A family in Kentucky is going to enjoy a family vacation after Carnival reconsidered its cancellation penalty following a vicious attack on young Troy Walter. The teenage was coming to the defense of his friend who was attacked by a knife yielding man now in jail on attempted murder charges.
The family was scheduled to take a Caribbean cruise vacation but Troy was stabbed in the head and neck two weeks earlier. Troy's mother called Carnival and informed customer service representatives of the attack which resulted in her son's hospitalization for two months. She says that the Carnival customer representative promised her over the telephone that her family would receive a cruise credit of $2,000 so that they could take a cruise later.
But when she later contacted Carnival to re-book the cruise, Carnival informed her that it had no record that anyone at Carnival promised a future cruise credit. This was significant because the family had not purchased insurance and would forfeit the entire cruise fare. Carnival would not reconsider its cancellation penalty which Carnival explained was a "standard industry practice."
The Walter family contacted a local television station and spoke to the "troubleshooter" department who contacted Carnival and, eventually obtained a cruise credit good for the next year.
The local newspaper ran the story (see video below) which sparked a debate about whether the family should have been penalized for not buying insurance. We recommend to everyone to always buy insurance because you never know what will happen right before or during a cruise.
Cruise lines have received a lot of bad press recently. Read this article about another cruise line, NCL, which would not alter its cancellation after one of its customer's brother died right before the cruise. The customer had to attend his brother's funeral and asked NCL to refund the cruise fare or provide a credit. NCL refused. The customer asked NCL at least to let the aggrieved passenger donate his cruise vacation to a sick child as part of the Make-A-Wish charity. NCL would not budge. Then came the sick part. NCL sold the cabin to another customer.
Yes, NCL received a double profit due to a death in the customer's family. Talk about bad karma. I wrote an article And You Wonder Why the Cruise Industry Has an Image Problem.
Unlike NCL, in this case Carnival did the right thing. Yes passengers should always buy insurance, but its nice to see cruise lines act human once in a while.