Man says cruise line "played hide and seek" with his elderly parents | News
TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. -- When Mark Coleman's parents set sail on a two-week vacation with Norwegian Cruise Line, he never thought they'd be stranded in Colombia.
"I feel like they were playing hide and seek with my parents," he says.
But while on the ship, which was traveling through destinations like Costa Rica, Colombia, and Key West, his 79-year-old father became ill. On an online forum, other passengers say norovirus had come aboard and that the crew declared a code red.
"Oh, I was frantic," Coleman says.
And he grew even more frantic because his father wasn't responding to treatment aboard the ship. On Wednesday, he was dropped off at a clinic during their stop in Cartagena, Colombia. Even though their son was listed as their emergency contact, the first time he heard about any of this was two days later when his mother called him.
"I couldn't locate her, she couldn't tell me exactly where she was at that time," Coleman recalls.
Records show they bought trip protection, but they say it was never used. The parents maxed out their credit cards paying for medical treatment and airfare.
"I still haven't heard a word from NCL in regards to their well-being," Coleman says.
That's when he got the State Department involved. The agency located his parents and worked with the clinic to ensure they were flown back to Tampa. They arrived on Sunday evening.
"I don't want anything from anybody. I just feel that NCL should have been above board," Coleman says.
Calls to Norwegian Cruise Line have not been returned, but the company's website says travel and trip protection reimburses medical expenses that come up during a vacation, and can provide medical coverage for up to a year after the vacation.
Coleman is just thankful that missionaries at the clinic were there to help his parents. When he asked if there was anything he could do to repay them, they asked for some Rays merchandise.