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Woman lost her Carnival cruise because she posted her reservation number on social media


Though unexpected events like the onset of a sudden illness or death in the family can deter vacation plans, calling customer service to find out that the cruise line's system canceled your reservation days before you were set to depart isn't exactly how you'd want to begin your vacation. 

Tiffany Banks, a naturopathic doctor and mother of four from Lexington, Kentucky, took to TikTok to share how her booking for a $12,000 Presidental Excel Suite onboard Carnival Celebration, was canceled. 

As first reported by Cruise Radio, Banks shared that she discovered the booking had been canceled when she received an email stating that a few of her shore excursions had been canceled. Upon calling Carnival Cruise Line, she discovered the entire reservation had been canceled. Earlier that morning, she had booked an internet package, so she wasn't sure why the reservation itself was showing up as canceled hours later. 


Typically, cruise fares are not refundable in the weeks leading up to the departure date. Once the final payment has been made, you are subject to whatever cancellation penalties apply. 

The penalty for Carnival sailings canceled between the final payment date and 56 prior to departure is the standard deposit, while the penalty increases to 50% of the total fare or standard deposit (whichever is greater) between 55 and 29 days before departure. 

At 29 days, the penalty is 75% of the total fare or the standard deposit, and, finally, you're subject to paying 100% of the fare once you reach 15 days before sailing. No refunds are given to sailors who are a no-show or disembark from the ship once the cruise has departed. 

Rolls Royce

After spending hours on the phone trying to get the issue resolved, Banks claimed that the only resolution offered by Carnival was to rebook her family in two interior rooms, rather than the pricey suite she had originally reserved. A refund was off the table. 

She chose not to accept the cabins, which are two of the cheapest onboard. "The only thing that they offered was the two freaking interior rooms...I am so pissed," she says in a later video

The initial post, which was shared on May 12, has garnered over 700,000 views and 3,700 comments. Overall, the comments appear to be supportive. "My first thought," wrote Lalaloppsey60, "They canceled you to book a special guest with a huge tip for the accommodation. Call a lawyer!"

Read more: Carnival Cruise Line cabin guide

celebration interior room

"I find it interesting that they would send you a notification about the excursion cancelation but nothing about the trip cancelation. They know they are in the wrong," commented SimplyAmber. 

Banks and her family flew down to Miami and went to the port only to discover that they weren't on the manifest, despite having their initial booking confirmation, boarding passes, and payment summary. Afterward, they reserved an Airbnb to try and salvage their vacation time. They spent one day at Discovery Cove swimming with dolphins, and she said the cabana they rented was fantastic. 

"This has been [an] emotional roller coaster [that's] just been crazy," she said in a follow-up video, "At this point, there is no resolution."

More came to light about the situation in a TikTok posted on May 15, where she revealed that Carnival said she was a victim of identity theft


In the weeks leading up to Banks' Carnival cruise, she said that she had shared her booking information on a social media post. With that information, someone was able to create a fake profile and link Banks' confirmation number to their account. 

"I have so many questions on how that's even possible," she says, "Why [does] Carnival [allow] someone to just add somebody's booking number without like proof or anything? This is definitely a policy that needs to be updated. That's not okay." 

Even though Carnival stated that they believed it wasn't Banks who canceled the reservation, they still did not offer her a full refund. Instead, she said that she was offered $10,404 in credit for future use contingent on her posting on social media that the company positively resolved the matter. Banks, however, says that she has no desire for the credit, as she doesn't plan on booking another sailing with Carnival. 

Read more: I paid $3,600 for a suite on Carnival Vista

bistro onboard celebration

Once revealed that she had shared her booking number online, some comments shifted from sympathetic to critical, suggesting that the situation could have been avoided had she handled her personal information more carefully. 

"It's unfortunate, but you have to accept some of the blame here," wrote Ruthie, "It would be like posting your credit card number on [social media] and someone using it. I'd definitely pursue this legally though to at least force Carnival to update their processes to protect their customers."

"This is so sad..... but I'm confused," added cherylcostello4, "You posted your booking number on Facebook???" 

Read more: Guide to staying in a Carnival cruise balcony cabin

Bolt Carnival Celebration

Though pre-cruise excitement is real, it's important to be cautious of what you are sharing on the internet. Information such as travel dates, destination, and, as proved by Banks, a screenshot of your booking confirmation, can provide enough clues for someone with malicious intent. 

In addition to the potential for someone to mess with your reservation, you don't want to reveal when your house will be empty. 

On a similar note, it's smart to wait until after you have returned to share photos on social media, as sharing a picture of your family on a ship in the middle of the ocean can advertise that your home isn't occupied, even if you didn't share any of the specific details about your trip. 

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