Dream cruise turns into a ‘nightmare’
THE mother of a special-needs child claims that her family vacation turned into a disaster on an MSC cruise after she was wrongly advised that the cabin was wheelchair friendly.
Kerisa Moonsamy, of Durban, said she and her husband, Jared, had saved up for the “experience of a lifetime” on the MSC Musica in December, but it was a “nightmare”.
She said her travel agent had assured her that her son’s wheelchair would fit through the cabin door.
“It did not. As a result, throughout our cruise we were exhausted from having to carry our son (who weighs 40kg) in and out of our room,” said Moonsamy.
Moonsamy said the agent also suggested they pay for an Easy Onboard pass – which allows people to avoid long queues during embarkation – because, according to him, there were no special services at the port for wheelchairs.
“This was proven to be a lie. We paid for Easy Onboard but didn’t use it as we were hurried through special wheelchair routes at the port,” she said.
While on deck 13 poolside, Moonsamy added that the small area designated for special-needs passengers were being used by able-bodied passengers.
“It was clearly demarcated for special-needs passengers, but able-bodied passengers sat there and refused to move while watching disabled passengers search for seats in the hot sun. The crew saw it and did nothing about it.”
She further claimed the stench of “disgusting, deadly cigarette smoke pervaded the air on every open part of the ship” and often inside as well.
“My child had to smell that rubbish almost the entire trip,” Moonsamy said.
In her opinion, said Moonsamy, MSC only cared about their bottom line and “not about me or my family or my special-needs child”.