Woman 'Sold Everything' To Pay For Three-Year Cruise Which Got Cancelled Days Before Setting Sail

By Aleena in Travel On 5th December 2023
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Life at Sea Cruises revealed its debut three-year voyage in March, inviting travelers to join a once-in-a-lifetime journey covering 130,000 miles, 375 ports, and 135 countries, with tickets starting at $29,999 per year.

Managed by Miray Cruises in Turkey, this extraordinary expedition promised an unparalleled maritime experience.

According to Business Insider, Kimberly Arizzi was one such enthusiast, selling her apartment, furniture, clothes, and TV to finance her retirement cruise.

However, disappointment struck on November 17 when passengers were notified of the sudden cancellation of the much-anticipated cruise.

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Initially planned to depart from Amsterdam on November 30, this unexpected news left many stranded in Istanbul, the original departure point.

Despite the cancellation, lingering echoes of excitement remain as passengers navigate the aftermath of their shattered cruise dreams.

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The company assured passengers of refunds, scheduled in monthly installments from mid-December through late February.

Life at Sea Cruises extended support by covering flights and accommodations until December 1 for passengers stranded in Istanbul.

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For some travelers, returning home posed a challenge as they had prepared to be at sea for three years and no longer had a place to go back to.

"There’s a whole lot of people right now with nowhere to go, and some need their refund to even plan a place to go – it’s not good right now,” one passenger told CNN.

Life at Sea Cruises initially aimed to purchase the retired AIDAaura ship from AIDA Cruises, a Carnival Corp. subsidiary. However, delays in the sale process led to Celestyal Cruises acquiring the ship instead.

Former CEO Kendra Holmes, speaking independently from Miray Cruises, shared a 15-minute recorded video with passengers on November 16, officially announcing the cancellation of the journey.

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Shortly after Holmes' communication, Miray Cruises' owner, Vedat Ugurlu, admitted that the company faced financial constraints and couldn't afford the intended ship purchase.

“Miray is not such a big company to afford to pay 40-50 million [dollars] for a ship,” he said, adding that while the company made a down payment, investors “declined to support us further due to unrest in the Middle East.”

Passengers were disappointed by the decision and lack of notice from the cruise line.

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“I’m very sad, angry and lost,” one person said. “I had the next three years of my life planned to live an extraordinary life, and now [I have] nothing. I’m having a hard time moving forward.

“I was proud and feeling brave, now I don’t trust anyone or anything. I know it’ll work out and life will go on, but I’m uncertain of the direction,” said another.

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“I never imagined I’d be in this position as a senior citizen.”

Miray Cruises did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.