Passenger’s $12K Cruise Cancelled One Day Before Embarkation

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As many couples do, Tiffany and Jamie Banks had been counting down the days to their family’s Eastern Caribbean cruise onboard Carnival Celebration, which they booked over a year ago. 

The 6-night sailing, which embarked from Miami, Florida, without the Banks family on May 12, 2024, called on Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Puerto Plata/Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Nassau, Bahamas; before disembarking in Miami on May 18. 

In the time leading up to the cruise, Tiffany, who goes by @thathippiedoc on TikTok, shared her excitement about her upcoming stay in the exclusive Excel Presidential Suite – the biggest and most luxurious cabin onboard the Excellence-class ship. 

However, only one day before the couple was due to head to the port, Tiffany received a concerning email from Carnival informing her that two of her excursions had been cancelled. She quickly followed up with a phone call, during which she learned her booking had been cancelled. 

The disappointed passenger documented her experience in a now viral TikTok, which has garnered more than 159,000 views on TikTok since it was posted on May 12, 2024.

“Yesterday morning I got an email from Carnival saying two of our excursions have been cancelled,” Tiffany began her video. “So at 9 o’clock I called and they said your excursions were cancelled because your cabin was cancelled. Full blown panic.”

The shocked influencer spent approximately 2.5 hours on the phone with representatives from the cruise line, trying to understand what had happened to her booking and what her options were. 

Since the one and only presidential suite had already been booked by another passenger of the busy sailing by the time Tiffany called (Carnival Celebration can accommodate up to 6,500 passengers), the representative was only able to offer the Banks family two interior cabins as a last-ditch effort to get them onboard.

Read Also: Boarding a Cruise Ship – All You Should Know

“We talked for almost, or over, two and half hours, and the only solution they were willing to offer was two interior rooms – I just can’t even fathom how they think that’s right – for a Presidential Excel Suite which we have nearly $15,000 tied up in,” Tiffany said.

As the excel presidential suite cost approximately $12,000 (USD) and the family had already spent around $3,000 more in costs for extras, excursions, and airfare, Tiffany did not find this solution to be satisfactory.

A cruise line randomly cancelling a passenger’s sailing would be an extremely rare occurrence. While there are rare instances where a sailing is overbooked or a cruise has to be cancelled for potential safety issues or because of urgent repairs, what Tiffany describes on TikTok is virtually unheard of. 

During the hours the TikToker spent on the phone with Carnival, she worked to get to the bottom of her vacation’s cancellation. Originally, the cruise line thought a glitch may have occurred, but in reality, Tiffany was a victim of identity theft.

Tiffany Banks Carnival Cruise Suite Cancellation
Tiffany Banks Carnival Cruise Suite Cancellation

“The original person that I talked to said that the system cancelled it, and then the second person was a manager or lead… said that the online system had been logged into and it had been cancelled,” she said.

Unfortunately, it seems that someone was able to log into Tiffany’s booking and cancel her reservation – but they only received access to her booking because she posted her booking ID and her cabin number on social media for all her followers to see. 

Read Also: What Cruise Lines Does Carnival Own?

As Carnival only requires a guest’s last name and booking ID to link a cruise reservation to a new online account, it would have been simple for someone with malicious intent to cancel the TikToker’s cruise – which in this case, the unidentified person did 48 hours before the sailing. 

In a subsequent video that Tiffany posted on May 14, 2024, the TikToker expressed her frustration with the cruise line for not providing acceptable compensation.

At the end of the 3-minute long video, which has been viewed 136.5K times, the influencer included clips of her phone conversation with Carnival.

@thathippiedoc

Well they still aren’t willing to make this right .. they apologized and then spit in my face with another bogus offer.. i want an apology from them trying to make it look like i was lying or hiding something or even worse – that there were security issues.. i will keep yall posted I promise .. #cruisetokc #carnivalcelebration #truth @carnival you owe me a public apology, and my money !

♬ original sound – Tiffany Banks

“This was not a security breach on Carnival’s part. We strongly believe that you were sadly a victim of a form of identity theft. The booking was added to a profile that was created on our website the same day that the booking number was posted on Facebook,” the customer service representative says on the recording. 

Unfortunately for Tiffany, posting her private booking details set her up to become a victim of identity theft, which is her own fault. 

One TikToker, named Jenn (@cruisinwithjenn) went so far as to post a video on May 15 compiling all the places where Tiffany shared her cruise booking details publicly. 

“Alright yall, if you post your booking number publicly. PUBLICLY. Any one can take this information and your last name and put it into ‘manage my booking’ on Carnival and access your cruise,” Jenn wrote in the caption. 

Does it make it right, that someone potentially took this info and used it to do hurtful things- no. But why would you post such private info like this publicly…this is negligence on the guest,” continued Jenn.

Depending on the post, social media users are divided between siding with Tiffany or blaming her for the situation. 

Cruise Line And TikToker Still At Odds 

As Carnival Cruise Line is likely not responsible for Tiffany’s cancelled cruise, the company technically isn’t obligated to compensate her in any way. Company policy explains that it is the passenger’s responsibility to protect their booking information. 

“You are solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or account. It is also your sole obligation to immediately notify Carnival of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security,” reads Carnival’s cruise contract.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship in Grand Turk
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Even so, Carnival has tried to make things right – first by offering the Banks family an alternative to still join their intended cruise – and according to Tiffany’s video on May 14, the cruise line had offered her a $10,000 future onboard cruise credit in exchange for posting “a positive resolution on social media.” 

Tiffany deemed that resolution as unacceptable, claiming that a policy should have been in place to prevent someone from stealing her reservation – even though she publicly posted it on social media – and that if Carnival had acted faster, she may have been able to recover her original booking. 

The second issue is that Tiffany feels that John Heald, Carnival’s brand ambassador, has disparaged her on social media. 

“I am seeing more and more comments or screenshots from people who have sent stuff that John the ambassador for Carnival is stating and each one just makes it look like he’s implying different things. One of them, you know, he’s implying that I’m just lying,” Tiffany said in another TikTok

As part of her compensation, Tiffany now wants an apology from the cruise line for trying to make it look like she was “lying or hiding something or even worse.” 

But according to Heald, Tiffany had never reached out to him – and there are numerous comments from Heald responding to curious social media users where he states as much and chooses to keep the situation private.

John Heald
John Heald

“I can honestly tell you without fear or trepidation of anybody saying otherwise that she has not posted on my page. All she has to do is like my page and then anybody can post anything during the time the page is open…So there is nothing further that I will be saying on this until such time as either the lady herself writes to me or I am asked to by my colleagues in Miami,” Heald responded to a Facebook user. 

Carnival’s brand ambassador also reminded Facebook users that there are two sides to every story. 

“We always take great care of our guests and there is always another side to everything. If the guest would like to communicate with me directly, I will be here standing by to help,” wrote Heald. 

As of Tiffany’s most recent TikTok post on the matter, which was two days ago on May 18, the matter has still not been resolved.

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