Royal Caribbean tonight publicly apologised for preventing a five-week pregnant woman and her family from boarding Oasis of the Seas for a seven-day cruise.
Canadian Michelle Ligori, her husband and two children were stopped from embarking on the ship in Fort Lauderdale because she was not carrying a doctor’s note. They then had to spend hundreds of dollars more on extra flights to join the cruise.
Ms Ligori – who hadn’t even seen her own doctor after confirming her pregnancy with a test at home – said: ‘The girl at the counter said, “Any chance you’re pregnant?” and I was taken off guard and said, “Yes, I found out a few days before we left” and she said, “Do you have a note?”. She told us you cannot get on without a note.’
They were still refused boarding after arranging for a doctor in their home town of Ontario to say there was no reason for her not to travel. Mrs Ligori saw a doctor in Florida but by then the ship had sailed and the family had to fly to the Bahamas to join the cruise two days in.
Royal Caribbean gave them a $250 credit towards a future cruise.
On its website, it says it cannot accept guests in their 24th week of pregnancy and adds: ‘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.’
In a statement tonight, Royal Caribbean said: ‘We have apologised to Ms Ligori and her family for their unfortunate experience. It should not have happened. Our policies are designed to safeguard the health of women in much later stages of pregnancy while also respecting the privacy of our guests. Clearly, in this instance, our system did not work the way it was intended, and we are currently reviewing these policies to make sure we do a better job with our guests in the future.’
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