Carnival Cruise Refund PolicyOne issue we write about often is the cruise industry’s refusal to refund cruise fares when tragedy strikes their customers. 

We have seen cruise lines refuse to accommodate their guests when family members die unexpectedly, natural disasters destroy their customers’ homes, and even when children develop cancer. The cruise lines pocket the fares and then often sell the ship cabins for what turns out to be a double profit for the cruise line.

Seems heartless to me. Some people think its okay because the customers didn’t buy insurance (which the cruise lines also sell for additional profit). But there are exceptions to every rule. It’s bad karma to obtain a double profit when your customers face the heartbreak of losing a child, especially if he’s a slain police officer.   

As WKMG explains, the Carnival representative not only denied a refund to the father of slain Ocala police officer Jared Forsyth, she rubbed salt into the wound. "Well, if you want to play the dead son angle," she told the dad of the dead son.

Carnival eventually refunded most of the cruise expenses (except $1,500) only after the grieving father complained to the local news station which contacted the cruise line’s public relations spokesman.

Have a thought? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

April 17, 2015 UpdateCruise Line Refunds Vacation to Family of Police Officer Killed at Training. It looks like Carnival was shamed into apologizing to the family and finally giving them a full refund. 

April 18, 2015 Update: The Ocala Post interviewed me regarding the story, which you can read here

Video and photo credit: WKMG


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


  • Warren Shaw

    Its amazing that the police officer’s father would even consider “repairing the relationship” with Carnival Cruise after being admonished for using the “dead son angle”. Having been in the circumstance when a family member is killed while traveling overseas (not on a cruise), trust me – it undermines your ability to think and act clearly. If the father had not reached out to the news media, this story would have never happened. As to who is playing the “angle” here, isn’t it obvious?

    When considering a cruise vacation, keep in mind that a relaxing vacation can easily turn into a floating North Korean prison camp at sea. It depends on your state of mind, some might say, until it happens to them.

  • M Bishop

    Very unprofessional and bad for business

  • Lucy

    Come on, Carnival. Are you kidding me? It should never have had to go to the news media to get that refund! Just do the right thing, Carnival. They will never see a dime of my money! These cruise ships use US ports but they sail under different countries’ flags. Maybe we should force them to sail under US flags and abide by our laws since most of their customers are US citizens!

  • John Goldsmith

    Just by looking at the numbers alone, Number of cruisers per year, divide that by the number of possible reasons to refund the cost of the cruise to the end user. There should be a process involved with ALL Cruise Lines to make the situation right. Insurance aside, Bad things happen to good people. I do not believe it would cost the lines a great deal in actual cash, since the cruise line can and will resell the cabin, to have a customer service department dedicated to this and other scenarios mentioned earlier.
    Just a thought.

  • Shannon White

    This is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of! I have cruised with Carnival Cruise Lines before. But I will NEVER step foot on another of their ships again!!
    I am not from Ocala, but we were there visiting our son when this tragedy occurred. I happened to be on the road on the evening that this young man’s body was transported to the coroner’s office. It was gut wrenching to see four police cruisers escorting the Medical Examiner’s van to be followed by four more cruisers, all with their lights on… The pain of this family (and also this community) is unimaginable! To be made worse by the callous treatment that they received is unforgivable!

  • Heather

    I am completely disgusted by Carnivals behavior and lack of sympathy for the loss of a true hero. They will never see a dime of my money. They should be ashamed of theirselves.

  • Dale Rumsley

    My wife and I have been on 7 carnival cruises. When I book my next cruise, I will make sure it is not Carnival, or any of the other numerous cruise lines owned by Carnival. This story made me sick.

  • Anna

    Please update this story with the correct details. Carnival refunded the money and reviewed the call in question which lasted over an hour and at no time did the Rep say anything regarding the “dead son angle”. Many Carnival team members were involved in the phone call and many times condolences were conveyed. Condolences on the family’s loss.

  • Debra

    This officer who died was from my community. It was a tragic death and has affected the family, our community and the Law Enforcement community with untold grief. I abhor that the representative from Carnival could have been so cruet to have responded with such trash as “Oh, you’re playing the death card”. It is sad that it took a public outcry and official notification from a news affiliate to “prove” this horrific death. I praise Carnival for doing what is right. I can say, my initial thoughts were to move my business in support of this local hero. God Bless this family and God Bless those men and women that put their lives on the line daily to serve and protect us all. Do they deserve our support? YES! As do any first respond-er and our military. This is a family that has been loyal to Carnival. I appreciate their change of heart. jmo….and yes, this community still grieves.

  • LVM

    The insensitivity of Carnival Cruise lines and the attitude of their sales staff toward their customers, fellow human beings is unacceptable. A message needs to be sent and sent directly to their bottom line. DO NOT USE CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES!
    Put people first and mean it or else lose our business.

  • peter

    My wife and I have travelled on carnival twice now and I must say that we are treated with the utmost respect and always have a sympathetic ear for any problems that I or my wife have encountered.
    For the poor family that have had to endure a loss and in there minds a bad experience with carnival which ended up ok I can only say that perhaps the wrong person at the wrong time answered the call. With the delicacy of the call it was not, it would appear handled as it should have been but the wrong was righted in the end.

  • Stephen Hnida

    Sometimes in life you have to do the “right thing”

  • Patrick Brickman

    All police officers should boycott Carnival Lines- let all their friends why ….!

  • Laurie Bennett

    I had a similar thing happen quite a few years ago now. I was scheduled to go on a cruise with a few of my coworkers at the hospital where we worked. I can’t remember now if it was Carnival of not. Insurance was never mentioned when we paid for the cruises. My Grandfather was living with us then and had become ill and the closer to the cruise it got the more concerned I was that he might pass away while I was gone leaving my Mom to deal with it all. I ultimately decided to cancel my cruise and was initially told i would receive no refund. After pushing a little they decide they would reimburse me what I would have got if I’d had insurance. My Grandfather didn’t die during that time but it wasn’t long after so my instincts were right to cancel.

  • Daisy

    it never amazes me how these cruise lines hire some of the most “brilliant” people. Consider the piece of work that he unfortunately dealt with on the phone at Carnival.

    In my opinion if you hire an employee that displays this type of conduct that is very telling about the quality of your business.

    “Well, if you want to play the dead son angle,” the correct words should have been more along the lines of my condolences to you!

    Years ago you would never hear an employee speak to a customer this way. Our standards have been lowered to a fault. The common courtesy, ethics, respect or just plain old service with a smile is few and far between.

    I will not be cruising Carnival!!!!!