Flight cancellations disrupt cruise plans

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With thousands of flights blocked by Southwest Airlines this week, cruise passengers won’t be leaving any time soon.

Sari Engle of Gardner, Illinois is one of them.

“I’m so sad because for the past two days I’ve been waking up and thinking, ‘Oh, we’re not going’,” she said. didn’t do anything right away when they found out it was going to be a problem.”

Engle and her sister were scheduled to fly to Miami on Tuesday with the intention of soaking up the sun on South Beach before embarking on a five-night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Silhouette starting Saturday.

“That way if anything happens with a bit of weather or you know holiday traffic is slow, we’ll definitely get there on the 29th and in time for the cruise,” said Engle, who spent 18 months planning the trip. .

But as fate would have it, Engle was still forced to cancel due to the nightmare of Southwest’s trip, resulting in a costly ripple effect.

“Cancelling the car, and people who would pick you up, and restaurant reservations and, we booked a golf cart in Key West that I tried to get a deposit back from and I had an Airbnb in Miami,” he said. said Engle.

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Luckily, she’s got insurance for the cruise, a tip travel experts recommend for any vacation.

“Of course, this never replaces the family vacation you’ve been planning for a year or two, especially due to covid, but it will refund the cost you spent on it,” said Laura Reece of Reece Worldwide Travel.

While Engle waits for her refund from the cruise line, she and her sister make the most of their vacation with a staycation, spending the next few days in the Windy City. They also look forward to taking to the high seas in the near future.

“I’m more than likely we’ll be flying southwest again and I’ll definitely be cruising,” she said. “We have other cruises booked.”

Cruisehive.com reported that 500 passengers failed to make it to the Carnival Celebration departing from Miami on Tuesday despite the trip being delayed by a few hours. It has a capacity of 5,374 passengers.

Some passengers chose to travel thousands of miles to their destination.

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