Cruise Ship Left Couple ‘Stranded’ In Bermuda

September 3, 2015

After a personal situation changed their plans, a couple who had planned a cruise to Bermuda had another wrench thrown in their itinerary when they flew here to board a Princess Cruises ship that decided to unexpectedly bypass Bermuda on its voyage, leaving the couple stranded on the island.

A report in the Hamilton Spectator says, “Paul Dowhaniuk had carefully planned his wife Cindy’s 55th birthday — a visit to Universal Studios in Florida and a trans-Atlantic cruise to the United Kingdom. It was going to be a very special occasion.

“But things went terribly wrong. Paul’s 91-year-old mother-in-law passed away shortly before he and Cindy were scheduled to fly to Florida last April. Their Princess Cruises voyage was to begin in Fort Lauderdale on April 25. The ship was to sail to Bermuda, then cross the ocean to the United Kingdom.”

“When I knew my mother-in-law was dying, I called Princess to ask what I should do,” he told Action Line. “They suggested I could meet up with the ship in Bermuda on April 28, Cindy’s birthday. I was provided with emails confirming we could do this and we cancelled our flights to Florida and made plans to fly to Bermuda.”

“But Princess Cruises never docked in Bermuda that day, choosing an alternate route to cross the Atlantic.

“The couple — regular “cruisers” who’ve sailed with the company many times — was left stranded, and told us they spent approximately $1,500 for their flights to and from Bermuda, accommodation on the island and for food and taxi services while waiting for their ship to arrive.

“They had paid $1,814.98 for the 14-day cruise.

“They booked a return flight home with WestJet, telling their ordeal to a flight attendant. She reported it to the airline and WestJet has given this couple a $500 credit toward a future flight, as a goodwill gesture.

“The couple had written the cruise line, stating they wanted a cash refund for the cruise they never had and a credit for their Bermuda expenses.

“That prompted an Aug. 19 reply from Lisa Black, the cruise line’s manager of customer relations.”

“I am truly sorry for the circumstances that led to the cancellation of your planned cruise and I extend my condolences to you and Mrs. Dowhaniuk for your family’s loss,” Black stated. “We have provided a full refund of your booking in the amount of $1,814.98. I regret your continued dissatisfaction.

“I would like the opportunity to make your next cruise especially memorable. I ask you contact me directly at that time and I will provide you with a complimentary dinner at one of our specialty restaurants, as well as a bottle of wine. Additionally, I would be happy to provide you with a complimentary upgrade on your sailing, and I will make every effort to ensure we provide you with an upgrade that will greatly enhance your experience.”

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  1. TonyC says:

    A sad story all round. What is telling though is that a flight for two to Bermuda and a night, maybe two, in a hotel, cost $1,500, while a 14 day transatlantic cruise for 2 cost just $300 more.

    • Regina says:

      And that, right there, is why our tourist numbers are down. Plain and simple. It is what it is. Be a lil nicer to IB or come up with another leg for the economy to stand on. Times are changing.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Sounds like they were compensated very well to me. Their unfortunate family loss is not the cruise lines problem. The reason given for the Bermuda bypass is not given. Weather?

  3. San George says:

    Enjoy the adventure – thing happen!

  4. Timothy Hickey says:

    I was on this sailing from Ft. Lauderdale on 25 April aboard the Caribbean Princess. And YES, due to weather we could not visit Bermuda and continued on to the Azores (7 days at sea)as an alternate port. Because of the itinerary change, our original schedule was changed around. Can’t blame the cruise line, Bermuda or the Ships Captain. Only mother nature and she doesn’t give refunds!! Princess cruise lines went above and beyond in their refund and extra amenities on their next sailing. They didn’t have to but they did.

    • Barbara Cooper says:

      That couple were treated extremely well – why are they even complaining ?

  5. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    WEST Jet and the Airline Attendant deserve Great praise for their actions,as for the Cruise Line…epic fail!

  6. cudos to west jet…nice gesture somthing people should know about you…same i feel applies to the cruiseline and in particular the offering exec…time being what it is,fastest thing known to man…waits for no man…God has a funny way of doing that to…