Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
cookingmom

A Cautionary Tale

Recommended Posts

Our dear friends have been cruising with Celebrity and tempting us to give it a try. We’ve been hesitant to take the plunge, fairly sure that HAL is the right fit for us. I would like to share their recent experience while on a holiday cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette. Having a wonderful cruise, it was their last port of call. They were anticipating 3 glorious sea days and a festive NYE celebration that evening, when their lives were changed forever. This happy, multigenerational group of 8 were leaving a beach on St Kitts via a taxi van. On their way back to the ship, the taxi van was hit by a taxi cab that hydroplaned into them. All are alive, thanks to a guardrail and God. Three of the eight had serious injuries, requiring evacuation via air ambulance to HSS in NYC.
I would like to share a few lessons I’ve learned after speaking with my bruised, battered and traumatized friends. Firstly, don’t get into a vehicle that has been converted from standard seating to makeshift benches. In the event of a crash, there will be absolutely no protection from the forces of the impact. Naturally, only travel in vehicles with working seatbelts. The only seatbelts on this van were for the driver and the passenger sitting in the jump seat in the front. Without them, they would have been ejected through the shattered windshield. Really investigate the terms of your travel protection policies. You could find out the hard way that you really aren’t fully covered in the case of true need.

The medical care available on St Kitts was beyond meager and utterly deplorable. Thankfully, they all survived.

The ship was notified of the accident and when the victim with the least serious injuries arrived back at the dock to collect their belongings, she was met at the gangplank with their nine filled suitcases and the contents of the safes from the 3 rooms.

At no time while the family was struggling to make arrangements for temporary hotel lodging, rebooking flights, and trying to arrange for the evacuation of those seriously injured, were they contacted by Celebrity and offered assistance. BTW, there were 2 children in this family group. It is now five days since the accident, two passengers remain in the hospital following extensive orthopedic surgery, the other six are convalescing at home, and Celebrity Cruises has yet to contact them. Get well wishes might be in order. 
I hope that HAL would have handled things a bit differently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry to hear of your friends’ accident and injuries.  I wish them a speedy recovery and hope they can put this all behind them as soon as possible.  🌻🌷

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goodness. Lives changed in a blink of an eye.I'm so sorry to hear about their plight.

They were leaving the beach and taking a taxi van back to the ship. I assume they were not on a Celebrity paid tour. I wonder what if anything, the cruise company's responsibilities would be? So, no one who was injured boarded the ship after the accident? I would imagine the least they could have done is offer to assist folks getting in touch with various transfers etc. 

Thank you for sharing the hazards of the crazy transportation in other countries. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ask this in all seriousness.  What exactly was the cruise line was supposed to do?  Cruise lines are contracted with ship agents in each port who are supposed to assist with this sort of thing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this was a private excursion what was the cruise line to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

I ask this in all seriousness.  What exactly was the cruise line was supposed to do?  Cruise lines are contracted with ship agents in each port who are supposed to assist with this sort of thing.  

 

I think it would be appropriate to show at least one iota of concern for people who were on your cruise ship.....Why does it only have to do with "they can't sue us", why not just be genuine human beings?

 

L.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear about your friends' misfortune.  You said "You could find out the hard way that you really aren’t fully covered in the case of true need."  Are you saying they had trip insurance but it didn't cover them?

 

Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever been on a tour vehicle in the Caribbean that had seat belts.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three years ago my mom passed away while we were on a South American cruise with Hal. My husband was at Machu Picchu(not on a HAL excursion) The supervisor of customer service was a gem. She helped me get a message to the company to tell him to stay at the airport in Lima instead of coming back to the ship. They got me a transfer from the ship to the airport. They made our airplane reservations to get back. It was at our expense but, we had insurance. They were very kind and I appreciated everything they did for me. I realize this was not an accident but, they really went all out to help me. I would hope it would be the same if it were an accident situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Roz said:

I'm sorry to hear about your friends' misfortune.  You said "You could find out the hard way that you really aren’t fully covered in the case of true need."  Are you saying they had trip insurance but it didn't cover them?

 

Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever been on a tour vehicle in the Caribbean that had seat belts.  

 

I've been in some of those "taxis" that are benches in the back of a pickup truck. They terrify me, but that's often all you can get. 

 

It sound to me like they didn't have complete trip insurance, or maybe didn't have any. Some of the cruiseline policies are just for cancellation and people think that's all they need. A good policy will have a number you can call for assistance, although it may only be things that can be done over the phone, like making travel arrangements. 

