MIAMI – Loads of cruise passengers have been left stranded at Port Everglades.
Dozens of people called CBS4 reporter Gabby Arzola, saying something needs to be done.
“Passengers are telling me that they put a 10-day cruise with the Princess Cruises. The representatives told them that they didn’t need to bring a passport and then they were turned away when they tried to board, saying that they needed a passport.”
Passenger Lori Johnson said she is no stranger to cruises. Earlier this month she noticed that her passport would expire during the trip.
“I called Princess cruise lines, and they said they didn’t require a passport for this trip,” says Johnson.
Johnson was denied entry at the port in Fort Lauderdale.
“I’ve been on the phone with them for hours, nothing has been done and I’ve already spent more than $8,500 dollars,” says Johnson. “It’s been devastating. I want people to be aware of what they are receiving as consumers.”
Traveler Michael O’Connor had the same exact issue with his soon-to-be expired passport.
“I was told over the phone that I could bring my birth certificate,” says O’Connor.
O’Connor was traveling with his wife to celebrate their honeymoon and was also denied entry on the ship.
“What’s really disgusting is their customer service,” says O’Connor. “We have been transferred 50 times, spent 12 hours on the phone, we’ve been hung up on, and put on a permanent hold.”
Travelers say they have not been able to receive a full refund, and are pushing for answers.
Princess Cruise Lines released this statement:
“Passengers need to take responsibility for their mistakes.
On Princess’ website, it clearly states that valid US Passports are required on this itinerary. Normally, passengers on closed-loop sailings which begin and end at the same US port can use an original or certified copy of the birth certificate along with a valid, government-issued ID. However, on sailings to Central and South America including Panama Canal, a valid US Passport is required.
Princess’ Ocean Medallion app provides all of these details during the registration process. I just returned from my 12th cruise of the year, which happened to be on Princess a week ago. All of the documentation requirements are spelled out quite clearly.
Also, as stated in the Passenger Contract, it is the passenger’s sole responsibility to ensure they have proper documentation. Even if a cruise representative provided wrong information, it’s still the passenger’s responsibility.”