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Main Character of the Week: Carnival customer who had her $15k trip canceled

The Carnival Cruise is the most quintessentially American experience possible.


Ramon Ramirez


Main Character of the Week is a weekly column that tells you the most prominent “main character” online (good or bad). It runs on Fridays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

The internet is a stage, and someone unwillingly stumbles onto it weekly. This makes them the “main character” online. Sometimes their story is heartwarming, like the Orlando Four Seasons baby; usually it’s a gaffe. In any case, that main character energy flows through the news cycle and turbo-charges debate for several business days.

Here’s the 
Trending team’s main character of the week.

It’s the woman who booked the presidential suite at a Carnival Cruise, had her order unceremoniously canceled days before her $15,000-plus trip, and was then not refunded by Carnival.

So she explains this in a seven-minute TikTok that freaks a nation of Americans about to embark on their respective summer vacations. Days later, a travel expert IDs the problem. And she’s got an urgent tip for seasonal travelers as a result.

“I know you get excited about a cruise, you take a screenshot, you post it on social media. If someone is a crazy bad person, they look up your information and they can cancel your cruise,” she warns.

So don’t post about your confirmation number like our main character of the week. And not for nothing, the expert warns, this is why you should still consider travel agents.

But viewers were mostly outraged at Carnival Cruise overall, lambasting its booking security or lack thereof in online comments and calling it “the Walmart of cruising.”

And that’s really what this main character of the week revealed: Carnival has a ways to go despite, as our travel expert noted: “cracking down on twerking and fighting on its ships by charging fighters a $500 fine and cruise directors stopping dancing customers whenever they began twerking.”

Me? I’ve always enjoyed Carnival cruises’ reputation as the everyman’s vacation.

Ultimately it seems to share all the same ports as Royal Caribbean and I enjoy the festive atmosphere that blends enormous families with rowdy spring breakers. The chaos works because everyone can bust a move on the dance floor during Motown night, there is a generic sports bar full of televisions that will get you weirdly invested in a rugby match, and who doesn’t love to accompany every meal with five slices of cheese pizza?

The Carnival Cruise is the most quintessentially American experience possible. Everyone now takes their niche topic of interest, like the band Creed, to the high seas.

The Carnival cruises are a reminder that America is a populist place where you can win a trivia night on the same ad-hoc team as a Trump voter and appreciate how their perspective rounds out your squad.

don’t understand why Carnival feels the need to change its reputation. You can’t fix that unless you want to be one of those weird Viking ships that promise no children, peace, and the tranquil armchair tourism of historical landmarks. How is that any more fun than doing so via double-decker bus?

Vacations work best when they are fun and you get a change of pace or scenery. What better than a Carnival cruise then?

Unfortunately, we are a generation that drives to rural Oregon to have the best hamburger in the world so that we can post. Millennials are on a perpetual Homeric quest for authenticity—it’s why we can be so precious about cruises and look down on them because Carnival sets hourly expectations rooted in excess.

After a few days at sea you yearn for shopping so you buy another cruise while on the cruise. And when you port in a colonialist-ransacked country like Honduras or Haiti most passengers sprint for the comfort of a beach excursion that’s rich with Coca-Cola.

Haitians are not allowed on these resort grounds themselves, a cruel byproduct of the vacation industrial complex, and I fault not one for avoiding cruises on principle. 

But if you’re going to do it anyway out of familial obligation, do it the Carnival way: Singing a Hootie and the Blowfish song late-night at karaoke just before security escorts you offstage because you got into a fight earlier and they found you because you kept using your sea pass to buy drinks. 

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