 

You can't expect much help from the ship when you're off the ship. I was injured falling off a floatplane dock on a ship's tour. My own klutziness. The tour company was WONDERFUL. HAL's tour office did NOTHING. Didn't even get me a wheelchair to get back on the ship, despite the fact that the tour company called them. I lost my glasses in the water. I asked the tour office to contact the vendor to see if they had been found. I had to limp down there three times before they even did that. The tour company did find my glasses and sent them back to me because I contacted them directly. They hadn't heard a thing from HAL. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel there should be at least one person who is responsible for compassionate assistance and liaison responsibilities.  A Staff Chaplain, for example, would have that training or at least be aware of what needs or should be done in such circumstances.  Those without experience, training, or responsibility would have difficulty looking beyond their immediate roles to react appropriately.  Good will would pay far more dividends than the cost of that salary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There's something not right here. Perhaps a detail is left out in the retelling of what happened. 

After the accident, the ship was contacted by someone (port agent via St Kitts police ? ). Clearly it was relayed to the ship that the family would need to leave the cruise in St Kitts because of the medical emergency, and so ship's staff packed the family's belongings and sent them down to the family member on the dock. This was done as a courtesy and undoubtedly saved much time, so the family could be on their way. 

 

There is a lot that goes behind the scenes when passengers need to disembark early in a foreign country, especially when it's a medical emergency. I cannot imagine Celebrity, nor the port agent, not helping in some way with ground arrangements, if asked. 

 

I wish everyone in the family a speedy and full recovery.

Edited by Boatdrill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad about this terrible accident!

I pray for a speedy recovery and so grateful they survived!

Denise😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, cookingmom said:

Get well wishes might be in order. 

Now, how would that have helped or made things better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The medical care available on St Kitts was beyond meager and utterly deplorable."  -  Unfortunately this is what a large portion of the world is faced with, and something we all need to understand when we travel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I tried a Google to look up this accident.  Couldn't find it, but there does appear to be quite a few vehicle accidents in St. Kitts where many tourist have died.  :(    Wishing your friends a speedy recovery.  

Edited by Iamthesea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Boatdrill said:

There's something not right here. Perhaps a detail is left out in the retelling of what happened. 

After the accident, the ship was contacted by someone (port agent via St Kitts police ? ). Clearly it was relayed to the ship that the family would need to leave the cruise in St Kitts because of the medical emergency, and so ship's staff packed the family's belongings and sent them down to the family member on the dock. 

 

Exactly.  That's the problem with stories that are not told first hand.  Details are left out.  And because this involves a rival cruise line, people automatically want to believe Celebrity was negligent.  Did these people even have working cell phones in St Kitts?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of natives in the Caribbean drive like maniacs.

One of the scariest rides I have ever been on was on a HAL ship excursion in Saint Lucia. We were in a small bus going to the top of a mountain. The driver drove like a madman. It was like being in a roller coaster, but not as safe. I am surprised there aren't more serious accidents in these places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

I agree with a previous post.  Ideally, it would be nice to have one person on the ship in charge of assisting with these unexpected events which happen quite regularly on ships.  More often than we think.

 

Ideally, the people had or should have had travel insurance. Travel insurance companies typically have an emergency concierge service.  Someone from the ship should have assisted the family in making contact with the emergency service from the Travel insurance company and also to make sure that the port agent was on top of the situation.  In a case like this, they needed assistance in finding a hotel and travel back.  It doesn't matter whether they were on a cruise ship sponsored excursion or not. 

Edited by vmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a bit surprised by this as I have seen a few medical emergencies whether they were on a tour (private or ship sponsored) or on the ship and the ship provided good support and assistance.

 

In fact, in a few instances they were roll call members and, in those cases, crew informed me as to their progress (at their request and with their permission) so I could let others on the roll call know.

 

I remember one email in particular from the husband of one hospitalized roll call member and he spoke ever so highly of the assistance they had been given.

 

I hope this remains the case on all cruise ships.  It means a lot to those affected.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like someone else said, something is missing here. There had to be communication in order for the ship to know to pack for everyone in the party. How else did they know to pack to begin with, and for who?  Also, when the gal went to pick up the luggage, did she ask for any assistance?   Sorry but without hearing from the actual parties, I’m afraid we don’t know what assistance was offered.

 

In my experience, Celebrity is an excellent cruise line with service equal or better than HAL, so I have a hard time believing they just dumped all their belongings with no care about their welfare. 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I've been in some of those "taxis" that are benches in the back of a pickup truck. They terrify me, but that's often all you can get. 

 

It sound to me like they didn't have complete trip insurance, or maybe didn't have any. Some of the cruiseline policies are just for cancellation and people think that's all they need. A good policy will have a number you can call for assistance, although it may only be things that can be done over the phone, like making travel arrangements. 

 

You can't expect much help from the ship when you're off the ship. I was injured falling off a floatplane dock on a ship's tour. My own klutziness. The tour company was WONDERFUL. HAL's tour office did NOTHING. Didn't even get me a wheelchair to get back on the ship, despite the fact that the tour company called them. I lost my glasses in the water. I asked the tour office to contact the vendor to see if they had been found. I had to limp down there three times before they even did that. The tour company did find my glasses and sent them back to me because I contacted them directly. They hadn't heard a thing from HAL. 

 

Did your glasses float? How did they find them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com June 2020
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...