Help Me Hank! Cruise Calamity
Help Me Hank: Help Me Hank! Cruise Calamity
Itís 1973 - young bride Peggy Belanger smiles happily as life begins with her new husband, but soon her Navy man had to ship out so there was no honeymoon for the newlyweds
"There just wasnít the time, or there just wasnít the money, or the kids were little, so it was always one thing after another," Peggy Belanger said.
32-years and two kids later the bride and groom, still a happy couple, decided to take the Caribbean honeymoon they'd missed.
"We've been waiting a long time, yes," Belanger said.
They read the guidebooks, scoped out the cruises, called a travel agent and said book it for May.
"I donít think Iíve been so excited about anything in a long time," Belanger sad.
They paid the deposit and the final balance, but when Peggy went online to confirm their cabin, she thought their honeymoon was sunk.
"And in big red letters it says the booking is canceled," Belanger said.
Canceled? No answer at the travel agency, so frantic Peggy called the cruise line.
"Three different people said no it was canceled because it hadnít been paid for," Belanger said.
Peggy had receipts as proof of payment! The travel agents insisted they'd sent the money, but the cruise line insisted they hadnít received it and informed the Belangerís the ship was now full.
"I think I spent a few days crying about it," Belanger said.
Peggy was seeing her Caribbean dreams begin to vanish.
"My husband said you might as well face it Peg, we're not going anywhere," Belanger said.
Where did their money go? Had they lost thousands of dollars and a honeymoon? Peggy spent hours researching, but got nowhere.
"I was getting more and more frustrated and one of the girls I work with said why donít you write Help Me Hank?" Belanger said.
Our turn to hit the phones and no one could, or would give us a good explanation for this cruise calamity. The American Society of travel Agents can protect consumers in cases like this, but turned out the Belangersí agent was not a member.
But then, two days after our inquiries, Peggy got a phone call.
"The cruise line called and said everything was fine and everything was paid," Belanger said.
Had the travel agency made a last minute payment? Had the cruise line found a misplaced check? That, we fear, remains a mystery.
But now these not so newlyweds will be taking a honeymoon 32-years in the making, and Peg has just one more item to take care of.
"Iím gonna shop till I drop tomorrow," Belanger said.
When there's big money involved in your vacation, or for any trip, experts say be sure you know exactly who you're paying and where your money's going.
Find out more about travel safety by clicking here.
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