Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
On March 1, a cruise operator named Miray Cruises announced a three-year, 130,000-mile voyage organized by a subsidiary called Life at Sea Cruises.
“Set aboard the beautifully revitalized MV Gemini — which boasts 400 cabins and room for up to 1,074 passengers — cruisers will enjoy the best of living and working at sea,” the company pledged in a press release.
Now it’s unclear if the cruise will actually happen. Or if it does, what ship it will be on.
CNN reports that Life at Sea Cruises is at odds with its parent company over the seaworthiness of the MV Gemini, and some passengers are already asking for refunds.
The voyage, with a starting price of $30,000, is scheduled to depart from Istanbul on Nov. 1.
A spokeswoman for Miray Cruises insisted in a webinar this week that the cruise isn’t being called off.
“This cruise is not canceled,” she said. “We are moving ahead. It is departing Nov. 1 as planned. So I just want to make sure to clear that up right now. We are not canceling this.”
But it remains to be determined if passengers will sail on the Gemini, as expected, or if they’ll be switched to another vessel.
And if a new boat is brought in, Miray says passengers may not know any details of the cruise ship except its gross tonnage and how many cabins there are.
Not exactly an ideal circumstance for anyone spending upward of $30,000 for a three-year adventure at sea.
CNN cited the example of a retired California high school teacher named Sharon Lane, who booked a cabin for the voyage and planned to sell off “95% of her possessions” before setting sail.
She now says she isn’t going anywhere and wants her money back.
That’s understandable in light of the fact that being aboard the Gemini was one of the key selling points for the cruise.
“The ship features traditional amenities including world-class dining, onboard entertainment and recreational activities, with modern workspace facilities such as a first-of-its-kind business center with meeting rooms, 14 offices, a relaxing lounge and business library,” the Miray press release said.
“The ship will also include a 24-hour on-call hospital with free medical visits, learning and enrichment classes, and the opportunity to make a positive impact through volunteer and philanthropic initiatives.”
Now, all bets are off.
My advice? If you’re booked for this trip, make sure you find out what contingencies are in place in case the ship runs into trouble.
And take a tip from the Howells on “Gilligan’s Island.” Pack everything you own. Just in case.