After 3-Year Cruise Is Canceled, Consumers Left with Sinking Feeling 09 January 2024
A cruise that offered passengers “the adventure of a lifetime” – a three-year voyage around the world with stops at the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal, among other bucket list destinations – was abruptly cancelled weeks before it was scheduled to set sail. Now, consumers are trying to get their refunds.
Turned out, Life at Sea Cruises was missing one of the key components to make passengers’ dream vacation a reality – a ship.
Ships are, as you might imagine, expensive and after Life at Sea reportedly scrapped plans to refit one of its own vessels, it couldn’t raise enough money to purchase a new ship, according to several media outlets that have covered the fallout from the sudden cancellation, which is drawing comparisons to the Fyre Festival debacle.
Yet for months, as chaos unfolded behind the scenes, passengers who paid tens of thousands of dollars for their spot on the cruise – some withdrawing from their retirement savings or selling their home to help pay for the trip – were assured that the ship would set sail from Istanbul for its 1,095-day, 140-country journey on Nov. 1 as scheduled.
Some of those passengers became stranded in the Turkey port city.
“There’s a whole lot of people right now with nowhere to go, and some need their refund to even plan a place to go – it’s not good right now,” said one passenger in November, according to CNN.
Another passenger told NPR, “Some people read the headlines and think, ‘Oh, that was a scam,’ but I really did my homework before I put a deposit down.” For example, the passenger said she had attorneys look into the company’s background.
But it wasn’t enough and now she is just one of many aggrieved consumers waiting for Life at Seas to refund her.
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