Dream cruise turns into a ‘night­mare’

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN SINGH [email protected]

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”.

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