Awaiting refund for canceled cruise

This item appears on page 24 of the May 2010 issue.

My husband and I phoned Elegant Cruises on March 31, 2009, and booked a two-week Adriatic cruise on the ship Monet for Nov. 4-18, 2009. On a total of $9,270, we sent a deposit of $1,500 that day by check. The company accepted our last payment on Aug. 4.

On Sept. 22 they phoned to inform us that they would not be sailing. A follow-up e-mail said, “due to the current economic situation, we have been forced to lay up the ship for the rest of the season of 2009. A full refund of your cruise will be sent, and we would also cover the cancellation fee on the airline ticket.”

I waited a couple of weeks and when no reimbursement was forthcoming, on Oct. 6 I sent an e-mail asking about the refund. This time the answer was, “At present we have no funds in the bank to pay anybody. The owners of the company are looking for a financial partner to help us solve a cash flow problem. Once they find one, then only can we make all payments of all refunds.”

Since Elegant Cruises has not filed for bankruptcy and is booking for other lines, this does not seem possible. On Oct. 21 we filed a complaint with the New York State Consumer Protection Board. The CPB wrote to us on Dec. 15 to let us know that they had tried to contact the company repeatedly but had received no response. They forwarded our file to the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

If any ITN readers booked with Elegant Cruises and had their trip canceled with no reimbursement, I would appreciate hearing from you.


New York, NY

ITN sent a copy of the above letter to Elegant Cruises & Tours (24 Vanderventer Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050, and to and received no reply. As of March 23, Ms. Olay’s situation had not changed.