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News Story: Graduation cruise ruined for Wayne County High seniors

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This came across my Google News feed this evening, and I thought I should share. From WSAV-Savannah, Georgia:

 

Graduation cruise ruined for Wayne County High seniors

Some Wayne County High School students and their parents say they have been scammed out of the money they paid for a cruise to the Caribbean. More than seventy high schoolers signed up and pre-paid for the graduation cruise. On Monday most of them found out they weren't even booked. The 7-day cruise is set to depart May 27th, two days after graduation, but only 19 students have reservations, while more than fifty of their classmates have been left high and dry. Many parents think the organizers of the trip kept the money. Those parents, students, and a representative from the cruise line met to discuss options, but right now the best case scenario is that the trip will be split between two cruise liners, as the original ship is booked to capacity. Needless to say there are a lot of disappointed kids and a lot of angry parents.

FULL ARTICLE HERE (Autoplay video)

 

For those who are electing not to read the story, the issue is with someone who was "organizing" this cruise for the seniors, took the money, but never bothered to follow through on completing the rest of the cruise bookings with the cruise line. The issue has been forwarded to Georgia Attorney General and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

 

This really sucks as this is one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" events that can never be replaced.

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Oh, what a shame. I feel sorry for those kids. Even if they had the money to book it all over again, it's too late to find a ship that could accommodate that many people. This is why I am so leery of ever trusting anyone with my money.

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I hope that they can hold the organizer accountable and at least get their money back.

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Going on those bigger trips is always so risky, IMO. You have to really trust the people running it. When I was in HS, I was with a youth part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and we were supposed to do a big trip through N. Europe and into Russia. Now this is back in the early 90's, so a little different times for sure. Well, there was some problem with the trip and at our big final concert, there were parents saying "well, if every family just kicked in $1,000 we can pay everything extra and still go." Ummm... yeah, no! First, there was no way we were paying more for something that went wrong (I don't remember exactly what happened). And secondly, there's no way my parents could have just given another $1,000. There were some families there who probably could have pulled it out of their wallet though. We never did take the trip!

 

I feel bad for these kids too. Although as a parent, I would have wanted info along the way and would have wanted proof/reservation numbers, etc... to show my kid was all registered. It sucks that they're only finding out now.

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Let's face reality. This is only tangentially related to cruising. The problem lies with scammers who promised something and didn't follow through. No blame on the cruise line here.

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If they paid credit card they will get a 100% refund from the credit card service. Just need to file a credit card dispute. Many grounds for a dispute including fraud. So they should not loose any money.

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Very, very sad. I hate to blame tthe 'victims' but how could so many of these parents get so badly scammed? NOne checked up on these organizers?

 

Seeing it is now in the hands of Attorney General, that is where it belongs. Lots of disappointed kids.

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Let's face reality. This is only tangentially related to cruising. The problem lies with scammers who promised something and didn't follow through. No blame on the cruise line here.

 

So we can only post if a cruise line is to blame?

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If they paid credit card they will get a 100% refund from the credit card service. Just need to file a credit card dispute. Many grounds for a dispute including fraud. So they should not loose any money.

 

I'm guessing this was a "Everyone pay me, and then I'll pay the cruiseline myself" kind of deal so no credit card protections. I know for my senior class trip, we held rummage sales etc, to raise the money which went into a pool to cover the trip.

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If they paid credit card they will get a 100% refund from the credit card service. Just need to file a credit card dispute. Many grounds for a dispute including fraud. So they should not loose any money.

When I went on my senior trip, mommy and daddy didn’t pay my way. I had to earn the money and pay my own way. I paid the organizer cash. At 17, I didn’t have a credit card.

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When I went on my senior trip, mommy and daddy didn’t pay my way.

I had to earn the money and pay my own way.

I paid the organizer cash. At 17, I didn’t have a credit card.

I understand what you are saying.... I didn't even consider a trip.

What I worked for during the school year and that summer, went towards paying college tuition.

Back in '69, I had to miss going to a summer thing with my friends, in upstate NY, called Woodstock.

