MAPLE GROVE, Minn--What was supposed to be a dream vacation for Jessica and Pete Westberg has become a nightmare. The couple and their six children drove to Texas from Maple Grove last month to board the Carnival Triumph.
"Our cruise was set to depart on February 11th. We were notified of the cancellation on February 10th," Jessica Westberg said.
An engine fire stranded more than 3,000 passengers on the ship and forced the Westbergs to cancel their plans and return home. They say Carnival apologized, promised to book them a new cruise, and reimburse them for all travel expenses. But the family says Carnival rescinded part of their offer. The trip down south, which included gas hotel and food, cost the family more than $2,700 but the family was only reimbursed for $766.
In an email to KARE 11 a spokesperson wrote that Carnival did not initially pay for some gas and hotel claims because the family did not have receipts. Jessica said saving receipts for purchases made before Carnival cancelled the trip didn't cross her mind. The Westbergs wrote emails and made phone calls to try and collect more money. On Wednesday Carnival said after seeing bank statements they will reimburse the family an additional $428.
Cindy Nelson with Carlson Wagonlit Travel says there are ways for travelers to protect themselves starting with a good travel agent who can advocate for them.
"Always purchase travel insurance. I can't say it will protect you in every situation but it certainly will a lot of the time," Nelson said.
The Westbergs had travel insurance which helped them get a full refund for their cruise tickets but there are some things money can never get back.
"We can't get that time back I had to take off of work...so now to be able to go on another vacation I have to build that time back up," Pete said.
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