Cruise line stops next at courtroom

January 19, 2000|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

NEW YORK -- It was billed as a Millennium Cruise on the Paradise, but passengers say they didn't go to any of the Caribbean spots promised -- and the next destination will be court.

About 1,600 dissatisfied Carnival Cruise Line customers are preparing to file a class-action lawsuit.

"We knew we were paying a premium for this, but it didn't matter because there's only one millennium. ... Carnival didn't deliver," said Pat Wright of Rockland County, N.Y.

The 2,600 passengers paid from $1,350 to $2,550 apiece for an eight-day cruise to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. But after they got on board in Miami, the ship's engine went on the fritz and the course was switched to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico.

Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De la Cruz said the fine print of the cruise brochure states clearly that the company reserves the right to change its itinerary because of bad weather or mechanical problems.

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