Pregnant woman says family was intimidated by armed officers during Disney cruise dispute

Wearing a specially made pink T-shirt that read “Keep calm and enjoy your Disney vacation,” a pregnant mother was barred from boarding a Disney Cruise with her family by armed guards.

Emily Jackson, who is 25-weeks pregnant and had a note from her doctor to travel, flew from St. Louis to Miami for a Disney Magic cruise with 10 members of her family, was told she could not travel for safety concerns after the rest of her party was on the ship, according to WPLG.

Disney Cruise Lines, like many others, does not allow women over 24 weeks pregnant to board.

“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,” a Disney Cruise Line spokesperson said. “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.”

It is also listed on the Disney Cruise website that a doctor's medical statement or a waiver of liability will not allow women over 24-weeks pregnant to sail.

From the Disney Cruise Health and Safety Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Are Guests who are pregnant permitted to sail?

A. 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. In addition, Disney Cruise Line cannot be held responsible or liable for any complications relating to pregnancy at any stage.

"I was crying," Jackson told WPLG. "I felt so bad because I felt like it was my fault that everybody couldn't go."

The family left the ship, but their luggage was already on board the ship. Jackson said as they tried to resolve the issue with the luggage, armed police and a K-9 officer arrived, telling them they had to wait outside as the luggage was retrieved.

"They had the guy with a gun following us. They had a K-9 unit. So, we then had to take both babies outside, wait almost two hours for our luggage outside in the heat. Both babies are red-faced, and it was terrible," Jackson said.

The family said they were refunded for the cruise. Their other vacation costs will not be covered.

Jackson runs a YouTube channel, "The Jackson Hive," which has nearly 9,000 subscribers to her vlog.

About the Author