Rick Rettinger, a veteran paralyzed from the waist down, boarded the Anthem of the Seas ship in Cape Liberty, N.J., on Jan. 6 for a trip to the Caribbean with his wife.
The couple, who reportedly paid $3,000 for the cruise, said they noticed the air conditioning in their room wasn’t working after leaving San Juan, Puerto Rico, and reported it to the maintenance crew.
"We went down every 12 to 14 hours to guest services, and we were very patient with them," Rettinger said to Miami New Times. "We understand, but we’re really suffering. Every time they gave us a time it was going to be fixed, it wasn't."
According to Rettinger, the room reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit at one point.
Rettinger claims they weren’t the only ones suffering from the air conditioning outage. According to the Navy vet, many passengers slept in pool chairs on the ship deck just to escape the sweltering heat in the rooms. However, he was unable to take advantage of the outside seating.
"Even if I could get down from my wheelchair into one of these things, I'd be risking pressure sores and it would take at least two to three people to pick me up to put me back in my wheelchair," he said to the Times.
Rettinger said he was stuck in his room, dealing with the heat for the rest of the trip.
Once the cruise returned to New Jersey, passengers in interior and ocean-facing rooms said they received a $200 credit for the “inconvenience” of the broken air conditioner. Those with balconies received a $300 credit.
In a statement to Fox News, Royal Caribbean confirmed the incident, but said it affected only a small section of the cruise and the issue has since been resolved.
“Regrettably, we had some technical issues with our air conditioning system that intermittently affected a small section of the ship several weeks ago. We always aim to provide our guests with a wonderful cruise experience, and we apologize for falling short,” the statement read.
Passengers who have taken cruises on the Anthem of the Seas since Rettinger’s trip, however, claim that the air conditioning on certain decks is still broken.