BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Joan and Reggie Thompson have taken their family on several Carnival Cruises.
They know to leave hours of extra time for their flight to the port city.
But this time, even five hours of padding wasn’t enough, when their early morning flight was delayed until early afternoon.
By the time they got to the cruise, they were 4 hours late, and the Carnival Magic was already preparing to depart on its 8-day cruise.
“I called when we landed,” Joan Thompson said," and I said say we’ve landed, we can make it there. They said ‘sorry.’"
While their cruise ship was still in port, the gangway had already closed.
“They shut the doors,” Thompson said. And if you are not there when a ship shuts its doors, you are not getting on board.
Last year, two women were in a similar situation.
Queen Jones and Sheila Smoot booked a $700 Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Magic, but bad weather canceled their flight entirely.
When we contacted Carnival, a spokeswoman apologized for their hardship, but explained that they had not purchased Carnival’s trip protection insurance, so could not get a refund.
However, Carnival did agree to give the two women a credit toward a future cruise, out of goodwill. So don’t let this happen to you.
Travel agent Katie Kreiger of Expedia Cruise Ship Centers has several things every cruise traveler should do:
Consider flying the day before your cruise, and enjoying the beach for an afternoon. It may cost you $250, but you won’t miss your flight.
Make sure you purchase top level insurance, that covers flight delays (basic insurance often exclude flight problems). If you are flying to a cruise the same day as the cruise, it is really essential to have that coverage.
Or look at the insurance provided by the cruise line (Carnival in this case), which may cover this exact scenario, since so many flights are delayed.