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Carnival Lines
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Advocate's
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Carnival Cruise Lines

Complaint - Carnival Cruise Lines
Date:    04/06/2004

     On Sept. 6, 2003, I went on a cruise with Carnival. I got sick on the boat. I think it was food poisoning. They forced me to go to the hospital. Instead of taking me to the nearest hospital which was 20 minutes away, they took me to a hospital that was 1 1/2 hours away.
    Once there, the ambulance driver demanded $500 in U.S. currency, which I understand is about $4,000 in Jamaican currency. Now, they were giving me morphine all night long.
    Once I got to the hospital, Carnival told me that I could not return to the ship unless I was seen by a physician at the hospital. Then, while I was under the influence of morphine, they told me that I had to sign a promissory note for re-imbursement of medical fees because the hospital was refusing to treat me without knowing how they were going to be paid. I do not remember signing the note, but they claim that I did. I supposedly signed a note for $1200, and guess how much my supposed medical expenses came to? $1220.
    Now, Carnival is sending me harassing letters demanding the $1220. I have a real problem with this for several reasons. First of all, I have since been told by several Jamaican nationals that tourists are not responsible for medical treatment because they are guests of the country. Second of all, why would you take a sick person to a hospital that is 90 minutes away when there is one 20 minutes away? Third of all, why did they ask for their money in U.S. currency?
    Additionally, Carnival Cruise Lines extorted more than $600 from my mother by leading her to believe that I was being held on another ship and unless she paid my medical bill on the ship, I wouldn't be released. I feel that I have been ripped off by Carnival in more ways than one. Had they taken me to the nearest hospital instead of across the island, then I wouldn't have been abandoned in Jamaica. I would have had time to get back to the ship. Because I was so far from the ship when I was released, I missed the boat and had to pay an additional $321 to get back to the U.S. I feel that Carnival should have reimbursed me those funds because it is their fault that I was unable to get back to the boat before they sailed.
    Instead, they send me a bill for $1220!!  -  WBR

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