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The death of a customer doesn’t guarantee survivors a refund

Marlene Eckert was looking forward to a spring river cruise in southern France, which included planned ports of call in scenic Lyon, Beaujolais, Arles and Avignon, along with an extension to Nice. But in January, her husband suffered a massive heart attack and died. Eckert, a business analyst from Los Angeles, asked her cruise line, […]


How cruise lines are quietly draining away your rights

The cruise industry is at it again. Earlier this year, the United States Coast Guard quietly issued proposed new regulations for the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 — nearly five years after the bill was signed into law. A careful reading of those proposed rules suggests many of the rights and requirements […]


Are cruise lines doing enough to protect their passengers?

Pat Busovicki’s Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream almost ended in a nightmare. One afternoon, after plummeting down its Twister water slide, she says, she found herself trapped in a dangerous undertow. “I couldn’t get out,” remembers the retired librarian from Westlake, Ohio. She says that crew members didn’t assist her, and only after […]


A missing vacation refund mystery — and a troubling resolution

  If you thought that reading the terms and conditions on your next travel purchase is enough to keep you out of trouble, meet Thomas Hanko. The veteran cruiser had booked an air-inclusive cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Holland America Line for himself, his wife, their daughter and son-in-law to celebrate the Hankos’ […]


What to do when your river cruise turns into a bus tour

It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime for Pat and James Frost — a river cruise in France on the Viking Europe, from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saône. The retired couple from Concord, Ohio, even added three days in Paris to round off their bucket-list getaway. But when they arrived at the port, a cruise line representative informed them of a change in plans. Flooding along the Rhône and Saône rivers had made the waterways impassable, and their cruise tour had turned into a bus tour.


Caribbean cruises: US citizens should get a passport!

Are you a US citizen thinking about taking a Caribbean cruise without having a US Passport as identification and proof of citizenship? Ned Levi suggests that would be a mistake, and that you should get a passport, even for a short WHTI country exclusive cruise.