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Want your money back? How cruise lines deal with COVID-19 refunds

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-01 01:45:39-05

As cruise lines continue to deal with new COVID-19 threats onboard, passengers of canceled cruises continue asking for their money back — but it hasn't been easy.

Sherli Skinner along with family and friends were ready for a cruise to Alaska. It would be her daughter's graduation trip.

But like so many others, the 2020 trip wouldn't happen because of COVID-19.

"Come end of April, they canceled all the cruises. That's when we said, 'hey let's just get our money back,'" Sherli says.

But she says Norwegian Cruise Lines had other ideas.

"They said if you want your money back, you can only get 20% of it back. I said, 'oh, I don't think so.'"

And Sherli didn't want a travel voucher either, so the family let me know.

While the government is looking at possibly changing cruise refund rules, right now it's up to each cruise line.

During the COVID pandemic, most cruise lines wanted to give vouchers for future cruises but many of those cruises were also canceled.

Brenda and Desiree agreed to a voucher that would be 125% of what they originally paid for their canceled Norwegian cruise.

"We had no idea a year and a half later we were still not going," Brenda says.

With more cruises canceled, they too asked for a refund

"I said, 'aren't there any exceptions?' She said, 'it's against our policy,'" she says.

When they let me know, we took it to Norwegian Cruise Lines and asked about a refund.

And since we last saw the couple, they received some good news about their $2,300.

Their email says "we got our refund today thank you for everything and all your help."

We also took Sherli's plea to Norwegian Cruise Lines and let Sherli know they would be contacting her.

"The next day Christie from Norwegian called me," Sherli told me.

Norwegian refunded Sherli her full $7,100.

"Thank you we appreciate you oh my gosh we can't say enough thank yous," Sherli says.

We want to thank Norwegian Cruise Lines for going beyond their refund policy in these situations.

Also, thanks to our Let Joe Know volunteer Emily for her hard work on the case.

We're still working to get one more refund for Sherli's group.

Keep up with the changing cruise line COVID policies: