Part FOUR Disney Cruise Line Debacle: Stuffed Mickeys and Insincerity

I’ve shared the excitement, the horrible security scare with my daughter, and the dismal meeting we had right after the incident.

Now we come to the final installment (for now) of how Disney Cruise Line handled our DEBACLE.

While ON THE BOAT: A couple of Stuffed Mickey Dolls

After speaking with Cassandra, and never having the opportunity to speak with the Cruise Director, we were basically done with it during the cruise. I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I didn’t want the kids to think about it anymore, and the lack of professionalism by the Disney Cruise Line’s Cruise Director, and Oceaneer’s staff, wasn’t going to destroy our entire vacation. I went off to my pedicure appointment at the spa, Nick and the kids hung out. While I was at the Spa, I also changed our couples massage appointment to a massage just for my husband, happening later that week after our day at Disney World! We had planned to enjoy some time together on this 9 day cruise, but it was quickly realized, we were not going to have that happen. Thanks Disney Cruise Line. Much appreciated. When we all returned to the room, a gift had been left in our room.

First, the gift was from the guest services person who was told that we needed assistance with this whole issue. He didn’t have to do a darn thing, except get the manager from the Oceaneer’s Club. Second, he thought of BOTH of my kids, which is more than Cassandra did when offering to make notes in the computer for our daughter….forgetting we also have a son, even if they didn’t screw up his wristband THIS TIME. Three, the gift wasn’t from anyone at the Oceaneer’s Club, or even the Cruise Director.

The gift? A couple of Stuffed Mickey Mouse dolls. Very cute. The kids loved them, they still do. We even thanked the guest services man when we saw him at Castaway Cay during our cruise. He even remembered my daughter’s name. Score one for Disney Cruise Line. You have an exceptional staff for your Guest Services desk. However, it stops there. Well, no. I take that back,  we had a great wait staff – so score two for the Disney Cruise Line. However, they had nothing to do with the safety issue.

Stuffed Mickeys

OFF the Boat: The Insincerity of Guest Correspondence (which is who you have to contact AFTER your cruise if you have a grievance)

Once we arrived home, after the highs, and the substantially low LOWS, I contacted the email for Guest Correspondence. Apparently, you aren’t allowed to contact the Disney Cruise Line’s customer service number and make complaints. I was given an email, by Customer Service, for the Guest Correspondence people. Awesome. At least everything would be in writing……..

My first interaction was with Joel Hayes, Executive Guest Correspondent for Disney Cruise Line. He kept offering his sincerest apology for “any disappointment with your cruise vacation.” He was also “so very sorry to learn about not only your concerns about security in our youth clubs but also how your concerns were handled.” And my favorite “your concerns about the bracelet were, indeed, taken very seriously when they were brought to our attention and reviewed by all of the appropriate shipboard officers.” Oh and when he closed his email, he made sure to write “there is magic in the Disney name, and we hope to have the chance to sail with you again one day soon.”

My daughter’s safety is a bit more than a CONCERN………and disappointment is kind of an understatement when your daughter’s safety is put at risk…..and all of your “sorry” talk is complete crap, when you follow it with asking me to give you another chance because there’s magic in the Disney name. Are you serious, Joel? NEXT.

Joseph Paris, also an Executive Guest Correspondent, emailed me back. He called our issue “guest feedback.” My daughter’s safety was considered “guest feedback.” You lost me right there, but I continued on with the reading of the email. Hoping that they would tell me exactly what had been done to rectify this type of situation, so it wouldn’t happen again. No such luck, just a whole lot of “we are truly committed to maintaining high standards of safety and security at sea and in port” and my all time favorite line “your concerns were, indeed, taken very seriously and addressed with the appropriate technicians, shipboard officers, and shoreside managers in order to determine, IF NEED BE, where any necessary enhancements should be made to our cruise ships.” This was followed by “we hope this experience will not deter you from returning to Disney Cruise Line in the future, as we look forward to having you sail with us again.”

