Passengers Left Behind at Pier as Travel Agent Cruises Without Them

Several cruise guests were left high and dry at PortMiami over a booking error. It caused chaos and disappointment for a group of cruisers expecting to enjoy a themed cruise.

carnival horizon cruise ship
Carnival Horizon (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Cherie Goudeau was among the passengers waiting to board the Twin Cities Takeover ’90s Throwback Cruise on the Carnival Horizon.

Around 50 guests overbooked

“We get to the port and they can’t find my name anywhere, I’m not tied to that room, somebody else is in that room,” Goudeau told local outlet Fox 9 News. Carnival Cruise Lines explained it was a travel agent error.

The travel agent responsible for the booking, Monica Faulkner, was also at the terminal and booked on the cruise. Goudeau said Faulkner vowed to fix the issue. The travel agent boarded the ship but never returned, leaving around 50 passengers angry and confused. 

“How could you just leave that many people standing out there that were booked under her,” said Goudeau’s sister, Dee Dee Richardson. “I feel like it’s unethical.”

Travel Agent Left Guests Stranded at the Terminal

carnival cruise line terminal portmiami
A Carnival Cruise Line ship docked at PortMiami.

Goudreau says she was out of pocket by $2,800. “People were in tears, upset and they were angry,” Goudeau added.

he news outlet managed to speak to Faulkner on the ship by phone. She claimed Carnival canceled some bookings a month ago.

Faulkner tried to re-book, but the ship was sold out. She didn’t explain to Fox 9 why the overbooked guests were not informed or had not been refunded yet.

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Faulkner explained that the payments for these customers are held by intermediary Travel Joy, a company independent agents use, and the money would be returned. Goudeau and her sister are skeptical. “If you were gonna refund, you would have already.”

The sisters say they stayed with family members in Florida for the week they should have been on the cruise. The themed cruise had scheduled calls at Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel and was billed as a ‘Flashback to the 90’s‘ with live music and various themed entertainment.

Always ensure your travel agent processes your cruise booking fees through the cruise line and not through a third-party company.

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