Forced off the cruise with no vouchers included! What went wrong?

Just days before the coronavirus shut the entire cruise industry down, John Buchan and his husband boarded MSC’s Grandiosa. They were looking forward to a relaxing voyage through the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, things started going wrong immediately when they opened their cabin door and found a naked couple already inside. But within hours, that shock was overshadowed by another unpleasant surprise. That’s when MSC summarily canceled their cruise and forced the couple off the ship before it even set sail.

A thief stole my passport and I missed my cruise! Won’t my insurance cover this?

If a thief clobbers you and steals your passport, causing you to miss your cruise, shouldn’t insurance cover your loss?

Margarita Re believes so.

Before the coronavirus shut down the entire cruise industry, Re was in Italy about to enjoy a Mediterranean voyage. She says a thief assaulted her as she prepared to board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas in Venice. He stole her passport and cash — leaving her with no identification to take the trip. So why won’t her travel insurance cover the missed cruise?

Help! I’m being limited to 15 booze drinks per day on my cruise

If you buy an unlimited alcoholic beverage package from your cruise line, can it change the terms later? That’s what Joan Barrett wants to know.

Barrett says that she was enticed to book a Princess cruise by the lure of an unlimited alcoholic beverage package. But later, Princess Cruises changed the terms to “just” 15 cocktails per day. And those changes are unacceptable to Barrett. (Reprint)

Can you get a refund instead of cruise credits for your canceled voyage?

A boatload of disgruntled cruise passengers has contacted the Elliott Advocacy team during the pandemic. Their question? How to get a refund instead of future credits after a cruise line canceled their voyage — more than once.

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not what most want to hear. But the tide has recently started to turn, and there is some good news on the horizon. (Updated April 24)

What happened to the earrings I bought on my cruise last year?!

The beautiful earrings that Robin White bought onboard her Caribbean cruise last year are missing. She’s been trying to find the lost gems for nearly a year, but the coronavirus pandemic has thwarted her efforts. Now Starboard Cruise Services claims a third party delivered the jewelry to her home last March.

So shouldn’t the company be able to provide proof of delivery of the $1,600 earrings?

White thinks so, and she wants the Elliott Advocacy team to get that proof, the earrings or her money back.

Can we do it? (Surprise update)

This is everything you need to know about taking a cruise

With the cruise industry back in full force, now is the perfect time to review our ultimate guide to a successful voyage.

The Elliott Advocacy team handles hundreds of requests for help from distressed cruise line passengers each year. Many of these cruise fiascos could have been avoided by following some simple guidelines. Here’s all the information you need to know about cruising before you embark on your next (or first) maritime adventure.

What if your agent cancels your cruise by mistake — and then quits?

What happens if your travel agent cancels your cruise by mistake and then quits his job? Unfortunately, Margaret Prendergast knows very well — you can quickly lose thousands of your hard-earned dollars.

Prendergast has been patiently waiting since March for Norwegian Cruise Line to process a refund for a cruise it canceled. But because her agent erroneously canceled her cruise several days before the cruise line, it’s a refund NCL will never send.

Now she’s asking the Elliott Advocacy team if we can somehow retrieve her lost $5,587. Can we do it?  

What happens when your travel agent never paid for your cruise

What if you flew across the Atlantic Ocean for a much anticipated cruise only to find out that your travel agent never paid for it?

That’s exactly what happened to Peggy Wimberly. She got an awful surprise when she showed up in Barcelona for her Mediterranean cruise aboard MSC’s Meraviglia. Although Wimberly had made full payment for the trip months before, her travel agent never paid for the cruise. As a result of the nonpayment, MSC canceled the reservation weeks before the sailing. And although MSC eventually allowed Wimberly to board the ship, it cost her an unexpected additional $1,633 — and the loss of her preferred cabin.

Can the Elliott Advocacy team figure out what went wrong here? 

The cruise left without them! This is what happened next

Many months before the coronavirus brought the cruise industry to halt, Marcelino and Julieta Bautista found themselves in a terrible predicament. The couple redeemed a free “Casinos at Sea” award for a cruise through the Alaskan glaciers. But they pressed their bets too far when they flew into Anchorage on the same day as embarkation. And although their flight arrived as scheduled, something went terribly wrong and the ship left without them.

As a result, that freebie cruise turned out to be no bargain at all. The couple was forced to pay thousands of dollars to catch up with NCL’s Jewel. Bautista says that the cruise line made the mistake that caused the ship to leave without them.

Now he wants reimbursement for all their extra expenses and wants Elliott Advocacy to help get it. Can we do it? (Reprint)