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05th Jun 2024

Family left heartbroken after £12,000 cruise holiday cancelled due to social media error

Ryan Price

This is a crazy story.

A mother of four has taken to TikTok to tell the story of how a £12,000 dream holiday cruise went horribly wrong, all thanks to a social media mistake.

Tiffany Banks, who goes by the name @thathippiedoc on TikTok, described how excited her family was for the Carnival Cruise they had booked which was set to take off from Miami, Florida and explore the stunning islands of the Caribbean.

In a TikTok posted on 12th May, two days before the holiday of a lifetime was scheduled to start, Tiffany explained how she got an email first thing in the morning from the cruise company saying that two of their planned excursions while on the cruise had been cancelled.

@thathippiedoc ♬ original sound – Tiffany Banks

Concerned, she called the company, and a customer service representative on the other end told her that her excursions had been cancelled because her cabin had been cancelled.

Tiffany, who had made the initial booking a year prior, remarked that this sent her into a full blown panic. She had booked the most luxurious and most expensive cabin – the Presidential Excel suite.

She ended up getting to speak to a lead customer service representative who told her that, days prior, the system had been logged into and the booking had been cancelled.

After two and a half hours on the phone with the company, the only solution that was offered on their behalf was two interior rooms for Tiffany, her husband and their four children.

Considering Tiffany had paid £12,000 for the suite alone, with a further £4,000 on top of that for the planned excursions and flights to Miami from their home in Kentucky, the cheapest room on board was not an acceptable replacement for what she had paid for.

When she demanded a refund instead of the offer of two interior rooms, the lead rep said that getting her money back wasn’t an option, explaining that it was against their cancellation policy to issue a refund within 15 days or less of the cruise date.

Determined to have the holiday she had booked for the best part of a year, Tiffany vowed to take her and her family down to Miami in the hopes of being able to board the cruise from the port.

@thathippiedoc #carnivalsucks @carnival #fyp #dreamvacation #dreamcrushers ♬ original sound – Tiffany Banks

As many guessed, this decision turned out to just add more pain to the family’s experience.

When some TikTok viewers became suspicious that Tiffany wasn’t sharing the full story, the mum-of five said: “I’m an open book. I talk too much. I give out too much information — that’s just me, naturally.”

Well, it turns out that that statement couldn’t be more true, as Carnival later explained to the mum the real reason her booking was cancelled.

They told Tiffany that she was a victim of “identity theft” after she accidentally shared the booking reference number of her family’s trip on Facebook when posting a countdown to the trip.

And, on that very same day, someone who had seen that went and made an account with Carnival and used Tiffany’s booking number before cancelling the family’s holiday at the last minute.

In another TikTok, Tiffany revealed that Carnival told her that the IP address of the person who canceled was in British Columbia, but that they were unable to get an identity of the fraudster.

The company offered her a future cruise credit for £8,000 contingent on the mom posting on social media “something to the effect of Carnival has now resolved the issue.”

Tiffany refused the offer, stating: “We’re not sailing with Carnival ever again.”

While it seems Tiffany and her family remain traumatised by the incident, there’s a lesson for the rest of us in the story. Do not share personal details on social media.

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