The Allure of Cruises: Princess Cruise Line Honors WWII Hero and the Plight of 500 Passengers Denied Boarding
Everybody loves a good cruise, but not every voyage sets sail as planned. This article will cover two different cruise stories: one heartwarming tale of a Princess Cruise Line honoring a World War II veteran and another frustrating account of 500 passengers denied entry onboard a cruise ship.
A Hero’s Birthday Celebration Aboard the Discovery Princess
James H. Harvey III, a Tuskegee Airman and Top Gun Champion
Princess Cruise Line recently went the extra mile to celebrate the 100th birthday of James H. Harvey III, one of the few remaining Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American pilots known for their unparalleled success in providing air cover for Allied bombers.
Protecting Bomber Pilots during World War II
The Tuskegee Airmen were initially instructed to focus on engaging enemy fighter planes. However, they were later asked to prioritize the protection of bomber pilots, ultimately saving countless lives in the process. James H. Harvey contributed significantly to the group’s success.
1949 Top Gun Competition
In addition to his wartime achievements, Harvey also led the team in the first-ever Top Gun competition in 1949. The contest spanned ten days and involved various aerial challenges like dive bombing, precision targeting, machine gun drills, and aerobatics. This makes James Harvey the original “Tom Cruise Top Gun guy.”
Princess Cruise Line’s Heartwarming Gesture
To commemorate Harvey’s extraordinary life and service, the Princess Cruise Line welcomed him and his family onboard the Discovery Princess in Seattle. The cruise line organized a celebration replete with an honor guard to mark the occasion. Harvey’s story is a testament to the significance of acknowledging our heroes’ contributions and celebrating their lives.
The Desperate Plight of 500 Passengers Denied Boarding
On the other side of the spectrum, a recent incident involving 500 passengers barred from boarding a cruise has left many frustrated. This group of passengers had paid up to 100,000 Baht (equivalent to approximately $3,000 USD) for a five-day luxury cruise experience.
A Bizarre Dilemma: The Two-for-One Deal vs. the Full Fare
The issue began when a group of passengers who paid regular fare and another group who paid a “two-for-one” price both arrived at the port. Surprisingly, only the “two-for-one” passengers were allowed to board, and the full-fare group was denied entry.
The cruise company, Cost Serena, attributed this mix-up to a mistake made by their customer service department. However, they refused to take responsibility, and those denied boarding still remain unsure if they will get their money back.
A Warning for Third-Party Booking Cruises
This regrettable incident highlights the potential risks involved when booking cruises through third-party companies. These companies often handle bookings themselves, and issues can arise if customer service falls short. As a result, passengers might be left stranded at the cruise port and out of pocket.
The passengers denied entry in the above scenario had been looking forward to a luxury cruise with their loved ones. The families were severely disappointed, and some claimed to have experienced discrimination once onboard. In addition, many of the hired entertainers and musicians were also denied boarding, resulting in a poor experience for those who were allowed to sail.
Main Cruise Lines vs. Third-Party Cruises: Which Would You Choose?
The moral of these contrasting stories is that sometimes things can go wrong even when booking a seemingly perfect cruise. Many travelers might be drawn to the idea of joining a third-party cruise with its unique appeal, such as meeting their favorite singer or celebrating their favorite sports team. However, incidents like the one involving the Cost Serena cruise highlight the potential pitfalls of this choice.
When booking directly through well-established cruise companies, passengers might not encounter these issues and have a clearer path to recourse should anything go wrong. Ultimately, one must weigh the possible risks against the potential rewards and decide which cruise booking method suits them best.