Princess cruise trip interruption

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Apr 17, 2018
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On March 2017, my husband and I as well as a couple of our friends flew from Texas to Florida to go on a 10 day Princess cruise trip to the Southern Carribean. On March 22nd, while we were having dinner in the evening, my husband started experiencing a severe abdominal pain and wasn't able to eat. We did not want to disturb our friends at the dinner table, but we had to leave immediately and go to our cabin. In the cabin my husband started throwing up and as the night approached the pain the pain became unbearable. I called up the emergency clinic on boardship and asked for someone to come to the cabin with a wheel chair and take him to the clinic.
Since the pain became much more severe, and much more unbearable the doctor and nurses at the clinic attended to him right away and put him on morphine intervenes. Later, they did X-ray and blood test and their diagnosis was intestinal obstruction. He stayed in the clinic receiving pain medicine as well as morphine and liquid diet to avoid vomitting for 2 days while the ship was still at sea. The next day the ship stopped in St. Thomas and we had to disembark and wait for an ambulance to pick him up from ship to Schneider's hospital in St. Thomas.

My husband was taken by the ambulance to Schneider's hospital emergency room while still on morphine intervenes and had more X-rays as well as blood work done again. The emergency room doctor at Schneider's saw inflamation in his lower abdomen and his diagnosis was Acute Pancreatitis and therefore, he was in no shape to be dismissed and as a result was admitted to a regular hospital room to be hospitalized until healed.

A doctor specialist looked after him during the next five days, and the treatment was the same. No solid food and only glucose and morphine intervenes. After five days of treatment at Shneider's he was discharged but was unable to fly back home to Texas, so both of us stayed in a hotel in St. Thomas for three days to recover since he was extremely weak due to weight loss and no muscle strength to even walk. After three days, we were able to fly back to Dallas. In Dallas my husband saw his doctor and specialists and did biopsy, Cat Scan and MRI and he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. It was a shock to me and our two sons as well as to the rest of his family.

Unfortunately it was too late since it can never be predicted because of its deep location and very much hidden inside the organs so its symptoms do not occur until too late in the diagnosis. Unfortunately, he passed after six months of chemo treatment which was another big shock to all of us.

Finally, I'd like to add that my husband bought a protection insurance policy by AON AFINITY and made it clear that he gets sick or any emergency illness occurred on the trip that he wants to have a medically equipped helicopter to pick him up and take him back to Texas where he can be treated by his own doctors. Instead, they transferred him to a hospital in St. Thomas as we were lucky that the ship stopped in St. Thomas and not on a small island further away and outside the U.S.

On Ship, and in St. Thomas the medical team were able to treat him temporarily but now Princess Cruise liner do not want to honor their contractual obligation of covering the medical expenses and costs that we incurred. Princess reimburrsed us only for the trip interruption cost which is $3,048.00 for the both of us.

Princess is refusing to honor their insurance policy plan or contractual agreement. We were charged $5,586.63 in the emergency clinic on ship and no reimburrsment.
The Airline tickets $1,500
Taxi/cabs transportation $600.00
Food: $500.00.

My husband made a clear request to Princess medical officers to be picked up by a medically equipped helicopter to fly him back home to Texas in a matter of 4 hours but again they did not honor their contractual obligation to provide him what is clearly his rights as stated in the insurance policy. I strongly believe that if the medical officers honored his rights to fly him to Dallas, a less outcome would have happened.

I heard about Mr. Elliott website from our friends who accompanied us on the trip. They wanted to help us with this complicated issue that I've been struggling with for a year. Our friends could be used as witnesses if this case would progress in that direction. I hope that I was able to provide you with the full information, and if you have any questions please contact me.

Many Thanks.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
Suzi, I am sorry for your family's loss. Horrible situation.

Was the AON policy purchased through Princess as the Princess Cruises Protection program?

The evacuation procedure that you husband wanted is not typically of most travel insurance. It is available through Medjet Assist, but most other policy will only transport the patient to the nearest hospital, in this case, in St. Thomas. here is an excerpt from Princess Cruises policy:
Accident Medical Expense/Sickness Medical Expense:
1. expenses for the following Physician-ordered medical services: services of legally qualified Physicians and graduate nurses, charges for Hospital confinement and services, local ambulance services, prescription drugs and medicines, and therapeutic services incurred by you within one year from the date of your Sickness or Injury;
2. expenses for emergency dental treatment incurred by you during a Covered Cruise Vacation; Emergency Evacuation:
3. expenses incurred by you for Physician-ordered emergency medical evacuation, including medically appropriate transportation and necessary medical care en route, to the nearest suitable Hospital when you are critically ill or injured and no suitable local care is available, subject to the Program Medical Advisors prior approval;

So Princess charged you $5,586.63 for the on board medical treatment for the two at-sea days, prior to transferring your husband to the St. Thomas hospital?
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
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Suzi Bishara I am so sorry about your husband. Pancreatic cancer is probably the worst diagnosis that one can hear -- the cancer grows slowly (years) yet there are no symptoms until it is in the late and sadly lethal stage.

So this was the insurance offered by Princess and not an independent policy, correct?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
This is a very sad story and I am sorry you went through it.

Can you point us to a link for the policy you bought? Some policies do not provide emergency transport to a hospital of your choice but to the nearest hospital.

