A family that traveled to the Bahamas on a Disney Cruise was forced to leave the ship while docked in Nassau because its 4-month-old daughter was reportedly too young.
Dave Berg, of Naples, Florida, boarded the ship with 31 family members on Dec. 30 and embarked on a vacation to the Bahamas. The trip was part of the family’s attempt to honor the bucket list of Berg’s mother-in-law, who has cancer.
Two days later, Berg’s infant granddaughter began spitting up while on the ship. Her mother, Jennifer Moak, brought her to the ship’s onboard doctor for a checkup and was given medicine for seasickness. Later that day, Moak’s husband got a call from the doctor’s office requesting another checkup.
Upon arriving to the office, the Moak family discovered there was no second checkup. Officials called the family members there to request they leave the ship.
“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 told Naples Daily News.
Disney Cruise Lines, according to Fox News, recently updated its infant travel policy to state that as of Jan. 1, the day the Moak family was kicked off the ship, no children under the age of 6 months would be allowed to travel on Disney cruises. The company reportedly said it would honor any reservations made before the policy was changed, but Moak and her family were apparently an exception.
“I know that they thought that it was safer for her to be off the ship, and it could have been, if the situation was dealt with in the right way,” Moak said. “Her safety is my No. 1 priority, and they were saying her safety was their No. 1 priority, so we should have all been on the same page.”
The family left the ship while it was docked in Nassau, and expected Disney to cover accommodations. But the cruise line only paid for what Berg described as a “fleabag motel” and flights back to Florida. A port agent who was allegedly supposed to assist in arrangements after they disembarked never connected with them. The family was also charged gratuity fees for the rest of the trip.
“No one would care if they took us off the ship and we were in complete safety in comparable accommodations and brought home,” Berg said. “They were deceitful about it. No one can believe that Disney would send a 4-month-old baby off into the dark in a foreign country that they say in their brochures is dangerous.”
Disney declined to comment specifically on the incident, citing medical privacy reasons. Dan Moak, Jennifer’s husband, said all he and his family want is an apology and for the company to right the wrong.
“I’m happy that nothing happened that’s going to permanently affect my family, but unhappy that Disney feels that they owe us nothing,” he 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.”