Get Marty: Irma Forces Changes To Local Vacationer’s Cruise

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Get Marty report resulted in a major cruise line stepping up to help hundreds of travelers.

“We can’t be thankful enough,” said disappointed vacationer Timira Cox.

Timira, who is Marty Griffin’s KDKA Radio producer, had to cancel her planned Carnival Cruise out of Miami on Sept 7. She was afraid of Hurricane Irma. More than 50 of her friends also cancelled.

Carnival officials had been refusing to give the vacationers vouchers to cruise again. If the cruise ship heads out to sea, their policy is no refunds and no cruise vouchers.

Then, Get Marty got involved.

Within two days, Carnival made an exception. The popular cruise line offered vouchers to anyone who cancelled.

But some people didn’t, and got on the cruise ship with Irma bearing down on Florida.

“I didn’t want to lose the money,” said KDKA-TV employee Olga George.

She boarded the Carnival Sensation last Thursday. Carnival decided it wasn’t safe to return to Miami on Monday, so they extended the cruise by two days. That created major problems for travelers.

“People have work. People have airline tickets for Monday. People freaked out,” says Olga.

Olga says the cruise finally returned on Wednesday to a different city and a different airport.

“It was not easy. A lot of people were frustrated,” she said.

Olga says she did not buy trip cancellation insurance.

“It would not have covered me for this. I wasn’t sick, no one died. I didn’t lose my job,” she said.

Carnival says it made certain its vacationers were safe, and says most had a wonderful trip.

Meantime, the cruise line provided hundreds and hundreds of people who cancelled vouchers to cruise at a later date.

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