This is what happens when you’re kicked off your cruise

Could you be accused of a crime, convicted and kicked off your cruise without any supporting evidence?

Halfway around the world, Elaine Chan discovered the answer to that question is yes. She and her husband were summarily ejected from their Holland America cruise in Helsinki. The captain accused Chan’s 65-year-old husband of assaulting a crew member. He then ordered the shocked couple to gather their belongings and get off his ship.

What happens when you need small claims help?

Sometimes, you have no choice. You need small claims help, and you need it now. It’s time to head to small claims court.

Consider what happened to Meghan Robinson, who recently bought a mini-pig named Peaches from a business called — I’m not making this up — Mini Pig World.

Planning your estate? Watch for these shady practices

There’s a lot to watch out for when you’re planning your estate.

Bad advice. High fees. Trust mills.

“Death brings out the worst in people,” says Francine Kent, an estate appraiser from Sarasota, Fla.

Unscrupulous advisors prey on the elderly and their heirs with questionable legal advice, unnecessary bills, and the ever-present living trust come-ons.

You can take your baby on a cruise, but should you?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether to take your baby on a cruise. But as a first time cruiser, Julie Belben didn’t realize just how complicated it could be to cruise with a baby. That is until the family was already out on the ocean. Now she has a long list of complaints about the experience and she wants a refund from Royal Caribbean. But is she owed anything?

This is how an internet scam stole her heart and money

Karen Cariaga couldn’t believe her luck. She had just secured a glamorous British Airways job and found love at the same time. The possibility that she might be caught up in an internet scam never crossed her mind.

But in her excitement, the young woman had let her guard down. That was a mistake.

This is what happens when you miss your cruise home

What happens when you miss your cruise home from Cuba — or anywhere else for that matter? Kevin Rohrer can tell you.

During a recent cruise on the Norwegian Sky, Rohrer and his girlfriend missed the ship’s reboarding deadline by two hours. The boat sailed home without the couple, and they suddenly found themselves stranded on the island.

Can you cruise with Medicare? She has a painful warning to share

When Maureen Niland and her husband booked their recent HAL cruise, their thoughts were on new adventures — not medical insurance. But tragedy struck just hours after the ship left the port in Ft. Lauderdale. John Niland suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died. And the new widow learned a terrible lesson – never take a cruise with Medicare as your primary insurance.

Free Southwest Airlines tickets? Here they are

If you’ve been waiting for me to give away those free Southwest Airlines tickets, your wait is over. It’s the last few days of your favorite consumer advocacy site’s spring fundraiser, and I’m ready to send tickets to a few lucky supporters.

Twice a year, we raise money from readers to pay the bills. We’ve almost met our goal. You can qualify for the ticket giveaway now by becoming an Elliott Advocacy supporter at any level.

What if all your assumptions about summer travel are wrong?

The 99 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the busiest of the year for travel, but also the most misunderstood. The conventional wisdom surrounding summer travel includes false narratives about who’s taking a vacation, how they’re getting there, how much they’re spending and where to find deals. Knowing the truth could help you have a better getaway.

Warning! The change password scam is back. Here’s how to avoid it

The change password scam has returned with a vengeance.

Have you received an email warning that your email or social media account password has “expired” and inviting you to follow a link to change it? If so, congratulations. You’re a target of the newest scam — and also one of the oldest in the book.

How to handle a vacation rental disaster

To say that Alan Muskat’s accommodations in Costa Rica were a vacation rental disaster would be an understatement.

“It was horrid,” Muskat says. Mosquitoes buzzed through gaping holes in the screens. Termites infested the kitchen. The roof leaked.

“Worst of all, it had fleas,” he remembers.

What you need to know about your Southwest travel funds

A year ago, a sudden major medical emergency forced Christopher King to cancel a Las Vegas vacation. He banked the value of his Southwest Airlines flight and intended to use it after he recovered. But now those Southwest travel funds are about to expire, and he isn’t quite well enough to use them yet.

This should help you get there

You might get the impression from reading this site that all our readers do is travel — specifically, that they fly everywhere they go.

Not true. More than half our cases are non-travel related, and besides, most travelers don’t fly; they drive. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about our next fundraiser giveaway. Our friends at BFGoodrich are giving away a set of tires, up to $1,200 in value, to one lucky underwriter this week. I’ll have details in a minute.

Hey, did you forget to pack your common sense?

Common sense has always been a precious commodity in travel. You don’t need stories about tourists plunging off cliffs in their cars or YouTube videos of national park visitors nearly being mauled by wild animals they were trying to pet to be reminded of that uncomfortable fact.

Are some travelers still being given free TSA PreCheck?

Security lines at some airports are long and require that passengers arrive even earlier than the airlines suggest in order to make their flights. Several years ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began Trusted Traveler Programs, including TSA PreCheck, which allow passengers who have paid a fee and submitted to a background check to benefit from expedited screening. Travelers with TSA PreCheck do not have to remove laptop computers or liquids from their carry-ons, and are allowed to keep their shoes and sweaters on as they are screened.

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