Joseph, seriously, do you think that I’m going to sail on Disney again after you just wrote this ridiculous email, referring to a BREACH OF SECURITY with my daughter as a CONCERN? And then follow it up with “determine, IF NEED BE, where any necessary enhancements should be made to our cruise ships.” WHAT? You’re done, next please.

Rebekah Young, ANOTHER Executive Guest Correspondent with Disney Cruise Line writes to me that after all of the previous emails have been reviewed, she was “very sorry to read your various concerns.”

You were sorry to read my concerns, Rebekah? Well, first, are you sorry that this happened, or are you sorry you had to read them? And next, are you still calling this breach of security a CONCERN?

Rebekah then follows that up with “unfortunately, we do not believe that compensation is warranted for any of these circumstances, nor will there be an opportunity to escalate these concerns, since our team has been designated as the final authority on matters related to guest compensation. Again, I regret any disappointment, as we hope you might consider sailing with us again in the future. If not, we wish you well on your future travel endeavors.”

HOLY CRAP, did you just call it a CONCERN again? And refer to this as DISAPPOINTMENT again? Really? Let’s also mention I didn’t ask for money, as my daughter’s not something I can put a price tag on, and she certainly doesn’t have a bar code on her butt. She’s not FOR SALE, nor is her safety. No one asked you for COMPENSATION, I asked you to make it RIGHT. Are you so jaded that you think everyone is out for MONEY? What has this world come to, people? It’s not about MONEY, or COMPENSATION, it’s about a FIVE YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL being put in MAJOR DANGER by your fantastically INEPT Oceaneer’s Lab/Club counselors, on your ridiculously old, and outdated, Magic boat.

I love how they called them my concerns, and disappointment – yeah, that sounds about right. You put my daughter at risk, and call it “my concern” and “disappointment” in the trip. Are the three of you out of your flipping minds? And then ask me to sail with you again?

Hey, Joel, Joseph, Rebekah and all of the Disney Cruise Line Guest Correspondence team………you really know how to destroy the Disney name, don’t you? At least I know it’s not Disney as a whole who treats people, and CHILDREN, so poorly. Perhaps further training should be extended to all of you, so you can learn the difference between a BREACH OF SAFETY/SECURITY, and a CONCERN, or DISAPPOINTMENT. They are not the same, and I hope nothing like this ever happens to a child in your life.

I’m just thankful, grateful, and BLESSED, that my daughter didn’t get hurt during the time that your staff decided my daughter wasn’t at all important to the “MAGICAL” Disney Cruise Line’s Magic.

By | 2015-02-19T18:58:38-05:00 September 13, 2012|Reviews, Travel|26 Comments

About the Author:

Staci loves to write, and loves to share her "take" on everything thrown her way. Movies, entertainment, food, fashion, shopping, money, travel and family. There's nothing off limits at NovemberSunflower.com, and Staci's always telling it like it is: good, bad, and all that lies in between!


  1. Rachel Lobban September 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I read all your posts about this, and I will NEVER take my children on a Disney cruise. This is unforgivable!

    • November Sunflower September 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Unless they are willing to improve how they handle wristbands, I’m going to have to support your decision. It’s extremely upsetting. They also had an issue with something being labeled wrong at the buffet. A child with an allergy almost ate something that wasn’t labeled properly. Very scary. We rely on these places to put our safety first, and yes, things happen, but when they do happen, it means the process has to be addressed and improved. And major apologies, that are super sincere, would be a huge help.

      Thanks so much for reading the entire series of posts, and understanding what I’m trying to accomplish! Your support is appreciated!