We need to see the policy and read what it covered to help. You may have wanted a policy that would air evacuate to the hospital of choice but the policy might not actually have had that coverage.
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#6
Suzi Bishara I am so sorry about your husband. Pancreatic cancer is probably the worst diagnosis that one can hear -- the cancer grows slowly (years) yet there are no symptoms until it is in the late and sadly lethal stage.

So this was the insurance offered by Princess and not an independent policy, correct?
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#8
This is a very sad story and I am sorry you went through it.

Can you point us to a link for the policy you bought? Some policies do not provide emergency transport to a hospital of your choice but to the nearest hospital.

We need to see the policy and read what it covered to help. You may have wanted a policy that would air evacuate to the hospital of choice but the policy might not actually have had that coverage.
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#10
This is a very sad story and I am sorry you went through it.

Can you point us to a link for the policy you bought? Some policies do not provide emergency transport to a hospital of your choice but to the nearest hospital.

We need to see the policy and read what it covered to help. You may have wanted a policy that would air evacuate to the hospital of choice but the policy might not actually have had that coverage.
Insurance policy is by: AON AFINITY TRAVEL PRACTICE
Policy# MZ0911100H000AS
Upload: Upload.Travelclaim.com
tel: 800-382-6841 or 516-741-5428
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Apr 17, 2018
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#11
Suzi Bishara I again am so sorry. May I ask what was the reason for denial? Are they trying to claim it was pre-existing condition? Assuming that the policy has not changed, it looks like it covers sickness medical up to $10,000 -- which would cover the ship portion.

Is it this what you had?

https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/faq_answer_legal/Princess_Vacation_Protection.pdf
Thank you. It was not a pre -existing condition, as I mentioned in my letter we were all shocked when we found out about his pancreatic cancer later after the biopsy. I was told the reason they denied it is that they only cover the trip interruption part which is an incomplete answer to me, and they said that the $5,586.63 should be covered by the supplementary insurance. Whatever their answer was did not make any sense. Yes, the policy we had should cover up to $10,000.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,260
12,443
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Usually the Travel insurance you buy is a secondary policy -which means you have to put in a claim with your own health insurance, get a denial and THEN submit to Aon.

Did you submit the bill to your own insurance company first? That might be the issue and if you do that they should cover it. They need to see that your primary insurance didn’t pay anything.

Call them and ask if that’s what you need to do. Then you can refile but don’t wait too long because there are time frame limits.

It’s unfortunate you didn’t call the insurance company while you were on the ship because you need documentation from the ships doctor on what occurred in the ship - although I totally understand that this was the last thing on your mind - your only concern was your husband. The insurance company would have helped you while this was going on.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
Suzi I thought the preexisitng condition may have been an excuse, I did not think that you and your husband would be traveling if he was not well.

Please follow Neil’s advice, as to going through the process of submitting the insurance paperwork and finding out why they are not paying as the coverage says 10,000.

I really hope you can get reimbursed.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,260
12,443
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
Pre-ex shouldn’t have anything to do with it. They had no knowledge that he had this condition. I think the bills might have needed to be submitted to their health insurance first, since it is secondary.

To our readers- if you buy travel insurance and something happens to you when you are traveling, the second call you should make is to the insurance company. They will guide you on what to do and what paperwork you need to get to file a claim and in many instances they can actually assist you in getting care.
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#15
Usually the Travel insurance you buy is a secondary policy -which means you have to put in a claim with your own health insurance, get a denial and THEN submit to Aon.

Did you submit the bill to your own insurance company first? That might be the issue and if you do that they should cover it. They need to see that your primary insurance didn’t pay anything.

Call them and ask if that’s what you need to do. Then you can refile but don’t wait too long because there are time frame limits.

It’s unfortunate you didn’t call the insurance company while you were on the ship because you need documentation from the ships doctor on what occurred in the ship - although I totally understand that this was the last thing on your mind - your only concern was your husband. The insurance company would have helped you while this was going on.
Wow!!!! Iwil definetley call them today. Thanks
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#17
Suzi I thought the preexisitng condition may have been an excuse, I did not think that you and your husband would be traveling if he was not well.

Please follow Neil’s advice, as to going through the process of submitting the insurance paperwork and finding out why they are not paying as the coverage says 10,000.

I really hope you can get reimbursed.
Thnx Christina I will follow Neil’s advice and in the process of calling. Will let you know
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#18
Wow!!!! Iwil definetley call them today. Thanks
Hello Neil, thank you for your advice. I did call the secondary insurance and they asked me to send them all medical documents expenses, iterenary, including all plane tickets of course among other transportation expenses like taxi cabs...etc. They were very co-operative and will send them everything in the next couple of days so they can reimburse me 80% of the expenses. Will let you how things progress in that direction and soon I hope. Many thanks Neil
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#20
Dear Neil,
I'm happy to inform you that the secondary insurance
had send me a check this morning and reimbursed me with 80% of all medical expenses. I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude and thank you in guiding and assisting me in resolving this matter quickly.


I was touched by all the good advocates and the great volunteers like "Globtringal, and Christina H" who supported me with their kind and thoughtful words so thank you all from my heart.

Elliott.org is an awsome website and I do recommed it highly for everyone. It's very educational and very informative so thank you Elliott for all your consideration and prompt response as well as taking the time in replying personally to me regarding this matter for my situation.

Many thanks to all.
Truly yours,
Suzi Bishara:)