Pregnant woman says armed officer intimidated her family amid Disney cruise dispute

Staff says woman was too far along to travel, but luggage was already on board

MIAMI – A pregnant woman prevented from boarding a Disney Magic cruise in Miami said an armed police officer intimidated her family after a dispute over luggage. 

The staff barred Emily Jackson, who was 25 weeks pregnant at the time of the cruise, from traveling because of safety concerns. Like other major cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line does not permit women who have been pregnant for more than 24 weeks to board.

“While we understand the guests’ disappointment with not being able to board the ship, for health and safety reasons, our policy does not allow women who have reached the 24th week of pregnancy to travel, which is consistent with other cruise lines and is noted on our website and in travel documents our guests receive before sailing," said Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for Disney Cruise Line. "The Miami-Dade Police Department is responsible for security at the port and handled the situation as they felt appropriate given the guest’s actions.”

Jackson, who is from St. Louis, said she had her doctor's approval to travel and wasn't aware of the 24-week cut-off policy.

Jackson said the family accepted the decision, but their luggage was already on board. She said her father became frustrated and raised his voice. A few minutes later, she said, armed guards arrived.

Emily Jackson told Local 10 News reporter Christian De La Rosa that she wasn't aware of Disney Cruise Line's 24-week cut-off policy for pregnant travelers.

"I felt so bad because I felt like it was my fault that everybody couldn't go," Jackson told Local 10 News.

Jackson said the Miami-Dade police officer smirked and laughed at her family's misfortune. 

The officer scared her two children, already shaken up after their cruise was canceled, she said.

"They had the guy with the gun following us. They had the K-9 unit," Jackson said. "So we then had to take both babies outside, wait almost two hours for our luggage, outside in the heat, and both babies are red-faced."

Jackson said Disney Cruse Line has offered to refund her family's fare, but their other vacations costs won't be covered.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.