A Bay Area family who had planned to spend a Thanksgiving vacation aboard a cruise ship had to come up with other plans when denied boarding.
For Erica, Brett Gheesling and their two children, a vacation in sunny Belize and the surrounding countries is something they’ve been planning for months.
“We just wanted to go out and take a cruise for the week,” Brett said. “Kind of trying to put everything that obviously goes on behind you, so we decided to go on a 7 day cruise, Carnival, family out.”
When leaving, they said they had been denied access on board.
Erica, telling Katya Guilaume of Spectrum Bay News 9 what happened, said, “Me, my husband, our oldest child, is fully vaccinated. She just received the first dose because she was finally able to do it but because she was not fully vaccinated, we had to provide a PCR test. We did it in the 72nd hour really because we wanted to give as much time as possible to make sure we could get those results on time and when we got there the results never came back.
In fact, she said Joline’s PCR test result arrived from Walgreens less than 10 minutes before the cruise departed.
Erica said: “They blamed the lab, they said the lab didn’t get it back on time. What the lab said was blocked by FedEx and shipping, so they didn’t get it until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
According to Carnival Cruise’s COVID policy, passengers must be fully immunized or provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
Carnival officials sent a statement to Spectrum Bay News 9 saying, “It is clearly stated in our protocols that unvaccinated guests must present a negative PCR test result taken 72-24 hours prior to boarding date.”
“To lock in your vacation time,” Brett said. “All you need to do to take time off when you have a pretty large percentage chance of it happening, why take the risk when you can do something guaranteed until it’s all gone how are we going progress in this society which is moving forward? “
The family traveled to Atlanta to see the family instead. They say it worked for everyone.
“I was happier to be with my family instead,” Joline concluded.
Carnival provided the family with a full refund, which they said was a courtesy.