American woman with her husband landed from a cruise liner in Mexico due to illness
Carol Palk suffered from severe stomach pains - bleeding from an ulcer - as she shook in the back of a taxi for five hours in a row across the dangerous Mexican state. Carol and her husband were on their way to the airport to catch a plane and finally return to the United States, from where they took a Royal Caribbean cruise a few days ago.
Neither Carol nor her husband Bertram spoke Spanish, so they could not even communicate with the taxi driver - they had to show him my plane tickets, writes USA Today. A couple of hours before that, the crew literally threw the crew of a cruise liner onto the shore of a foreign country, since the ship did not have the opportunity to treat its ulcer.
79-year-old Palk from Whippany, NJ, sailed on the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean Cruises. Together with her husband she climbed aboard, and the ship departed from Miami. A seven-day cruise with stops at ports in the western Caribbean Sea was the sixteenth for the couple.
The crew followed the company policy.
“Our actions are completely dependent on the condition and needs of our passengers,” said Owen Torres, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises. "In this case, the ship's doctor and the medical team first treated the guest on board, but her condition required urgent medical attention, which could only be provided in a hospital."
During the trip, Palk noticed blood in her stool - a sign of internal bleeding. She consulted a doctor on the ship and received a shocking response. The doctor said that he was monitoring her analyzes, and if a certain indicator dropped, he would have to remove her from the ship.
That is exactly what happened. The pair were told to pack in order to get off at the next port of call. The ship sailed from the dock in Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico 11 January, just two days before the planned return to Miami. Spouse couple remained on the shore.
“I just didn't know what would happen to me or my wife,” said 82-year-old Bertram Palk.
Cruelty abuses on the cruise line do not surprise Jim Walker, a maritime lawyer with an office in Miami. Many cruise liners are registered in foreign countries, as well as Allure of Sea (check-in in the Bahamas), so passengers are on "no man's land" aboard some of these vessels.
“From a legal point of view, there is little people can do in such cases,” Walker said. "If the couple goes to court, they will have to prove injury or negligence."
Instead of going to the hospital, the Palk family decided to return to the United States. The ship's staff arranged a $ 600 taxi to Cancun and two flights: from Cancun to Mexico City and from Mexico City to Miami for a total of $ 1039. The couple had to pay $ 74 to enter Mexico. Total 3400 - out of pocket.
The trip took grueling 24 hours that were so intense that Carol Palk decided to write an improvised testament during one of the flights.
Ron Franzioli, the mayor of Whippany and a family friend, has been desperate to contact his friends all this time.
“The way Royal Caribbean handled the situation was a complete disaster,” Franzioli said. "I haven't slept all night trying to talk to them."
Spouses did not know what to do in a foreign country. They do not speak Spanish and did not know where to turn. The United States has an embassy in Mexico City, 9 consulates general and consular offices. There are consular agencies in 9 miles from Mexico City International Airport and Cancun, but the couple were not going to call them.
“When a US citizen needs help overseas, the department provides all the consular assistance needed,” said State Department spokeswoman Marlo Cross-Durrant. She did not comment on the Palk family situation.
The couple only felt relieved when they returned to New Jersey on the morning of January 12, the day before their scheduled return from their cruise to Miami. The doctor told Carol that everything would be fine and the couple returned to their daily lives. But they want Royal Caribbean to apologize.
“We don't want money. All we want is to hear “sorry” from them, ”said Bertram Palk. As an apology, the couple received a 20% discount voucher from customer service.
“What makes them think that we want to go on another cruise after all this?” The woman asks rhetorically.
The Palk couples said they were lucky to be able to pay $ 3400 for their return - almost double the cost of the cruise.
“What would happen to a person who didn’t have this money?” Carol Palk asks.
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