Yesterday we blogged about Carol and Bertram Palk, who were left stranded in Mexico by a cruise company while Carol was suffering a medical emergency. This is not the first time a cruise passenger has reported being stranded, but why do cruise companies do this?
Cruise companies, such as Royal Caribbean which kicked the Palks off the ship, generally do not offer extensive medical facilities aboard their ships. Though the ship on which the Palks was sailing, the Allure of the Seas, is equipped to accommodate up to 8,500 passengers, the ship’s onboard medics told the couple that they were not able to handle Carol’s medical emergency. This was ostensibly the reason that the Palks were kicked off the ship.
To be sure, cruise ships cannot be expected to be equipped to handle every kind of medical emergency. But if the Palks had been removed from the ship due to the company’s care for her, the couple would have been given assistance in finding appropriate medical treatment after being removed from the ship. Instead, the couple was told to take a 5 hour taxi ride (within Mexico) to Cancun, then a flight to Mexico City, then a flight home in order to seek treatment.
So, it's not that Royal Caribbean was looking out for Carol’s best interest when it kicked her off the ship. Perhaps the company was looking out for its own bottom line, avoiding the potential liability that could arise if the company had done more to help her.