Travelers discover cruise is cancelled to make room for charter group
By Anita Dunham-Potter
Nov. 7, 2008
Last June, Beth Lawless-Walsh and her friend were looking forward to escaping the rainy Pacific Northwest on a seven-day Carnival Cruise Lines’ cruise in the Caribbean. Lawless-Walsh booked the cruise through a Florida-based online cruise booking site called Winston and Sons Cruises, a Joystar-affiliated agency. Lawless-Walsh had worked with the agency before and felt comfortable booking with them again. The friends opted to book their own airline tickets separate from the cruise — Lawless-Walsh cashed in frequent flier miles and her friend purchased tickets through Orbitz.
A few months after booking the cruise vacation her travel agent left the business and transferred her reservation over to another Florida-based online agency, DrewsCruise.com. Everything seemed to be taken care of, or so she thought.
Travel agent mess
In late October, six months ahead of the sailing, Lawless-Walsh signed on to Carnival’s Web site to fill out customs forms and discovered some shocking news: The Carnival Victory cruise had been canceled. Upset, she called her new travel agent to find out what happened. The agent was just as perplexed as Lawless-Walsh because there had been no record of a deposit refund to Lawless-Walsh’s credit card.