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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Couple’s dream of three-year cruise turns nightmare: Face homelessness after voyage cancellation

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Devastated Ohio couple sells everything for world tour, but cruise’s last-minute cancellation leaves them stranded

Kara and Joe Youssef, a couple from Ohio, are grappling with homelessness after investing their life savings in a three-year cruise that was abruptly canceled just days before departure. The couple had sold their two flats and most of their belongings in preparation for the Life at Sea cruise, which promised a 1,095-day journey across 382 ports globally. The cancellation has drawn comparisons to the Fyre Festival debacle, with Miray Cruises facing financial troubles and leaving passengers like Kara and Joe in dire straits.

The cruise was initially planned to set sail on November 1, offering passengers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, the dream turned into a nightmare when news of the cancellation emerged just before departure.

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The cruise concept, initiated by entrepreneur Mikael Petterson in June 2022, gained immense interest, and reservations flooded in. However, concerns arose over fuel consumption and difficulties in credit card transactions. Mikael’s departure from Miray further intensified worries for passengers.

Despite reassurances from Miray’s Kendra Holmes during webinars, the cruise faced hurdles, including a plan to switch to a larger ship that relied on investor funding. The company ultimately cited a lack of funds and interest for the cancellation.

The couple, who had already deposited thousands of dollars, claimed they have not received a refund as of December 28. While temporarily accommodated in a hotel in Istanbul by the cruise company, Kara and Joe Youssef fear homelessness.

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