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

Jouni Niskakoski/Shutterstock @caitbai/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I don’t know what else to do’: Carnival Cruise customer spent 2K on trip. Now that she’s passed away, they want a $1,300 cancellation fee

'You're a multibillion-dollar company... how is that OK?'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Dec 6, 2023   Updated on Dec 6, 2023, 10:26 am CST

A woman on TikTok is asking for help because after Carnival Cruise refused to refund her parents’ trip after her mom died.

In the viral video, Caitlin (@caitbai) explained that her mom passed away two weeks ago, and she’s been handling all of the arrangements on her dad’s behalf. They were married for 38 years, and her dad is understandably not doing well following the loss of his life partner.

The couple was supposed to go on a Dec. 31 cruise and had booked the voyage back in May, excited about the upcoming adventure.

Amidst Caitlin’s grief, but still needing to handle logistics, she called Carnival Cruise and lets them know that her mom passed and her dad no longer wants to go on the cruise, which would depart in just three more weeks, because of this.

“What do I need to do? Help me,” Caitlin told the representative on the phone.

“So sorry for your loss. But since your mother did not purchase Carnival Cruise Protection, it’s gonna cost you $1,371 to cancel this booking,” the person allegedly responded.

That cancellation fee is on top of the $2,134 they already spent, bringing the total amount lost to $3,505. If Caitlin did want to try to get the original amount back, she’d have to email and send the death certificate to a specific email address, which may take up to 30 days to respond.

“So because my mother unexpectedly passed away without purchasing Carnival Cruise Protection, my dad is going to be out $2,134. How is that OK?” Caitlin asks, seemingly holding back tears.

“You’re a multibillion-dollar company, but how is that OK? Please help me,” she begs at the end of the video.

The cruise line does not list anything specific in its cancellation and refund policy regarding what happens if a guest can’t make it to the cruise because they or a loved one died.

“@carnival do better… tik tok, please help me,” Caitlin wrote in the caption.

@caitbai @carnival do better… tik tok, please help me. #fyp #carnivalcruise #viraltiktok #helpme #fypツ #susistitch ♬ original sound – caitlin

And TikTok came through. Caitlin says in a follow-up TikTok that because the video went viral and so many people tagged the cruise line, it got their attention. Caitlin says her dad would be receiving a full refund within three business days.

“Carnival is doing the right thing and going to help my dad, and I’m just very appreciative,” Caitlin says.

She adds that dealing with logistics and situations like the one with the cruise line hasn’t allowed her time to grieve. In the video, she shows a picture of her mom and says she misses her deeply.

Combined, her videos have nearly 1.5 million views and thousands of comments as of Wednesday morning.

@caitbai Replying to @Megs Carnival Cruise Update! I can’t thank you all enough. The biggest thank you to John Heald and @carnival for helping me resolve this. Stay tuned until the end to see my beautiful mom ❤️ #fyp #carnivalcruise #update #part2 #susistitch #foryou #carnival ♬ original sound – caitlin

“Why can’t they just do the right thing from the get-go? Sad you had to go through the hassle, but glad you got your refund,” a commenter wrote.

“It’s the gamble that you take when you book. No insurance, no refund. I’m very sorry for your loss,” another said.

“You and dad should go and have some time together!” a person suggested.

The Daily Dot reached out to Caitlin for comment via TikTok direct message and to Carnival via email.

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 6, 2023, 12:00 pm CST