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What actually happens if you admit being ill at the port?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by disneywonderfun, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. disneywonderfun

    disneywonderfun New Member

    Just curious. What would happen to somebody who admits at the port (on that piece of paper you sign) that you or a family member is ill? Do they still let you board but quarantine you for 24 hours? Do they give you the option of switching cruises at no cost? Just wondering.

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  3. bound2travel

    bound2travel New Member

    In Sept. 2009, I had a cold just before my cruise. I saw my doctor and was told I did not have the flu, strep throat or anything - just a plain cold. I wrote a statement that I was not contagious and did not have the flu. As I had been coughing, I marked the appropriate box on the medical form at the port. They said they would check me in, but I'd have to have the ship's doctor see me before they would let me board.

    Finally the doctor came out and we went into a small room. I showed her my doctor's note. She took my bp, temperture and listened to my breathing. I was a little below the cut off for the temperature (can't remember what it was). I was allowed to board but was told to go to the medical center if I started feeling worse.

    I asked what if my temperature had been higher. She stated that I would have to go to the local urgent care center for a more detailed exam. Based on their findings, I would have either been allowed to board or not.

    As I was under the limit (and not contagious - I think it was a sinus infection), I was allowed to board. I had to get a new key card though. My main problem was coughing fits, but then I get those even when I am not sick (acid reflux). I can affirm that no one at my dining table was bothered by my coughing and none of them came down with a cold after the cruise (all of us became friends on facebook).

    Anyway, that is what happened when I checked the box. I think it all depends on what the actual symptoms are and such. I felt it was best to tell the truth on the form. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to sail, but I'd rather be honest with them than risk getting quarantined once on the ship.
  4. kcashner

    kcashner New Member

    If you answer anything as a "yes," the affected individual will be seen by one of the nurses who works on the ship. If the nurse says you can't board, you do have the right to request to be seen by the doctor (but don't expect a different verdict). If they say you cannot board, you are out of luck. THey do not quarantine you on the ship; they deny boarding. They used to send you to WDW, but no more. Now you are just out of luck and hope you have travel insurance. It never did make sense to me that people were supposedly too ill to cruise, but healthy enough to go to WDW and expose other people to their illness.

    Yes, you can go to a local urgent care center and get a note from whomever, but the ship's medical staff has the final word. They do not have to accept whatever an urgent care center, ER, or your home doc has said. That said, if you have a chronic medical condition that causes coughing, runny nose, vomiting, or other issues, it does help to have a note from your physician documenting this. For instance, if you vomit or cough due to reflux, that note will probably influence the staff to allow you to cruise since you have documented the situation.

    Careful hand washing, stay healthy, and get on board!
  5. disprincess4ever

    disprincess4ever New Member

    When I was on my cruise I became ill with a cold I had contracted at WDW. I didn't have anything major (ie fever) but I did have a pretty stuffy nose! A decongestant probably would have helped me recover quicker, but I was too afraid to go to the medical center in fear of being quarantined. This being said, there are probably many other people who walk around sick. (Yes I know it's bad but sometimes it's better to suffer than miss your vacation) All I can say is use lots of hand sanitizer! Disney really does try to promote the good hygiene idea.
  6. jahber

    jahber New Member

    I purchased an antihistamine for my daughter at guest services. They also had fever reducer (Tylenol) and a cold remedy (cough/decongestant) for children. The prices were like drug-store prices, so not so bad. They didn't ask any questions about what it was for, just brought out what they had and asked which I wanted.
  7. stmize

    stmize Dvc member since Nov 2010--WDW mom of ds 17 & dd 1

    Take those things with you. I have allergies so I made sure I had Allegra. Cough tablets by robitussin and Benadryl just in case. Didn't need any of it but I had in case I did.
  8. disneywonderfun

    disneywonderfun New Member

    So, if Disney denies boarding, are you due a refund of the cruise fare? I do not really read the terms of the contract closely, but I cannot imagine that DCL would somehow be able to not refund your money if they do not allow boarding.

    Of course, even if the denied boarding and refunded your fare, I am sure you would not be reimbursed travel expenses unless you had travelers insurance.

  9. Bonniec

    Bonniec New Member

    My understanding is no, which is why it's so important to have insurance. I actually went with the insurance through them, even though it's more expensive. Because if someone in our family gets sick and we can't go, and if the insurance denies it, Disney will then credit it fully. They wouldn't do that with another insurance.
  10. lbgraves

    lbgraves <font color=darkcoral>Little Cinderella's Mommy<br

    The fact is but if you can answer yes to the health screening questions the morning of boarding you don't need to be getting on the ship. When DS caught pink eye on day 5 of one cruise the doctor said the ship was like a floating petri dish and whatever is brought onboard spreads rapidly. Not knowing that you are a carrier is one thing. Intentionally boarding with an illness is just wrong. I'm not talking about non-infectious things like allergies or sinus issues.
  11. kcashner

    kcashner New Member

    If DCL denies you boarding due to illness, they owe you nothing. You are the one who got sick. That's the point of trip insurance. They have a responsibility to protect ALL the guests and crew on the ship as far as possible.

