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I was stuck on the sea by a cruise ship. Now I owe $37,000



(CNN)— When she was stranded on the cruise ship Pacific and returned home after a few weeks at sea, writer and business coach CJ Hayden who lived in San Francisco immediately requested a refund.

According to her estimates, she and her partner Dave Herninko were owed about $37,500.

Hayden told CNN: “In the days we spend in the Indian Ocean where we have nowhere to go, they will not charge us.”

The Pacific Princess set sail in January for a 111-day round-the-world voyage, but it was curtailed after the Covid-19 pandemic closed the cruise industry in mid-March.

The passengers of the companions Hayden and Pacific Princess said they were told to apply for a refund of 1

00% cash and cash, plus a deductible future travel credit line, the Future Cruise Credit Line (FCC). In addition, they can get a 250% credit to offset future travel.

Hayden chose the former option. She and Elnenko said they were also owed home air tickets, excess baggage fees, prepaid land tour fees and port taxes that never occurred.

Hayden said she chased the cruise ship three weeks after the refund request because she heard nothing, and then Princess Cruise told her that she should wait 30 days.

A month later, Hayden could no longer hear. She checked again and was told 60 days.

Fast forward to the end of June, Hayden said it had been 99 days. She has received credit, but cash is nowhere to be found.

Long refund delays

Pacific_Princess_Cruise_Refund (3)

As shown in the picture, the Pacific Princess cruise ship (CJ Hayden).

Offered by CJ Hayden

Moreover, she is not the only one affected.

While in the sea, Hayden and Herningko formed a close connection with stranded travelers. Back home, the former boatmates still kept in touch, and these other Pacific Princess passengers told Hayden that they were also waiting for a refund.

After browsing online cruise message boards and social media, Hayden realized that the problem was not limited to the Pacific Princess. Passengers of other Princess Cruises and passengers of other cruise companies also called for a long wait.

It is frustrating that while waiting for a refund, they have already seen cruise operators promote new tours. After the industry group Cruise Lines International Association extended the “no-navigation order” until September 15, some of these trips were later cancelled.

Hayden said she had filed a complaint with the California Attorney General, the US Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Maritime Commission.

Negin Kamali, Director of Public Relations at Princess Cruises, told CNN that guests have learned about the refund process through social media and email.

Pacific_Princess_Cruise_Refund (2)

CJ Hayden and partner Dave Herninko take the Pacific Princess cruise.

Offered by CJ Hayden

The statement said: “Because we respect the money and time of our guests, handling refunds has been one of our top priorities since the company suspended operations.”

Princess Cruise said that in order to deal with the number and complexity of refunds, it had to “improve our system capabilities.”

The cruise company said that almost 60% of the refund has been completed and the refund and credit are processed separately.

The statement said: “Therefore, it is normal to receive one at different times. In many cases, the full amount of your future cruise credit will consist of two or three separate FCCs.”

The cruise company added that cash refunds may also require a series of payments.

Kamari told CNN that Hayden’s refund was processed on June 19 and she should receive the refund within five to seven working days.

Common issues with refund delays

Other cruise passengers who spoke with CNN said they also faced long waiting times with no signs of money. Others received some (but not all) of the cash or credit owed.

David Hidding cancelled a family trip to Alaska on Princess Cruises in March and received a refund last week.

He said he was frustrated about how to deal with this situation.

Hidding told CNN: “I explained that within 90 days, we have zero communication with anyone at Princess, which is unacceptable.” “No apologies, but [a Princess Cruises advisor] Reiterate that they have been overwhelmed by the issue of refunds. “

Judy Schmitz, a retired business analyst from Iowa, is also a member of the Pacific Princess. She chose to refund the 100% refund in cash, plus the corresponding credit limit.

Schmidz said she has received the credit, but she is still waiting for a cash refund, which she estimates is about $33,500.

When she was stranded from the sea and returned home, Schmidz was busy taking care of her sick father, who later died.

She said: “I can’t breathe until all the money is returned to me.”

Christina Gorston Family

Christina Golston and her family took a boat trip last fall.

Christina Golston

Iowa nurse Christina Golston is waiting for a refund from Carnival Cruises, creating a Facebook page to connect waiting to own Carnival Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Holland America Cruises and Kos Passengers refunded by Tower Cruises.

Goldston said: “Many people like me love cruise travel, but due to lost jobs or reduced working hours, we now need money to pay the bills.”

Carnival Cruises representative Vance Gulliksen told CNN that at the beginning of the service suspension, the “huge amount” of refunds had caused delays.

Gulliksen added: “However, we have continued to automate and simplify the process and work with our bank processors to improve work efficiency.” “In most cases, we have completed the backlog and feel that we can now The refund was processed and issued in a more timely manner. We certainly thank our guests for their patience with our unprecedented business interruption.”

“A much higher quantity than normal refund requirements”

New York civil servant Julie Huang said she was waiting for a refund from Norwegian Cruise Line.

Huang submitted a refund request in March-on behalf of himself and some family members, he demanded compensation of $9,100. She received an automatic response informing her that she should allow 90 days to process the request.

The 90th day came and went in the penultimate week of June, but Huang did not receive any updates. After being unable to get through the phone, she tweeted Norwegian.

She said she was not satisfied response Indicate the situation in which large refund requests are processed.
“Until all the money is returned to me, I can’t breathe out”

Judy Schmitz, cruise ship passenger

Huang said: “They have 90 days of missed opportunities, which allows me to take the initiative to know that they need more time.” “I am very happy, I believe our money will eventually come back. However, if they respond this way, I will lose now A little faith, and I’m not grateful for it.”

She added: “I respond to them more eagerly than money,”

Norwegian Cruise Line told CNN that due to unprecedented circumstances, the cruise company’s “refund processing volume is much higher than normal.”

“A statement provided to CNN wrote: “The refund will be made on the departure date of the voyage and according to the date the refund was originally requested. Our team is working tirelessly to return these refunds to the original payment method as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately, our ability to deliver the goods within the 90-day period originally communicated was delayed, and we hope to set appropriate expectations through the ability to deliver the goods. We are very grateful to our guests for their understanding and patience.”

“Atypical” experience

The Pacific Princess was held in Los Angeles in April, which was the last port of call after most passengers disembarked in Australia.

The Pacific Princess was held in Los Angeles in April, which was the last port of call after most passengers disembarked in Australia.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Nonetheless, despite the frustration of many cruisers, some travelers such as Robert Sohns did not feel relieved by the experience of being stuck at sea or waiting for money.

Sohns is also a crew member of the Pacific Princess, but unlike Hayden and Schmitz, he chose a full refund to withstand future voyages.

He had to wait 90 days, but about $36,500 of credit now exists in the Princess Cruises account, and another $36,500 of credit exists in his wife’s account.

Sauns said: “We just hope they won’t go bankrupt.” “It just took us a while to realize that they will eventually find us.”

Thornes and his wife attributed their credit to the 2022 World Princess of the Pacific Princess, aiming to replicate the 2020 voyage that should have taken place.

“In the past 50 years, we may have made nearly 100 cruise trips, half of which were on the princess. We have always known that there is potential for what is happening on the ship, but this is very atypical of. “




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