Disney Cruise Kicks Sick Infant Out To Fleabag Motel ‘For Her Safety’

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Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 7.50.38 AMOn January 1, the minimum age for babies traveling on a Disney cruise line went up from 12 weeks to six months. A family who boarded a ship on December 30 with their four-month old was forced off the ship, mid-route, when their child began spitting up and saw the ship’s doctor. Leave it to Disney to put covering its own ass before the actual safety of an infant.

The family boarded the Disney cruise ship out of Miami as part of a bucket list wish for an ailing in-law who is sick with cancer and wanted to get the whole family together. Dave Berg, the child’s grandfather, told the local news station says everything was going great until the baby started spitting up three days into the trip and went to see the ship’s doctor. The doctor gave her some medicine for sea sickness and a few hours later called the baby’s mother, Jennifer Moak, to say they wanted to do a follow-up on the baby.  Only, they didn’t do a follow-up, instead they informed the family they would have to get off the ship. From WPTV:

“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,” Moak said Monday.

The family said the medical staff cited the baby’s age and need for safety as reasons they could not keep her onboard.

So what does Disney think is safer for the baby than staying on the ship for the duration of the cruise? Disembarking in Nassau, having to beg for a car seat and traveling to what the parents described as a “flea-bag motel” that could not provide a crib for the infant, who was forced to co-sleep with parents. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point, but frankly, Disney claims to provide accommodations when they make passengers disembark for safety, and for the $1,000 a night the family was paying to be on the cruise, I’m sure Disney could have afforded an actual hotel that has amenities like cribs.

“The family said Disney only offered to pay for the hotel and flights home after much back-and-forth. A port agent who was supposed to help with arrangements failed to connect with the family, Berg said, and after they returned home, he realized they’d been charged gratuities for three nights they were not on the ship.

Moak said her daughter was checked out at a Bahamian hospital, where staff said the baby just had gas. The bill was $1,200, Berg said.”

Obviously, the problem was allowing the parents to book the trip in the first place when the age requirements were changing. When the family was booking the trip, they claim that a representative from the company “said all parents who had existing reservations would not be affected.”

Not sure that I would be comfortable taking a four-month-old on a cruise, but that’s neither here nor there. If the family was told their reservation would still be honored even though the age requirements were changing mid-trip, this whole situation is just maddening. The family is actually being really cool about it; they say if their situation leaving the ship didn’t seem more dangerous than actually staying on, they would have had no problem with it:

“I’m happy that nothing happened that’s going to permanently affect my family, but unhappy that Disney feels that they owe us nothing,” Moak said. “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.”

(photo: WPTV)