Two cruise passengers left in Mexico after an accident

Two cruise passengers left in Mexico after an accident

Two guests from Carnival Cruise Line Carnival paradise They never returned to the ship after a day in Cozumel, Mexico, and family members learned they had been in a motorcycle accident.

The two women are now in a private hospital in Mexico with significant medical bills, and it is unknown when they might be able to leave for their home in Florida.

Two cruise guests were injured in Mexico

Two women sailing on board Carnival paradise They were injured in a hit-and-run accident while visiting Cozumel, Mexico. The two women – Natalia and Ashley – set sail from Tampa on the Fantasy class ship on Sunday, September 10, 2023, on a round-trip cruise to Mexico. Cozumel was the only stop on our 4-night itinerary.

According to local news reports in Tampa, Carnival Cruise Line reached out to Natalia’s mother, Maria Ortega, to inform her that the women were no longer on the ship after contacting Cozimel on Tuesday, September 12.

Carnival Paradise cruise ship
Image source: Kyle Lee/Shutterstock

“About an hour later, my daughter somehow called me on someone’s phone and told me they had been in an accident. It was a hit-and-run.” Ortega explained to Fox 13 News.

Further details provided by family members through an online fundraising campaign indicate that the incident occurred as the women were returning to the ship. They had rented third party motorbikes earlier in the day to visit the local beach club.

The accident was so serious that the women lost their personal belongings and lost consciousness for several hours. Their injuries include severe bruising, a possible broken foot and arm, cuts, and more.

One of the women was reportedly discharged from the hospital because she did not have insurance, while the other remains hospitalized while her medical bills — amounting to $10,000 to $20,000 — are settled. This is a common practice in hospitals in Mexico, especially when treating foreign visitors.

Lack of travel documents

To complicate matters, neither woman has a passport to facilitate their return to the United States. Passports are not required Closed cruises to Mexico, although Carnival Cruise Line strongly recommends that all guests travel with a passport valid for at least six months after the cruise ends.

“This will enable guests…who must disembark the ship before the end of their cruise, due to an emergency, to return to the United States without significant delays and complications.” The cruise line’s website reads.

Carnival Paradise in Tampa Bay Harbor
Image source: Fitzkreitl/Shutterstock

Family members, who are traveling to Mexico to help, have approached the US State Department about obtaining permission for the women to return to the country, which would require immigration approval.

Cruise line warns against scooter rentals

Carnival Cruise Line strongly cautions guests against renting scooters at ports of call, as rental companies are less regulated than in the United States.

The condition of vehicles and roads, somewhat lax enforcement of local traffic laws, and other challenges make scooters extremely dangerous. Similar warnings are given about renting cars, jet skis or other vehicles through unapproved tour sellers.

Read also: Do ​​you need a passport to go on a cruise?

Because the women were not on a shore excursion booked through the cruise line but had rented the scooters independently, the ship had no way of knowing their location or condition, and left port without them. This is standard practice for all cruise lines if guests are late returning to the ship.

Accidents and injuries can happen in any port, even to the most cautious travellers. Travel insurance It can help cover the costs of emergency treatment as well as transportation home if necessary, depending on the type of policy and its exact terms and conditions.

It is not known whether or not the women involved in this incident had any type of travel insurance.
Cruise ships dock in Cozumel, Mexico

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