Mum Loses $15,000 Cruise Holiday Over “Social Media Mistake”. But Was It?

A cruise line has issued a very important warning to anyone planning to share their cruise holiday plans on social media. While it’s exciting to be going on holiday and it’s tempting to share your adventures with everyone on social, it could also end up costing you your trip.

This is what happened to Tiffany Banks who shared her ticket on social media and had the trip mysteriously cancelled, and refunded to someone else!

Countdown to Carnival Cruise

Tiffany Banks, from Kentucky, had booked a family cruise with Carnival Cruise for herself, her husband and their four children. Very excited about the adventure, Tiffany announced her plans on her Facebook page, sharing her booking reference as part of a countdown to their family holiday. Both Tiffany and her husband shared the reference number, which was where the trouble began.

As it turns out, someone took her booking reference number and created a Carnival account with it. Next they cancelled the trip just two days before they were planning to leave and requested (and received) a full refund of the trip. Meanwhile,  Tiffany and her husband had no idea any of this was taking place. 

The first she knew was when she received notifications from Carnival that their excursions had been cancelled. Tiffany first thought it was a mistake so she called the cruise line, and Carnival then advised her the reason behind the excursions being cancelled was because her cruise had been cancelled. 


Cue the full-blown panic! Tiffany scrambled to get her head around what was actually happening because, after all, she’d been planning this $15,000 holiday for a year and was flying out that afternoon!

Her dream holiday saw her booking the exclusive Presidential Excel suite on the ship for her family (it’s the biggest room on the Carnival Celebration ship, and came with all sorts of extra perks!) So you can appreciate her feeling completely out of her depth to be discovering all of this on the day she’s due to fly out and just two days before the ship’s departure! 

We will never book with Carnival again

Tiffany called Carnival, to be originally told that the system had cancelled her booking, but then when she spoke to a Manager (or a lead as they called themselvecs), that the online system had been logged into and the booking had been cancelled.

After over 2.5 hours on the phone, the only resoution they were able to offer to her given the circumstances was to offer her two interior rooms instead of hte Presidential Excel Suite. Obvisouly having forked out $15,000 for the holiday, it’s a stark contrast, but from the cruise line’s persepctive it’s better than losing out altogether.

The Presidential Excel Suite cost them $12,000 alone for the room, plus about $2,000 in excurisons and $2,000 in airfares return. So you can imagine her absolute disbelief when they werent’ even implyin theyh would consider refunding her money for the system glitch/cancellation. It just wasn’t even a consieration, and Tiffany was horrified!

Tiffany shared her experience on TikTok, explaining that she received an email that their excursions and their expensive cabin booking had been cancelled. 

@thathippiedoc We will never book with carnival again … #carnival #celebration #carnivalcelebration ♬ original sound – Tiffany Banks

“I have to laugh or I’m going to sit down and cry and absolutely lose my mind,” she begins. 

While Tiffany has shared her disdain for the situation, she didn’t disclose exactly what had happened. Many people assumed that Carnival had given away her cabin because it was one of the more expensive ones and perhaps someone with connections had wanted it last minute.

 “We have nearly $15,000 tied up for this vacation including excursions. The room itself was I think $12,000 or $13,000, and then we’ve got a few grand tied up in excursions, and actually with almost $2,000 for flights,” Tiffany said.

In the end, the cruise left without the Banks family. Tiffany has stated she won’t be travelling with Carnival Cruise again. 

Interestingly, many commenters seem to think Carnival may have had alterior motives, giving her room to a VIP at last minute.

My first thought: They canceled you to book a special guest with a huge tip for the accommodation. Call a lawyer! Lalaloopsey60

My question would be why did you not get the email the day your room cancelled if it got confirmation the day your excursions cancelled. the math ain’t mathing. user4082781936146

“I find it interesting  that they would send you a notification about excursion cancellation and not about trip cancellation. They know they are in the wrong” SimplyAmber

I’ve seen them do this before (on this app). They canceled it and gave your room away. Chrissa

mum centralCheck out this walk through on the Carnival Celebration Presidential Exec suite – wow!

YouTube video

Don’t share booking references online!

Carnival also issued its own warning, urging those travelling to keep their personal booking details private and away from social media. 

They told LADbible in a statement:

“While we are not going to comment on any specific guest complaint or incident, it is never a good idea to post personal information about your travel plans, including a confirmation number for a booking, which could allow a bad actor or identify thief to use that information in inappropriate or even illegal ways.”

While many want to keep their family and friends up to date on their lives, it’s so important to refrain from sharing too much on social media. This includes anything that comes with a booking number, from hotels to concert tickets. It also includes your passport! 

We would also recommend not sharing that you are away on holiday on your socials until after you have returned home. The last thing you need is for the wrong person to see that your house is empty and take advantage of this. 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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