Family Seeks Legal Action After Travel Nightmare
The Edden family from Smith’s Point are now back at home and have quite a tale to tell of their vacation that went horribly awry.
Arriving home after a horrifying cruise, their first stop was to the police station to file a report that tells the story of planning a family cruise on-board the Carnival Freedom from Ft. Lauderdale.
The family said they had been planning this trip since October 2010 and had paid for 39 members to take part in this celebration, including boat fare to Florida, two-day car rental and one night stay in a hotel.
After that night stay and all in good fun, they were armed with their “Fun” cards generated by their travel agent for their travel on-board Carnival Freedom.
All their luggage was checked-in and then the family was asked to all go to one side of the line, while their reservations were checked. Here, it was said that only four rooms were paid for and the “Fun” cards were not all legitimate.
This was when the vacation took a sour turn, as the travel agent Eunice Morris of Morris Travel was contacted but the ship had only four remaining cabins on-board which they then sold to the travel agent that reportedly used a credit card to secure.
Of the 39 members of the family only 29 were able to go, and the remaining 10 could not get their luggage because it was mixed in with 2,500 others.
One family member left on shore said, this was to be her daughter’s first cruise and when they saw the boat leave her daughter began to cry uncontrollably.
It was a heartbreaking moment for the 10 who were not only left stranded at the harbour but also without luggage, no transportation and had already checked out of their rooms.
Having to find other funds for the rest of the time in Florida, the travel agent, Morris, was called and said she sent the family $1,500 to assist and had promised a total refund when they returned. However, family members said they received only $1,000 and some vouchers.
For the family members onboard it was not a good trip either as they found they did not have the types of rooms they had paid for.
Then, before the ship made its way to Nassau, the family were called in and told that the credit card was fake and they were asked to pay the full amount of $14,612.00 right then.
Their passports were held and they were blocked from leaving the ship, but former Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini David Wallace, who was also on the cruise was said to have pleaded for the family and they were allowed to get off the boat in Nassau, but had to leave their passports.
James Basden, family member noted, “David Wallace happened to be on that same cruise and he was able to pull some strings with Carnival to have family members released and they were able to leave the vessel and enjoy their stay in Nassau. He also contacted someone from the Bahamian embassy in Florida to assist the family when the vessel docked on Monday morning.”
The family had been threatened with incarceration, however, authorities were reminded that the credit card was not one owned by the people on-board but one given by the travel agent.
With this the family were released to return home on Tuesday.
They have retained Jacy Whittaker, attorney-at-law to assist them in their case against Morris Travel and Carnival.
In a previous interview with The Freeport News, Morris said that she had sent the money to a processing house, who had not sent the money on.
Late Tuesday afternoon this daily received correspondence from a Daniel Wentworth, of Wenthworth Accounting Agencies, Boston, Cambridge and East Central Massachusetts, United States of America stating, “Our research has revealed that there was an error in processing and due diligence to correct and inform did not take place in sufficient time to avert a problem at Wenthworth Agencies (WAA) which has contributed to the distress of all parties concerned. Ms. Morris paid for a service to be rendered and we did not follow through to ensure that her request had been met.
“We have compiled points of noted interest on what transpired to cause denied boarding and payment re-call … We again apologize to the clients of Ms. Morris that suffered through an embarrassing ordeal and to Ms. Morris as she struggles to bring reason to the situation caused upon her unwarranted.
“Again our sincerest apologies, Mr. Daniel Wenthworth, Managing Partner.”
He sent another letter to Morris again apologizing and promising to hold a meeting with Carnival to repair any damage to Morris’ relationship with them.
In the meantime, it is alleged Morris whose phone had been reportedly turned off since Friday evening, was seen by persons leaving on Western Air for Nassau on Saturday night reportedly heading to Canada.
Other reports are that the Travel Agency office has been cleaned out and is locked.
Further investigations by The Freeport News did not find a Wenthworth Accounting Agencies Boston, Cambridge and East Central Massachusetts, which has a gmail email address as contact for the managing partner.
The family is still very upset and asking for their names to be cleared and to be repaid.
In the midst of this there are two other families that are expecting to go on vacation in coming weeks who are also searching for Morris.
Source: Freeport Newscruise, grand bahama, legal, travel