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recoby4of5 March 4th, 2013 10:32 PM

Carnival Has Decided Not to Refund Triumph NonRefundable Flight Costs
If you were one of the tens of thousands of people who were booked aboard the Carnival Triumph during the months of late February, March, and early April 2013 you have undoubtedly heard that Carnival has offered refunds for the cruise costs and non refundable airfare. What you may not have heard yet is that Carnival is quietly backing out of its commitment to refund passengers for the non refundable airfare. Here is the initial press release from Carnival:

…Carnival has also canceled 14 voyages of the carnival Triumph through April 13, 2013. Guests on the affected sailings will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes.
What many of you already know or are about to find out is that Carnival has backed out of its commitment. Cruise fare is being slowly refunded, but the company has made a decision to not allow airfare refunds, stating that airlines will offer credit for non-refundable airfare. Here is the email we received March 2nd 2013 telling us that Carnival had backed out of their offer:

Dear **** ****,

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the disruption and cancellation of your cruise vacation.

We have confirmed with Southwest Airlines that some of the flights are still active and no changes or cancellations have been made. They also advised that once you cancel you will have a credit for the cost of your flights valid until January 23, 2014. For the portions that were canceled Southwest Airlines issued a credit valid until January 23, 2014.

Since no fees have been incurred and a credit will be issued by the airlines no compensation will be forthcoming from Carnival at this time.


F***** M*****
Guest Administration Coordinator
Carnival Cruise Lines | 3655 NW 87th Avenue | Miami, FL 33178 |
Not all the details in Carnival’s letter are correct, but a credit that is good only for the next eight months and only on Southwest Airlines is nowhere close to a “full refund.” Thank you Southwest for being the responsible company and offering to give credit. But Carnival has really taken the low road on this one. As for us, we have our vacations planned out for the next year…and thus have no use for the credits. We are out about $1000 due to Carnival’s cancellation.

If we are any representation of “normal travel expenses” then $333 per passenger, 3000 paid cruisers, aboard each of the 14 cruises; Carnival seems to be sacking their paying customers with a $13,986,000 bill that Carnival agreed to pay in exchange for good will.

If you are one of the people negatively impacted by Carnival’s decision to back out of their offer please consider writing about it. Look up who wrote about Carnival in your local newspaper and write them. Here are some of the reporters that covered the topic.

Robbie Brown with The New York Times:
Bill Burke with The Boston Herald:
Molly Hennessy-Fiske with The LA Times:
Jessica Chasmar with The Washington Times:
Lipcon, Margulies(one of the class action law firms):
Carnival (the responsible party):

zydecocruiser March 4th, 2013 11:40 PM

Southwest is very good at letting people make changes at no charge and bags still fly free. The air tickets/vouchers still have value and there has been no loss.

Carnival's generous offer more than adequately compensates.

This reeks to me of someone trying to get more than they are entitled to by playing semantics and misrepresentation. Not all the details in your post are exactly correct.

BernieG March 4th, 2013 11:46 PM

That's fairly standard. You haven't lost your airfare, you have a year to use the credit. I would expect them to cover your change fees.

flowers March 5th, 2013 12:08 AM

I used SW credit card miles and had to cancel a couple of cruises coming up this spring, due to my TA changing things (not my fault). I was surprised that SW refunded my miles and the small amount of taxes with no fees and did it without question.

Thank you SW. Since I used credit card miles I was surprised they refunded them.

zydecocruiser March 5th, 2013 08:09 AM

and why not just book an alternate cruise for the same dates?

ruthlessboss March 5th, 2013 09:31 AM


Originally Posted by zydecocruiser (Post 1466358)
and why not just book an alternate cruise for the same dates?

I agree. The time had already been set aside, evidenced by the cancelled cruise. The money invested has been returned. He has the credit for air, so that's taken care of. It's double dipping to get an air credit (airline policy), and expect cash back too. Why is the credit so unuseable now? It can be used to go anywhere, right?

Phil&Liz March 5th, 2013 09:30 PM


Originally Posted by recoby4of5 (Post 1466339)
If you were one of the tens of thousands of people who were booked aboard the Carnival Triumph

You failed math. "Tens of thousands" is incorrect.

lhp March 6th, 2013 04:04 PM

I would ask where you got that "press release"....

the reason I ask is that a couple of folks have been posting a "press release" that some blogger wrote and NOT an official statement issued either directly by email from Carnival OR on the Carnival website.

It did not take long to look at their "link" to see that they were depending on information from a 3rd source that was incorrect.

What some "blogger" decides to post is not an official statement from Carnival.

Carnival has consistantly reimbursed the $100 - $200 per person change fee (IF any fee was necessary) to change airline tickets that is usually what the airlines charge.

This is a good cautionary tale though to warn people in the future to only follow OFFICIAL statements via direct email or on the Carnival website and not to just believe what "cruisin' joe blow from Idaho" writes, because ole Joe might not know what they are talking about.

zydecocruiser March 7th, 2013 12:41 PM

An urban legend in the making.

Paul Motter March 7th, 2013 01:52 PM

Not to be one-sided, but Carnival said "non-refundable" travel costs. If you can still use a ticket do you really expect Carnival to pay you for it as well?

Do you promise the send the money back to Carnival if you end up using the ticket to go somewhere else in the next year?

faraway March 8th, 2013 07:55 PM

First, Southwest did step up to be a responsible company. Issuing airline credit vouchers, good for one year, for non-refundable airfares is the industry standard. I used to book travel for my company and this was always the case. Carnival is refunding the cruise fare. Regardless of what Carnival stated, they are not going to refund the airfare if the airline is going to issue a credit for the same. The customer would be getting double compensation.

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