Carnival Cruise ship leaves with family's luggage, dialysis machine

Family stranded in Miami without needed dialysis machine

MIAMI - A South Florida woman says she and her family were escorted off a Carnival Cruise ship after the cruise line could not find her daughter's dialysis machine.

Lillian Hensley, her disabled daughter, her son and her daughter-in-law were supposed to set sail for a five-day Carnival Cruise to Jamaica last weekend.

Christine, her daughter, requires nightly dialysis, and Hensley said she received clearance from Carnival to bring a portable dialysis machine onboard.

Shortly after checking in Saturday, Hensley said she got a call from the ship's staff saying they couldn't find their luggage or the machine.

When she told the person that her daughter could not live without dialysis, she said she was told to get off the ship.

"I said, 'Without everything? You're giving me like a death sentence for my daughter,'" Hensley said.

She said the cruise line did not offer an apology or explanation, but told her to take her daughter to the emergency room.

"They just escorted us off the ship," Hensley said.

The family was left in Miami as the ship sailed away with their dialysis machine and their luggage.

In a statement, Carnival said there were questions at the time on whether or not the dialysis machine had made it onboard: Given that it is imperative that Ms. Hensley have her dialysis equipment in order to sail, it was decided it would be in her best interest that she disembark the vessel.

On Monday, Hensley was still shaken by the experience.

"It felt like a nightmare," she said.

Carnival issued another statement, saying: Carnival Cruise Lines sincerely apologizes for this most unfortunate situation and is providing everyone in the Hensley party with a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as a credit for a future five-day cruise with Carnival.

Cameras were rolling as a representative from Carnival called Hensley.

"You're calling to make it right for me? How? How? The only thing that could have made it right for me was the return of all my daughter's medical equipment immediately when they pushed us off the ship," said Hensley.

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