(Maybe it was for the best) LOL

 

However, there just seems to be a lot of money out there.

Edited by $hip$hape

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From a little different perspective,

I don't think I would like being on a cruise with a bunch of just graduated high schoolers.

How about being one of their chaperones?...

Considering most issues happen after dark; and being woken by the ship's staff, maybe about midnight or 3 am or later ?:)

Hormones don't seem to sleep.

 

Been there.

Edited by $hip$hape

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From a little different perspective, I don't think I would like being on a cruise with a bunch of just graduated high schoolers.

 

RIGHT?!! I'm thinking it would be renamed "The Puke Cruise". I always Google my ship name and date to see if there is any big group going on there (not that it always works).

 

I was on the Silhouette one year and the crew told us the following week was going to be full of nudists. I looked it up, it was true. BUT, you couldn't book that thru the cruise line or TA, had to be booked thru the group. I would be swimming off of that ship. Yuck.

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From a little different perspective, I don't think I would like being on a cruise with a bunch of just graduated high schoolers.

 

Our Alaska cruise had a school group of about 50-60 HS kids. Mostly Jr. & Sr. kids and they were extremely well behaved. Perfect? No. And no kid is on vacation, especially a teenager. They had fun and never caused a problem whenever we saw them. They were actually on like a month-long trip! They did Alaska, some environmental/biology type trips on the west coast, and then they were going to Hawaii. My husband talked with a group of the boys one day about their trip. He mentioned how lucky they were that their parents let them go on this and they all said yes, they knew they were extremely lucky!

 

 

I do understand that a Caribbean cruise is a little different than Alaska though.

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From a little different perspective, I don't think I would like being on a cruise with a bunch of just graduated high schoolers.

 

I’d be happy to sail with these young men and women.

What an opportunity they have. Most of them would make their mom and dad proud.

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From a little different perspective, I don't think I would like being on a cruise with a bunch of just graduated high schoolers.

 

 

OH, DO I ever agree with you.

 

College kids would be bad enough but newly graduated high schoolers. ... may not be the perfect scenario.

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I found a little twist on this story, and am quoting the relevant parts. From WTOC:

 

Money for Wayne County senior trip disappears, parent under investigation

Jason Weaver and other parents tell us they started meeting and paying for the seniors' trip back in August. One parent offered to collect the money and make arrangements through the cruise line. Just last week, cancellation notices started to come out for nonpayment. That parent is now in the hospital so the parents and students aren't getting answers and time is running out with the cruise now only 10 days away.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

...and this is why I don't want to ever run for treasurer for ANY organization.....

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It is really simple never pay cash, always use a credit card and you are protected. I know a couple of members here have posted about High School trips they took and paid in cash, which was the way years ago, and no computers, cable TV etc, Now even High School Students have access to credit cards, or payment services which offer them.

 

Yes the students can wait for action from the AG Office and in a few years something will happen or file credit card disputes and have refunds the same day.

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It is really simple never pay cash, always use a credit card and you are protected. I know a couple of members here have posted about High School trips they took and paid in cash, which was the way years ago, and no computers, cable TV etc, Now even High School Students have access to credit cards, or payment services which offer them.

 

Yes the students can wait for action from the AG Office and in a few years something will happen or file credit card disputes and have refunds the same day.

 

From the sounds of it one person was collecting the money and then (supposedly) paying the cruise line. I know few private individuals who are set up to process credit cards for a private transaction.

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From the sounds of it one person was collecting the money and then (supposedly) paying the cruise line. I know few private individuals who are set up to process credit cards for a private transaction.

Paypal

 

Too easy for you to open an account and then I put money into your account. 3 minutes to set it up, if that.

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Paypal

 

Too easy for you to open an account and then I put money into your account. 3 minutes to set it up, if that.

 

Yes, but how many people would think of that for a face to face transaction? Hindsight shows us a lot of ways that someone in this situation could have protected themselves (and that is actually a benefit to stories like this, so others can learn from someone else's mistake) but the parties involved evidently didn't think of any of this, much to their present sorrow.

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