North Texas

Family Wants Refund After Cruise Plan Changed

A North Texas family was setting sail to celebrate an anniversary, but they found out the hard way that cruise lines don't have to stick to the planned schedule.

The Tromplers love hanging out with their family and they love cruising.

"We've been cruising with Carnival actually since 1982 we achieved Platinum Status," Janet Trompler said.

In May, they planned a trip with their daughter, her husband and their two children to celebrate the Grimes' 10th wedding anniversary.

"We had planned for our two daughters and our family to go on a dolphin excursion to get the swim with the dolphins and to have some beach time,"  daughter Ashley Grimes said.

They got off the ship for about 45 minutes in Progresso, but were really excited about the second stop, Cozumel. But as they got close, the family was told Cozumel was not happening.

"He said that unfortunately we were not gonna be able to stop because of technical issues and there was no tug to safely push us into port," Trompler said.

"I was devastated because my little girl was looking forward to the dolphin experience," Ashley's husband Dallen Grimes said.

Carnival gave all guests a $100 credit, but the head of Federal Maritime Commission, Mario Cordero, said cruise lines don't have to do anything if they switch your itinerary because the goverment does not regulate the terms and conditions of cruises. Your ticket governs your rights. So read carefully before you buy.

"They need to find out what the contract actually is, so be familiar with the terms of the contract," Cordero added. "They're going to be very important if something happens where the consumer feels dissatisfied."

Still, you can file a complaint with the FMC and they can try to mediate.

The Tromplers said what they want is their money back.

"They gave us a five-day boat ride, that's correct, but they did not give us what we paid for," Trompler said.

We reached out to Carnival for this story. They told us of the Trompler's cruise:

Carnival Liberty departed Galveston Saturday, May 7 on a five-day Mexico cruise with scheduled stops in Progreso and Cozumel. The ship docked in Progreso for the day on Monday, May 9, however high winds prevented the ship from leaving and it was forced to remain docked there overnight. As a consequence, the scheduled call in Cozumel had to be cancelled as there was not enough time to visit Cozumel and then sail back to Galveston on schedule. Although the ship is having an issue with its bow thrusters  (bow thrusters assist a ship in docking maneuvers) even with full thruster capability we would not have been able to depart Progreso. Despite the assistance of two tugboats, the wind was blowing the ship back to the pier and the channel leading in and out of Progreso is quite narrow. So even if we had been able to navigate away from the pier, attempting to sail through the narrow channel given the winds was too much of a safety risk.. All guests were given a $100 per person shipboard credit as a result of the missed call in Cozumel.
Presently the ship ins on a four-day cruise that departed Galveston on Thursday and is scheduled to call in Cozumel tomorrow.

The FMC has more information on how to protect yourself here.

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