PORT MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) — An expecting mother is speaking out days after she and her family were not allowed to board a Disney cruise at PortMiami because of a corporate policy involving pregnant women.
Twenty-two-year-old Emily Jackson spoke to 7News via Skype to share her side of the story.
She said she was excited about going on what promised to be a dream vacation last week, but the experience quickly turned into a nightmare.
“From the time we walked in the door, my dad made the comment that they were treating us like second-class citizens,” she said. “They were treating us like trash.”
The nine travelers arrived at PortMiami for their cruise, but they were told they could not board because she’s 25 weeks pregnant.
“Disney’s police is 24 weeks,” said Jackson.
Indeed, Disney Cruise Line’s website states, “Women who have entered their 24th week of pregnancy as of their embarkation date or who will enter their 24th week of pregnancy during the cruise will be refused passage due to safety concerns. Neither a doctor’s medical statement nor a waiver of liability will be accepted.”
But Jackson claims she did not take issue with the policy.
“I understand that they have to enforce their policy,” she said. “I wasn’t trying to change their policy. I had accepted, once I found that, yes, I was too far [along] for their policy. I was just floored by how they treated us after that point.”
While her father spoke with Disney representatives about getting their luggage back, which was already on the ship, she said he became impatient and asked, “Can we hurry up?” That’s when they said “armed guards” approached the family.
Cellphone video captured the family being escorted off the premises by an armed Miami-Dade Police officer who asked them to wait outside.
Jackson documented the entire ordeal and posted it on YouTube.
She said she was especially heartbroken by her child’s reaction. “My daughter kept saying, ‘See Mickey and Minnie,’ and she didn’t understand why we weren’t going where everyone else was going and we were taking her outside,” she said.
Her husband, Kyle Jackson, said he was also bothered by how his loved ones were treated. “[I have a] big issue with bringing out the guard. That’s not necessary for people who are not causing harm or damaging things, throwing things across the room,” he said. “That’s just unacceptable behavior on their part.”
Disney Cruise Line spokesperson Cynthia Martinez released a statement that reads, “While we understand the guests’ disappointment with not being able to board the ship, for health and safety reasons, 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. 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.”
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