This woman was escorted off a Disney Cruise by armed guards for being 'too pregnant'
Passport, toothbrush, and that third pair of sandals that you probably don't need but maybe you just will – everyone has a checklist that they go through last minute before jetting off on holiday. One thing you probably won't be checking before you head to the airport though is if you're "too" pregnant. But after this story, it might be something you should keep in mind.
Mother of two (soon to be three) Emily Jackson was about to depart for a family trip on a Disney Cruise from Miami until they were escorted away in an alarming manner because she was "too pregnant". She spoke to Cosmopolitan about the ordeal, describing how guards armed with semi-automatic assault rifles escorted her family – including her one-year-old son, Eli, and two-year-old daughter, Ellerie – away from the ship.
They were removed before the ship left on March 28th because of a policy relating to pregnant women, which Emily and her husband Kyle were unaware of. Disney asserts that women who are in their 24th week of pregnancy are not allowed on the cruise due to "safety concerns".
Emily is 25 weeks pregnant with unborn baby Emitt, and she said that she and her family were unaware of the rule.
Emily, Kyle, their two kids and Emily's parents were all wearing matching Disney t-shirts when they were removed from the entrance port after staff asked how far along she was. Disney staff called the Miami-Dade Police Department who sent two armed guards to assist with their removal from the ship, taking them from the departure terminal to a location outside. Emily says they had to wait in the heat for two hours while Disney searched for their luggage.
The trip was a surprise gift from her parents, who announced they were going on a cruise only ten days before the ship was set to leave the port. Although she got a doctor's note approving she could go on the cruise, she admits she "didn't read the fine print".
Still, it seems totally unnecessary to have such a heavily armed guards, with one carrying an AR-15 rifle, to escort the family outside when they had such young children in tow. Emily said the armed escort was "scary" and "totally unnecessary".
"I was scared because it didn't feel like there was a need to bring that much security out," Emily stated. "It's not like we were throwing things or threatening anyone." She said that her children were confused by all the commotion and the need to rush off the ship, but added: "Luckily the kids are so young, they might not remember, but it was traumatic for me and my husband."
"In today's world with so many shootings, it's like [unnerving] to have a guy with a big gun standing next to your kids," she said. "Especially when you don't know their intentions or what's going on."
A spokesperson for Disney Cruise Line says that one member of Emily's family was being "very loud" with Disney staff during the incident. "He was unhappy and loud with how long it was taking to get the luggage and our staff felt like they needed a little help managing the situation," they told Cosmopolitan. "Our staff did everything they could to help them."
Emily's family will be receiving a full refund in the next few days, though she says it doesn't make up for the ordeal and how the matter was handled.
"Our goal was not to get a refund though," she said. "I mean, yes, it's nice, but I just hope they fix that specific port [in Miami]. When you book a Disney cruise you expect to be treated with happiness and smiles.
"It just wasn't the Disney experience I was expecting."