Guests who booked a three-year around the world cruise that was cancelled close to departure have asked a US attorney to help get their money back.
Potential claimants include people who sold everything and are now homeless after Miray Cruises’ Life at Sea sailing was cancelled last November.
They’ve been joined by others who gave up jobs or poured their retirement funds and life savings into the cruise, but have not been refunded, despite being told they would get their money back.
US news publications say 78 people calling themselves ‘Victims of Miray’ have written to Southern District of Florida Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, claiming to have lost an estimated $16 million in total. The group ‘includes citizens from the US, Australia, England, Singapore and India, among other countries’, the Washington Post says.
The letter says: “The failure of Miray to refund passenger money as promised has caused a significant number of residents to literally become homeless. Many are living out of suitcases in motels or in spare rooms because of the generosity of friends.”
So far, only four passengers out of the 100 who booked have seen any of their money returned to them, the letter says, despite Miray saying they would be repaid in three instalments, beginning on 22 December 2023.
Miray announced the 1,095-day cruise in March 2023, with prices leading in at $30,000. But, after changing the departure date and country of departure it was scrapped in November just two weeks before it was due to set off, because Miray did not have a ship.
Passengers were told on 14 January that disputes over credit card chargebacks have delayed the refunds and prevented the company from processing any transfers, the Post reports.
CNN spoke to one passenger who said they had paid $300,000 to Miray, while another, Rebecca Varner, told the news organisation: “I liquidated everything I owned in preparation for that trip – I was in hook, line and sinker.”
Cruise Radio reported a 67-year-old, Jenny Phenix, leased her own property and gave up two businesses to go on the cruise and is now renting a house in Ecuador with a fellow stranded passenger.
Travel Gossip has contacted Miray Cruises/Life at Sea for a comment.