ROY, Utah — A Utah family says their vacation ended before it started when they were denied boarding on a Carnival cruise ship.
Matthew Mobley and his children were set to take a seven-day cruise sailing out of southern California on Saturday.
Matthew and his teenage daughter are both vaccinated against COVID-19. His six-year-old son is not.
The day before their cruise left the port, all three individuals tested negative for COVID-19 through rapid tests.
When they arrived to board the ship, they were not allowed past the security checkpoint.
“I get there, they start checking us in, they say, ‘You are red-flagged,’” Matthew said. “I say, 'What am I red-flagged for?’ They say, ‘Your son needs to be retested.’”
But the family didn’t have time to get another test for the boy.
They watched as the ship left the dock.
“He is heartbroken,” Matthew said of his son.
The boy feels like he is responsible for the family not being allowed on the ship.
Matthew shared emails he received from Carnival Cruises prior to the departure date.
One states that vaccinated guests will be allowed on board with either a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test.
A second message indicates that guests who are not vaccinated must present a negative PCR test prior to boarding.
According to the test result paperwork shared by Matthew, the family took “Rapid” COVID-19 tests.
Matthew claims Carnival never explained the reason why the family could not get on board the ship.
“I have four other little kids in school right now, and I get it,” he said. “It’s pretty dangerous. You make me go through all these hoops, I do everything I am supposed to and now I am in the situation I am in.”
A similar issue prevented another Utah family from boarding a Royal Caribbean cruise last month.
A travel agent says booking your plans through a trusted agency can prevent issues like this because a booking agent can act as an advocate in case something goes wrong and also explain the constantly changing safety protocols.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruises did not return FOX13’s request for comment.