Tearful mother speaks out after vacation nightmare comes to an end

NEW YORK — A vacation nightmare came to an end Tuesday for a family stuck in Barbados after their Norwegian Gem Eastern Caribbean cruise ship broke down more than a week earlier.

Fighting back tears, Kara Kaminski told reporters in New York Tuesday morning it took days to get medication for her 10-year-old son, who has asthma and allergies, and that they were put in a roach-infested hotel as they waited to finally leave the Caribbean island.

“I miss my family so much. I couldn’t wait to get home,” Kaminski said, noting her son, “was the one suffering for a majority of the time.”

The cruise left New York Halloween night and terminated in Barbados on Saturday, November 11. Some on board were flown home, but others were unable to due to medical conditions, and were accommodated at resorts in Barbados, cruise officials told PIX11 last Wednesday.

The mishap forced those trapped on the island to be away from essential medications, such as Kaminski’s son, who she said was without for five days.

While some stranded passengers said they were OK with how cruise officials handled the ordeal, Kaminski said her son’s condition was given as a reason they were placed away from nicer hotels, an in one infested with roaches.

In addition to being away from necessary medications, and staying in less-than-ideal conditions, Kaminski said a friend on the cruise was also informed Tuesday she was terminated from her job.

When first contacted, prior to the ship’s return Tuesday, a company spokesperson provided the following statement:

The company is accommodating select guests who were unable to fly home due to medical conditions at nearby resorts in Barbados, with all meals included. ... Norwegian has secured and provided complimentary common medications for those guests who required additional dosage prior to their return, and continues to work with local providers to make every efforts to source additional medications as necessary.