Woman talking(l+r), Carnival Cruise(c)

Jouni Niskakoski/Shutterstock @thathippiedoc/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I’m just flabbergasted’: Customer finds out her $12K cruise cabin was canceled a day before setting sail. Carnival won’t refund her

'We’ve been planning this vacation for a year.'


Amara Thomas


Posted on May 15, 2024   Updated on May 15, 2024, 3:41 pm CDT

What would you do if your nearly $15,000 vacation was canceled the day before it started? Tiktoker Tiffany Banks (@thathippiedoc) said she had been planning her family vacation with Carnival Cruise Line for over a year, only to find out the day before that it had been canceled. 

“Yesterday morning, I got an email from Carnival saying two of our excursions had been canceled,” she stated in a recently uploaded viral video. She said she followed up the email with a phone call to get more information. “They said, ‘Your excursions were canceled because your cabin was canceled,'” she shared.  

The customer service representative she spoke with reportedly blamed the cancellation on the company’s system having a glitch. “The original person that I talked to said that the system canceled it, and then the second person … said that the online system had been logged into and [the room] had been canceled,” she said. 

She added, “We talked for almost two and half hours, and the only solution they were willing to offer was two interior rooms [in place of the] Presidential Excel Suite.” 

Why isn’t Banks happy with Carnival’s resolution?

Banks said she and her family had booked the Excel Presidential Suite. “It’s the biggest room on the Carnival Celebration ship. We had all kinds of extra perks,” she said. 

The Excel Presidential Suite is Carnival’s most prized accommodation, known for its exclusive amenities and features, including a large private balcony and spacious room. According to Carnival’s booking page, suites on the Celebration ship can run for thousands of dollars, while interior rooms, which Carnival reportedly offered Banks as an alternative, are the most affordable options on the ship.

Yet, the customer service representative reportedly stressed that this was the only option Carnival could provide. Banks was “flabbergasted” by this response. “We have nearly $15,000 tied up in this vacation, including excursions,” she said. “The room itself was 12,000 or 13,000, and then we got a few grand tied up into excursions, and almost 2,000 for flights.”

“I never even fathomed that you all wouldn’t offer me my money back,” she said. “You all canceled my cruise … You are going to give me my money back.”

The customer service representative reportedly wouldn’t budge and continued to stress that this was the only option and that they were making these interior rooms available for her. 

Viewers sympathized and speculated

The viral video has over 680,000 views and thousands of comments. Many viewers expressed their frustration on her behalf and said that Carnival would be losing their business. 

@thathippiedoc We will never book with carnival again … #carnival #celebration #carnivalcelebration ♬ original sound – Tiffany Banks

“@carnival we are planning a retirement trip of a lifetime for next year. I’m not even looking at carnival now,” one commented. 

This isn’t the first time Carnival has come under fire for its purported lack of consideration. For example, the company has previously been criticized for refusing to issue a refund to a grieving daughter whose mother couldn’t attend her cruise vacation because she had passed away. It has also been called out for skipping planned stops on a Caribbean-bound cruise.   

Other viewers of Banks’s video shared their speculations as to why her room was canceled and how she could go about getting a refund. 

“They gave your room away to someone else for whatever reason. Go to the top manager at Carnival and demand a refund! If that doesn’t work get a lawyer,” one shared. Another added, “My first thought: They canceled you to book a special guest with a huge tip for the accommodation. Call a lawyer!” Banks agreed, responding, “At this point, I think that that’s what happened.” 

What will Banks do now?

Banks recently posted a teary-eyed update video in which she shared that she is still fighting for her refund and has not heard back from Carnival.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Banks via TikTok comment and Carnival via email for more information. 

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*First Published: May 15, 2024, 10:00 pm CDT