Sea-faring passengers' dreams of deep-sea fishing, basking in the tropical sun and engaging in delightful games of nine-hole miniature golf were immediately quashed when cruise directors on a Royal Caribbean cruise informed arriving passengers that instead of sailing to sunny Bermuda, they were going to chilly Halifax, Nova Scotia.
When cruise directors decided to change course due to hurricane conditions, passengers didn't take the news lightly. On June 15 the New Jersey Attorney General's Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs filed suit on behalf of the tourists against Royal Caribbean, alleging the company violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act by changing the cruise itinerary without providing passengers with comparable itinerary and failing to issue refunds.
According to the Attorney General, passengers requested a cash refund for the difference in cost between the cruises, however, Royal Caribbean refused the requests.
"It is unconscionable that consumers showed up for a cruise they paid for with their hard-earned money only to be sent somewhere they didn't want to go, without access to the amenities they paid for and activities they looked forward to, and were told there was nothing they could do about it," said Consumer Affairs Director Kimberly Ricketts.
The suit asks that Royal provide refunds of the difference in price between the two trips or provide passengers with a cruise comparable to the planned Bermuda trip. In addition, the suit seeks civil penalties against the cruise line for violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.