May 2014 - Independence of the Seas to Transatlantic
I am a 24 year old college student who lost all my savings and had to get immediate medical treatment in a foreign country when my fiance and I were abusively removed by the "Independence of the Seas" Royal Caribbean International ship in May of 2014 which departed May 4th for South Hampton. First I'd like to provide a background of myself: I have been taking legally prescribed Valium for the past 4+ years due to severe anxiety and stress stemming from the death of my mother at a young age, as well as an anti-depressant. On the 3rd day of our cruise I noticed that I was missing the contents of my anxiety medication, as well as seeing unfamiliar charges to my account.
My fiance and I immediately went to guest services to report both incidents, but the crew member informed me she had no ability to access the situation regarding my missing medication, and quickly moved on to the other subject telling me to go downstairs and get an inquiry on the unknown charge. I had a panic attack and insisted she or someone help me right away due to the potential crime that has been committed, when another crew member named Rebecca Elliot came over and accused me of raising my voice and demanded I go away. She deliberately provoked and caused an argument between her, myself, and my fiance. I informed her that because of my missing medication I was suffering dangerous withdrawals and she should not agitate me for risk of seizure or another possible deadly outcome of sudden benzodiazepine withdrawal. I then left the desk before things got out of hand, and as I was walking she had the nerve to yell cross the cruise threatening to report me. I then yelled back at her that she had no grounds for this harassment, pointing towards her (while being over 50 feet away). She ended up reporting this to her superiors who misinterpreted which gesture I was using.
I was brought into a room, accused of giving the middle finger, as well as insulting Ms. Rebecca Elliot. I then presented the man in charge of the investigation with all my medical records, the empty prescription bottle, as well as a fact sheet noting that agitation was a side effect of abruptly stopping the medication, which I did as a result of it being misplaced or possibly tampered with. I then simply asked if my middle eastern descent and young age was prompting them to be so cautious with my case. He accused me of "playing the race card" and because of my medical situation and age he also accused me of being a potential threat to all those on board the ship. This resulted in my instant removal, as well as my fiance who breached no contract!
I calmly informed him that if he was to leave me in a foreign port with no money and the assistance to replace my possibly STOLEN medication, I could die as a result of not having it. It is considered a MEDICAL EMERGENCY when going through sudden benzodiazepine withdrawal because of the very real possibility of death due to such long usage. He said my health condition, fiances, or anything from this point on was no longer their concern, and left us at the port with no where to go. I had to receive immediate hospitalization, but before that was a possibility I struggled to maintain consciousness and was rushed by a lovely taxi driver to get medical help and a temporary replacement of my medication. This incident has resulted in chronic health issues. It has also caused emotional damage to my fiance who is now seeing a therapist for PTSD, which I will be also be addressing.
I do not understand how RCI could be so cold-hearted to a frequent cruiser ( I am also a Crown & Anchor Society member with several RCI cruises under my belt). I was discriminated based on my age, medication, and ROBBED while almost dying.
Anything short of a full refund will prompt me to seek severe legal action. I don't know why this had to happen to me. I worked so hard all school year for this trip. I didn't deserve this and my fiance didn't either. I feel so helpless. Also where is my medication??? How could someone get away with this while I'M punished? We missed 8 days and had no way to get to Europe from St. Maarten. It was a nightmare. They won't respond to any emails or calls... I hope no one else EVER has to go through this.