She said yes, but Carnival Cruise Line said no

Carnival Cruise Line said no, but she said yes.

A Carnival cruise to Mexico’s scenic Yucatán Peninsula seemed like the perfect occasion for Jordan Brungardt to propose to his girlfriend. But before he popped the question, he consulted with an onboard photographer about capturing the moment when he hoped she would say “yes.”

“I was verbally quoted a price around $200,” says Brungardt.

The good news? His girlfriend said “yes.” The not-so-good-news? The onboard photographer charged him $998 for seven pictures and a two-minute video. And, despite protesting the surprise bill, no one has offered to fix it for him.

“This is absolutely outrageous,” he says. “Not only is that price taking advantage of customers trying to capture special moments, but I was forced to pay it if I wanted any type of photo that captured my engagement. Had I known the true cost of these items, I would have certainly asked another guest on the ship for their assistance in capturing this special moment.”

Now Brungardt wants our help recovering his $798. His case is a reminder of the importance of paperwork, particularly with wedding season just around the corner. Get everything in writing.

“Regrettably there is no refund or compensation”

The paper trail for Brungardt’s case is short and disappointing. It shows that he reached out to Carnival after his cruise and asked for a refund. The response was predictable.

We want you to know that we did not take your feedback lightly when you called us. On the contrary, we take guests’ concerns very seriously. This is why we shared your comments with the relevant department managers for their internal review, as part of our drive for continuous improvement.

While we too share your disappointment regarding the photographs’ cost, regrettably there is no refund or compensation. We know this is not the answer you were looking for, but trust you understand Carnival’s position regarding the matter.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for your disappointment and thank you for your feedback. We hope we have the opportunity to win back your confidence on a future Carnival cruise.

My advocacy team had hoped he might be able to show correspondence between him and the photographer, Dalibor Petkovski. But he couldn’t.

No evidence of the $200 rate

Here’s the problem with Brungardt’s case. With no screenshot, email, or handwritten note, it’s his word against Carnival’s — or more specifically, Petkovski’s.

Let’s take a step back from this case. Is $998 too much to pay for a few pictures and a short video clip? Oh, absolutely. If Carnival or this photographer think the charge is reasonable, they’ve been smoking too much seaweed.

In fact, the prices he paid differ dramatically from the ones quoted on Carnival’s site:

Fun Shots (5×7): $11.99 to $14.99 USD each

Cruise Collectibles (6×9): $14.99 to $17.99 USD each (embarkation photos, dining room photos and gangway photos)

Pro Portraits (8×10): $21.99 USD each

Excluding the video, Brungardt could have gotten 45 professional photographs — enough for a whole album — at those prices. Even though this was a private photo shoot, something about his bill is fishy.

Still, without written proof, it’s impossible to advocate this case. My advocacy team would pursue Carnival to the ends of the Earth if we had evidence that the cruise line quoted him $200 and then charged him almost a grande. But we don’t.

Three rules for a successful resolution

This might be a good time to mention my three rules for successfully advocating your next case:

1. Get it in writing.
2. Get it in writing.
3. Get it in writing.

Seriously, this case would have been a slam-dunk with a written price quote. In fairness to Brungardt, he probably had other things on his mind, like, “Will she say yes?” That’s understandable. But it just cost him $798.

Should Carnival refund Jordan Brungardt's $798?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Share this story
Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Enterprise Holdings

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.