  2. bernadette c September 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I read the story and what would have happened if something bad had happened to your daughter and they did need to contact you or the other family and were calling the wrong family?!?!
    I cant seem to get my kids out of Chuck E Cheese without being checked and rechecked for each child (and I have 5) so maybe they need to talk with that company and get some help with their system.
    Sadly most people are out for money or to be compensated in some way and I am sure the Disney Cruise Line company deals with that on a regular basis and no matter what the issues are they assume thats what people are looking for. Sad…yes!
    I also think in reading what the responses were both from the employees on the boat and off that they never have really dealt with this issue and had no idea what to do or say. I think if they want you or anyone that has heard your story to consider sailing again or at all they should explain, even a little bit, how they have corrected the issue. Maybe they should have rules set in place that only management can have any bracelets removed or that the parents of any children must be present if the bands have to be removed or the children are placed aside with 1 employee until the parents are available. There are ways to fix it and things that can be done.
    I would be contacted any and all departments of Disney.

    • November Sunflower September 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      So many thoughts raced through my head…even now, I think of what could have happened. It’s unreal scary. And if Chuck E Cheese can manage to be that safety conscious, I would imagine Disney can work on this and make sure to improve their systems. Perhaps we should get them in touch with Chuck E Cheese? AAAAAAHHH. Thanks so much for reading my posts, and taking the time to comment. I so appreciate it!

  3. michelle murray September 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Very unprofessional! Thank you for the heads up. I hope that they do fix this situation. I know my family won’t be going on their boat until it is!

    • November Sunflower September 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Completely unprofessional and downright unsafe. I hope others will alert Disney Cruise Line about why they would never take one of their boats if they have kids. At this point, unless people stop taking their cruises, it won’t change anything. Let’s hope no child gets hurt while in their care.

  4. Kristin September 14, 2012 at 1:12 am

    How nice that each e-mail closed with a sales pitch. Spectacular.

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

      I know, right? Let me try to get you to spend more money on Disney, and be treated like garbage again. NO THANKS!

  5. Nicolle B. September 14, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I’ve read all the posts and holy cow, I’d be pissed too! I’m so sorry this happened to your little girl & family! Sounds like they need a lesson in caring & understanding – Disney sounds like robots & I’d be firing off emails left & right to any & all that will read at Disney. And definitely posting this on their Facebook – maybe then, you’ll get a real person that will interact with you!

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

      I can’t seem to post on their wall with my link to the stories…..but I do keep tagging the Disney Cruise Line fan page. Still nothing! I’m just going to keep sharing my story, in hopes that it gets large enough that they take notice. It’s all I can do at this point. Which is probably why so many people just give up going against Disney, the big giant. And yes, you are right about the robot thing. FOR SURE.

  6. pamela jablonski September 14, 2012 at 9:30 am

    wow. I will pass the word around and share your link! our mennonite church in a semi-rural PA town has better security in our nursery than that! We have wrist bands with a coded number that parents have the same band to wear or carry. the bands must match to get your child. In a larger church I went to, you had a number, and if your child needed you or was crying (over however long you said was ok) a red number would flash on both sides of the church immediately. i was on a norweigen cruise and their child club security seemed ok, but i am sure issues happen everywhere-it’s just that your DANGEROUS SITUATION (NOT “concern”) was not handled well from start to finish by Disney!

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

      We might have to put your church in touch with Disney, perhaps they could learn something from their security procedures. There are so many ways they can improve their security that won’t even cost them anything, but a little extra time. Thanks so much for your support, and for sharing my story! It is appreciated beyond belief.

  7. Ashley S September 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

    This all kind of blows my mind! And at the end, their replies are like they don’t even care. You didn’t ask for financial compensation!!! They obviously aren’t paying attention to what you are upset about. Never been on a Disney Cruise, and will probably never go now…

    • November Sunflower November 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      I can’t believe I missed this comment! It is rather mind blowing, isn’t it? Unreal scary. Putting my trust in the Disney staff was never a second thought, I mean, they are a FAMILY BASED company. Upsetting.
      If you do go, just don’t put the kids in the club or lab. At least, not if this is still how they run things.

