A pregnant mother and her family had their vacation hopes dashed when they were not allowed to board their Disney cruise. Emily Jackson was told that she could not board the Disney cruise because she was 25 weeks pregnant. Jackson and her family were escorted from the ticketing area by an armed guard, and had to wait outside for two hours while their luggage was removed from the ship.
Jackson posted a video on YouTube which detailed the ordeal. She and her family, which consisted of ten people, including her father, were set to board the Disney cruise and had flown all the way to Miami from Missouri to go on their vacation. However, it was not until the family reached the check-in desk that they were informed Jackson could not board due to her pregnancy.
The family was told to leave the area and that their luggage would be retrieved from the boat for them. However, when Emily’s father raised his voice in concern over the time it was taking to get the luggage off the ship, an armed guard began escorting the family from the area, telling them they had to wait outside. As the video shows, the armed guard was carrying what appeared to be an AR-15.
“They sent out guys with AR-15s when my dad was talking to them about not being able to get on,” Emily Jackson says in her uploaded video, “All he said to them was ‘Can we hurry up?’ and they sent out AR-15 guys.” The video shows Emily and the rest of her family members waiting outside. In another video posted the next day, Emily continued to vent her frustration, saying “The fact that they felt they needed AR-15s to escort us out when they knew we had no weapons because we had been through security.” Jackson told Cosmopolitan, “In today’s world with so many shootings, it’s like [unnerving] to have a guy with a big gun standing next to your kids, especially when you don’t know their intentions or what’s going on.”
Jackson was cleared by her doctor to travel despite being 25 weeks pregnant, however, Disney Cruise Lines have a policy that they will not let women who are more than 24 weeks pregnant travel on their ships. In a statement released to Fox News by the company, they stated: “our policy does not allow women who have reached the 24th week of pregnancy to travel, which is consistent with other cruise lines and is noted on our website and in travel documents our guests receive before sailing.” Cynthia Martinez, the spokesperson for Disney Cruise Line who spoke to Fox News, also stated: “The Miami-Dade Police Department is responsible for security at the port and handled the situation as they felt appropriate given the guest’s actions.”
A statement on the Disney Cruise Line website’s FAQ page reads “Neither a doctor’s medical statement nor a waiver of liability will be accepted. In addition, Disney Cruise Line cannot be held responsible or liable for any complications relating to pregnancy at any stage.” Jackson said in the footage that she “felt so bad because [she] felt like it was [her] fault that everybody couldn’t go.” Jackson was also upset that two children under the age of two had to wait outside in the heat. She told Miami’s WPLg Local 10 News “we then had to take both babies outside, wait almost two hours for our luggage, outside in the heat, and both babies are red-faced.”
Disney Cruise Line has promised to refund the payment for the trip. However, as of April 3rd, the family had not yet received payment. Their other travel expenses will not be refunded though. Jackson told Cosmopolitan, “Our goal was not to get a refund though. I mean, yes, it’s nice, but I just hope they fix that specific port [in Miami]. When you book a Disney cruise you expect to be treated with happiness and smiles.” She added that she was happy her kids are young enough that they might not remember the bad experience, but that it was “traumatic” for her and her husband.
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