December 2014 - Grandeur of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
I never got on board to see the ship. After the hour wait to check in, my wife made the fatal mistake about being honest that she had a cold. On the health declaration form, she checked "yes" to having a runny nose and coughs. We were ushered to the side of the check-in room and waited over an hour for a nurse to arrive. All the nurse did was check her temperature. She registered 99.7F.
Despite the form saying explicitly that you would not be denied boarding unless you are proven to be communicable, we were refused boarding. I am a scientist and an academic writer. In no respected scientific way would you prove communicable causation by showing someone to be one degree Fahrenheit higher than normal. In fact, the norm of 98.6F is just an average. Depending upon the surrounding conditions and the state of the individual, the norm could vary by as much as one degree. Again, 98.6F is not a fact; it is an average. Some people run normally at 99F or higher.
When we pleaded with the medical staff that she was only one degree over the accepted norm, they said that they don't deal in "only." I'm sorry but half the people would fail the test because their norm is higher than 98.6F.
The moral of this story is that honesty does not pay. Among the 2000 in line, we witnessed dozens of people sniffling and hacking--and yet only two people, including us, answered "yes" to their question. Now doing a brief review online, I see that everyone lies about their health conditions--and I see why.
THIS ISN'T THE WORST PART!
After being told that we would not be permitted to board, we had to wait THREE HOURS for them to retrieve our luggage. After three hours, they only apologised that they could not retrieve them.
THEY LEFT US ABANDONED AND TOOK ALL OF OUR CLOTHES AND BELONGINGS.
Here we were stranded in Baltimore under freezing rain with nothing but the clothes on our backs. For me, this included a t-shirt, shorts, sandals and a light windbreaker. They were kind enough to let us stand in the lobby, with the doors wide open, while they called us a cab.
To recap, we arrived at the port just after noon. By the time the ordeal was over, it's close to 5 pm. Expecting a rich meal on board, we had nothing to eat all day and we were left hungry, cold, and stripped of all our belongings.
After booking and adjusting our flight itinerary, this debacle cost us $1500.
Thanks Royal Caribbean for ruining our vacation, putting us through five hours of torture, and leaving us in the cold. This must be the basis of some sort of lawsuit and I'll search for a lawyer soon.