  8. Paula September 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

    What happened on that boat is completely inexcusable. There is no price tag on a child’s safety and I know now that my kids would not be safe there. The LEAST they can do is provide documentation that there will be a change in procedure. They really do owe you that much! They need to be held accountable for ensuring safety on that boat. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it does not happen again to another child.

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Exactly. Documentation would be a huge step in the right direction!!! Perhaps a phone call or two to give a little effort. It’s very upsetting.

  9. Adelina Priddis September 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I’m just so glad your daughter and son are safe! It sounded like a lot of copy and paste responses you were getting. Good for you for pursuing this! Hopefully it will never happen to another child.

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      It’s a robot factory when it comes to the people who work at the Guest Correspondence. Frustrating, but what can you do? Fight harder, and get your story heard by as many people as possible, in hopes that Disney will contact me, and work with me to figure out how to improve their safety. It’s not sufficient right now, it can only be improved!

  10. Andrea @ Living Changerously September 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Stacy – I can’t believe how they treated you. Even more surprising coming from Disney where their Customer Service is really top notch. I would have completely freaked out – I am impressed you kept your cool.

    • November Sunflower September 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      I have to be honest, I think I was so shocked, I couldn’t process my anger. I also didn’t want to scare my daughter, who is old enough to know when something is “not good” – however, later, when it all sank in, after the whole day had gone by, and I was sitting at the Spa/Salon, talking to the girl who did my toes, I broke down. And I threw up. She was so sweet, and just let me get it out, before she did my toes.
      The images of what could have happened kept pounding through my head. I didn’t think it could get worse, and then I was hit with their horrible guest correspondence team of misfits.

  11. Elizabeth September 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Definitely a scary situation that deserves strict attention to by the cruise line. There are a number of things that could have happened, and thank goodness they didn’t. I would be extremely upset if it was my children as well. It’s unfortunate that the lack of professionalism by even one can create a larger situation.

    I will say, It’s very clear you’ll never be satisfied with their response. Perhaps blog post #5 (handy for trying to drive traffic to your blog, eh?) should outline how you expected them to handle the situation, and perhaps DCL will read and act appropriately.

    • November Sunflower September 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      I don’t think they will care, as they were already informed as to what I wanted them to do through email. But I have been working on the fifth post…..I was HOPING to be able to follow it up with what Disney Cruise Line and I discussed……..
      When the responses are robotic, and cookie cutter, no, I won’t be satisfied with their responses. Now, it’s just about getting the story out there, so other parents kind of know, “Hey, it’s not as safe as you thought it was, and I found it out the hard way. Get yourselves prepared for your trip, and know, you have to be TEN times more diligent when they are in that club, than you thought was possible.”

  12. Mallery Schuplin September 18, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Thank you for sharing such a detailed experience with us! We were thinking about doing a Disney cruise in 2015 but I will have to think more about our plans now. I really hope that you are able to write a 5th post where they own up to this mess!

    • November Sunflower September 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Definitely do your research, not just about the cruise itself, but about the boat. See if they have made any changes to the way they handle the wristbands, etc. Let them know your major concerns, because you’ve been alerted to a serious issue that occurred on their Magic Boat in 2012, out of New York. And I hope to be able to write that 5th post as well……..

  13. Jen November 25, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I would NOT leave my kids at at a Disney Cruise Line kids’ activity after reading about your experience. I

    • November Sunflower November 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

      It’s really sad. The whole experience. I wish they would get back to me and tell me how they plan on changing their systems, because they are severely lacking in security. However, Disney Cruise Line still doesn’t care about it, they think nothing is wrong with what happened. However, when I was on the boat, the manager said something like this was grounds for being fired – but they never told me how they handled things with the “cast member” who put my daughter in danger.
      It’s upsetting, because my kids love Disney, and they would want to go again, but they have made it very clear they will NEVER go to that club again. However, I don’t plan on spending that much money for a cruise with a company that treated my kid like she was nothing but a dollar sign. Makes me sick.

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