TAMPA, Fla. (WSVN) — A dream cruise vacation for a Florida couple has turned into a nightmare as they find themselves stranded in a Mexican hospital with no way to return home.
Natalia Cuesta and her girlfriend Ashley Gibson embarked on a Carnival Cruise from the Port of Tampa on Sept. 11, but an unexpected pit stop took a devastating turn.
On Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line informed the family that Cuesta and Gibson had never re-boarded the ship. Hours later, it was revealed that the couple had rented scooters from a third party in Mexico and were involved in a hit-and-run incident that left them hospitalized.
Maria Ortega, Cuesta’s mother, expressed her anguish.
“My daughter had a broken arm, her bones sticking out, and they just wrapped it up because she had no insurance,” she stated.
Gibson, on the other hand, has been facing a dire situation with medical complications related to her foot.
“They’ve been trying to operate on her foot and they keep telling her that it’s not a surgery but it’s a surgery to clean her foot,” Ortega explained.
The heart-wrenching predicament is compounded by the fact that the couple cannot fly home without their passports.
Although Carnival Cruises does not require passports for some trips, it is strongly encouraged. To make matters worse, Ortega said the hospital is demanding an exorbitant $10,000 to $20,000 for Gibson’s release.
Desperate for a solution, Ortega is pleading with the U.S. Embassy for assistance to facilitate their return to the United States.
“I need my babies home; please help me get them home,” she implored.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that they are in contact with the family to aid in securing the necessary travel documents and other required items for their safe return to Florida.
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