    My usual advice--don't lie on the form, but don't go into any detail or elaborate either.
  12. Yokelridesagain

    Yokelridesagain New Member

    I believe the questions on the health form have become simpler than they were in the past. Simply having a cough would not at this point require you to mark "yes" to either of the two questions.

    What they really want to know is if you have gastroenteritis (vomiting/diarrhea) or influenza.
  13. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

    This is listed in all cruise brochures, and in the cruise contract that you have to sign, as "Refusal of Passage" and it clearly notes that not only can they deny you to get onboard in the first place, they can also make you get off the ship at any port. And no refund.
  14. disneywonderfun

    disneywonderfun New Member

    Admittedly, this is just an academic exercise for me, however, I think I will have my wife (a practicing attorney) look at the wording in the contract. I cannot imagine that legally DCL could deny boarding and not be required to substitute an equivalent option covering the same ports of call (or cruise of similar duration) when they subsequently allow boarding.

    Not being a legal expert, I still presume this is a Contract of Carriage. DCL is under certain obligations to provide passage. Whether or not they deem you an illness risk does not, I believe, eliminate their responsibility to act in accordance with such contract (regardless of their wording in the contract itself).

    Anyway, I will post a follow up if my wife offers an opinion.

  15. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 New Member

    When we cruise I bring a small medicine kit for every "just in case" I can think of. Stuff for sinus issues, colds, coughs, upset stomach, motion sickness, pain, fever, etc. I bring some amount of all those things because I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. :thumbsup2
  16. disneywonderfun

    disneywonderfun New Member

    Well, my wife reviewed the Contract of Carriage and basically stated that the wording is fairly standard but unlikely to withstand a legal challenge. Apparently there is a fair amount of case law concerning these types of contracts. I had not noticed, but there are all types of clauses in the DCL contract which appear unlikely to survive any scrutiny. For example, are you aware that DCL does not need to provide us with a seaworthy ship (section 18)? It is in the contract. Or, DCL could provide us with contaminated food/drink and not be liable (also section 18). Oh, DCL declines any responsibility, for example, if a spa worker injurs you in the spa (section 23) since they are independent contractors.

    The reality is that DCL is not in the business of alienating its customers. I am sure they would try to make any situation as reasonable as possible.

    I guess that was the point of my original question. I still have not heard from any first hand account what happened to somebody who was denied passage. Again, I am sure DCL would not want people to show up at the port ill and have them expect DCL to provide them a refund. However, I do wonder what really happens in that circumstance.

  17. kcashner

    kcashner New Member

    I am personally aware of people in past years who were sent to WDW and provided with a free vacation (including park passes and dining plan) when denied boarding. I am also aware that this practice has been discontinued. However, I have only read of (not personally met) anyone who was denied boarding and not refunded in any way. It has appeared on these boards...which while largely accurate do have some "interesting" material.
  18. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

    I'd be willing to bet that while it may not hold up in court, they (DCL) could and would still refuse to allow a sick person to board, and then let it get hashed out later. Trust me, they have way more attorneys than most of us have. Speaking from experience, I had a very legitimate claim once, and there was no way I could afford to act on it, and DCL knew it.

    And yes, I realize you were asking originally hypothetically. It's a good question.
  19. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

    I'm willing to bet that none of us have ever heard of any (or many) first-hand accounts of this happening, because most people wouldn't tell the cruise line they were sick to begin with.
    I have heard of people, many times, being quarantined when they got sick during the cruise, and have only heard of people being left in a foreign port if they needed a hospital.
  20. 3princessMommy

    3princessMommy New Member

    I have heard of people contacting DCL before the sail date regarding an illness and being allowed to rebook for a later date. Don't know if that is still the case, but I have heard that happen before.
  21. manateesmom

    manateesmom New Member

    There's a lot of mystery surrounding this. Particularly when traveling with children. While I suppose you shouldn't knowingly travel to the ship with a contagious illness, what happens if you travel to the port area (fly in), then wake up feeling kinda sick? You were fine the day before, so how serious is it? Is it too soon to evaluate? Should you board? What are you supposed to do if there are no flights home available, no hotel rooms available, and you're in another part of the country (all possible if you're talking Florida during spring break or summer)? It's like our worst nightmare. Particularly traveling with kids, because DS is fine one minute and obviously sick hours later, it's very unpredictable.

    And the thing with kids, too, is that it's hard to tell if they're having sniffles because of allergies (traveling to an area away from home with new allergens), or if they're having GI upset, if it's because of something unfamiliar they ate or weird things like DS used to vomit when he'd have a cold because of mucus dripping down his throat.

    I think the cruise lines ought to be much more transparent about what happens and generous with refunding your cruise fare in order to discourage sick people from lying and getting on board. Honestly, if their true intentions were to keep sick people off, they shouldn't create an incentive to lie, by being obscure about what happens or by leaving you with no recourse if you don't have travel insurance.

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