guests travel with passports.

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