Ukrainians were not allowed on a Royal Caribbean cruise, citing 'sanctions' against their homeland
An employee of Royal Caribbean International did not let a family of Ukrainians with a six-month-old child on board the cruise ship. The representative of a large company could not clearly explain the reason for this decision, the YouTube channel reports.The Bureau".
Florida resident Grigory Rubshtein told the channel that his wife was taken off the cruise ship right in the terminal. It is worth noting that the spouses are from Ukraine. In a short video that Gregory managed to shoot, you can see how a representative of the Royal Caribbean company asks Gregory's wife about her green card, about her origin. The spouses answer that they are citizens of Israel, that they have been living in the USA for 3 years. Hryhoriy tried to explain to the company representative that his wife had not been in Ukraine for more than 5 years.
"You've seen our green cards, our paperwork - what else do you need to get us on board?" Grigory asks the representative of the company in the video.
Gregory says that he filmed this recording in the terminal right before boarding. His family has never been on a cruise before. They bought the tickets and collected all the indicated documents. Gregory emphasizes that they prepared in advance all the documents that the family had to present.
"Everything was fine. They let me go on a cruise on an Israeli passport, by rights, and they asked my wife where she was from, and they started asking for some kind of Real ID. That is, it can be based on a Travel License or based on Florida residency. We didn’t have this, because there wasn’t such a requirement,” Grigory says. – I asked why we should present this document. The representative of the company said that because Ukraine is now under sanctions.”
Hryhoriy asked the company employee several times whether she was sure about the sanctions against Ukraine. She very confidently answered that yes, there are sanctions, and asked for proof that Grigory's wife lives in America, and not “under sanctions” Ukraine.
“She said she was talking to their head of Royal Caribbean. I don’t really believe in it, but she said so, ”says Gregory.
From the documents Grigory's wife had a green card and a passport of Israel and Ukraine. Hryhoriy says that the Ukrainian passport was written where it was received - in Zaporozhye, and not in the territory that could somehow fall under sanctions.
Grigory says that after his family went through a check-in 2 weeks ago, they sent him a document stating that Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk fall under some kind of sanctions list. Gregory sent the companies green cards and Israeli passports in response, wrote that they were permanent residents of the United States.
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“And this should not apply to us at all. If it was somehow relevant at all, then they would have to write about additional documents. They sent us that they received all the documents. They didn't ask for anything else. We went to the terminal without second thoughts.” says Gregory.
Gregory says that they went on a trip with a six-month-old child, and it was very disappointing to make such a journey in vain. He said he wasn't ready to leave until he spoke to someone more senior. A spokeswoman for the company said she was the highest-ranking employee there. For two hours, Grigory tried to prove his case, but the company representative ignored his requests to connect him with the management. The sheriff who arrived at the scene, as Grigory says, did not interfere in this matter. The family was asked to leave the terminal.
“My wife has a green card, we got it 2 months ago. They have already checked that we live in the United States and the address and that’s all,” Grigory says.
Grigory asked the representative of the company to give him the reason for the refusal in writing. He wanted to see the reason for the refusal in an official format.
“It's good that I made a video recording - it would have been so hard to prove what she said that Ukraine was under sanctions. I just wanted to see it officially, but she did not provide any paper. The only piece of paper they gave us was that our cruise was canceled due to the fact that we do not have the necessary documents,” Grigory says.
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“Now I will look for a lawyer, a lawyer. I have never had such situations, such experience in my life. I'd like to hear an official response from Royal Caribbean. I called them many times, tried to contact them. They replied that only after the ship returned from the cruise, they would talk to us. So far, they are not even ready to return the money,” Grigory says.
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