Florida father stuck in Aruba after falling ill during cruise, family hit with $35,000 fee to get him back
It was a trip Johnny Woodwell Sr. was looking forward to for more than a year. He planned an eight-day cruise to Aruba with his family. They left on Monday, November 28th out of Miami, heading to the Caribbean.
The family said getting stuck in Aruba though, was not on the agenda.
Kimberly Carlton, Johnny's daughter, told FOX 35 that her dad's condition seemed fine for a couple of days, and when he started to not feel well, another family member took him to the medical office on the ship.
His condition didn't get better so when the ship docked in Aruba, her dad was going to have to stay in the hospital in a foreign country.
"Every day we hear something different. Like one day, they'll tell us 'oh, he's doing better.' Well then you know, 'today's not a good day.'
On top of confusing health updates, Carlton said not getting clear answers from her dad's insurance provider on what's covered and what's not is adding to the stress. In the meantime, the family is left with a hefty $35,000 fee to get her dad back to Florida.
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Carlton said her dad didn't purchase any additional travel insurance, which could have helped in this situation.
Cruise and travel expert, Stewart Chiron told FOX 35 most people don't get travel insurance, but you might want to think twice, and double-check to see what your insurance covers.
"They need to make sure it covers international, what a lot of people don't know is they don't think they need the travel insurance or the protection but until it happens to you," Chiron said.
He also noted that you don't always have to purchase it through the cruise line either. There are websites out there like Square Mouth that can help you find the best deal for travel insurance.
Carlton said she hopes her Dad can come back soon but wants travelers to hopefully not experience what her family is going through right now.
"We'd never would have imagined. We've all been on several cruises, many cruises, and nobody's ever had an issue. You don't have an issue, you don't know what to do until you've done it. And, you know now you're stuck."