Where is Rita Mize’s Oceania cruise refund? Her theme cruise was canceled weeks ago, but there’s no sign of the money. Is there a way to make a refund happen faster?
We paid a deposit of $4,360 for a 10-night Alaska theme cruise on the Oceania Regatta. Our primary reason for going was to see the program, which featured theologians and authors such as William Paul Young, Brian McClaren and Barbara Brown. The cruise was organized through David Morris, a cruise specialist in Dallas.
Last year, Morris notified us that the speaker portion had been canceled and indicated that he would refund our money if we requested it. We requested it. Morris indicated that Oceania would refund the money to them within 10 days and they would then send it to us.
I contacted Morris several times in ensuing weeks. More than a month later, Morris said Oceania had refunded the money. Since then, Morris himself has repeatedly promised us our refund “by the end of this week,” but has not refunded our money. Can you help me get my refund, please? — Rita Mize, Sacramento, Calif.
You should have received your Oceania cruise refund promptly, as promised. But sometimes refunds take more time than anyone expects. Remember what happened last week?
Let’s take a closer look at what went wrong. First, the organizers canceled the “God Is Better Than We Believe” theme cruise. But the cruise itself was still on. When that happens, it creates a logistical challenge for the organizers. They have to offer the entire group refunds and process them as quickly as possible.
According to the paperwork you shared with me, your agent said he had to get the deposit back from the cruise line and then send the money to you. For a single cruise booking, that can take a few weeks. But with multiple bookings, the wait might last longer because of the complexity of the refunds.
There was one more complicating factor: Your refund request happened during the busy holiday period. That slows everything down even more.
Those aren’t excuses. But I’ve reviewed Morris’ credentials, and he appears to be a legitimate operator who was probably just as surprised as you were about the cancellation. I also reviewed the correspondence between you and the agent, and it doesn’t look like he’s stalling.
In my experience as an advocate, refunds always take longer than you think. People want them immediately, but the reality is that you may have to wait days, weeks, or even months. Airlines are the worst. I’ve had cases where customers waited years — that’s right, years! — for their money.
How to get an Oceania cruise refund
You did the right thing in trying to self-advocate this case. You kept a meticulous paper trail of correspondence between you and your agent. And you were polite but persistent. You might have also reached out to Oceania to find out the status of your refund. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Oceania executive contacts on my consumer advocacy website, Elliott.org.
I contacted David Morris on your behalf. He responded almost immediately and promised to send the refund. You now have your $4,360 back.