On Feb. 8, the RSVP Vacations’ 30th Anniversary Gay Cruise left Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, stopped in the Bahamas and was on its way to Cozumel.
But the ship was forced to make a U-turn, pit stop and emergency evacuation at Port Miami on Feb. 10 after two American passengers faced serious “life-threatening situations,” according to Julie Benson, vice president of public relations for Princess Cruises, explaining that without emergency treatment onshore one or both could have died.
“The (pit stop at PortMiami) took approximately three hours due to standard clearance,” said Rich Campbell, CEO of Atlantis Events, Inc., the parent company of RSVP Vacations. “We do not know if the incidents were related, but at least one of the guests likely had a pre-existing medical condition… There have been no deaths aboard this cruise.“
As of Feb. 17, Campbell said both men were released from the hospital and are doing fine.
The vessel, its passengers and crew were 80 miles off the coast of Florida when the incident occurred.
Earlier on Feb. 11, passenger and Miami resident Harvey J. Burstein said, “It’s a shame these incidents happen on gay cruises. Looks like a double OD on the dance floor with one fatality.” That observation has since been denied by cruise personnel, and a request for a report from the Miami-Dade Police Department has not been received.
After the two American passengers were taken off the ship in Miami, the Princess Regal headed back to sea on its voyage to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
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