Update: Carnival and Disney Cruise Ships Pick Up Cuban Refugees

April 13, 2013

Update, 12:53 p.m. EDT: Disney Cruise Line confirmed to Cruise Critic that at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Disney Wonder picked up eight refugees from a raft on the afternoon of April 12, about 45 miles from Key West. They were brought onboard and provided medical attention, food and water.

(10:48 a.m. EDT) -- On Friday, April 12, Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Conquest picked up several Cuban refugees from a raft in the Atlantic Ocean 40 miles off the coast of Key West.

The pickup by New Orleans-based Carnival Conquest, of 13 individuals, was initially reported by WWLTV News 4 in New Orleans. Carnival confirmed the pick up to Cruise Critic.

"In coordination with the United States Coast Guard, the 13 Cuban nationals were taken on board Carnival Conquest and provided food, water and medical treatment," Carnival director of public relations Lanie Morgenstern said.

The ship was expected to rendezvous with a Coast Guard cutter near Key West to transfer the individuals.

According to the News 4 report, the refugees were picked up from a "rustic vessel." The report also cited information from the Coast Guard indicating a Disney cruise ship was involved in the pickup. Cruise Critic has reached out to the Coast Guard and Disney Cruise Line for more information.

Carnival Conquest is finishing a seven-night sailing that departed New Orleans on April 7.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines.