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UPDATE – 4/20/2020

Ahoy, mates!

We have gotten a few calls and emails about Carnival and refunds and I want to make sure you guys have all the facts.

The most important thing that we want everyone to know is that there is not a vault of money which the Foundation is holding back and we could just refund everyone.

Unlike traditional cruises, a charter, like Fantastic Voyage, requires advance commitments and funding to suppliers (transportation, hotels, entertainers, etc.) in order for them to make commitments, reserve times, and plan…same as we do. The most essential supplier is the cruise line, Carnival. A few passengers have told us that Carnival’s Customer Service teams have told them:
–      Carnival cancelled the Fantastic Voyage.
–      Carnival offered our passengers a full refund or credit toward a future cruise.
–      Carnival refunded the Foundation its charter price.

The problem is none of that is true. Carnival’s general and group sales CSRs know about Carnival’s retail cruises but not about the charter cruises…which are handled by a completely independent area within Carnival. Carnival has offered the Fantastic Voyage a postponement for the cruise; they have not offered our money back…and they’ve certainly not sent it back. In addition, we’ve coordinated with the contracted entertainers and they’re willing to reschedule their performances, schedules permitting. But we haven’t received monies back.

We’re all in this together. I, and everyone connected with the Fantastic Voyage, are doing everything we can to maximize our passengers’ travel investment. It took eighteen months to get all the interlocking pieces together to produce the cruise…it can’t be undone quickly without tremendous financial loss to passengers. The novel coronavirus has surprised our suppliers as much as it’s surprised us, as much as it’s surprised you, our passengers. I wish things were different…I wish we’d spent the first week of April in exotic locales instead of our sofas…but we couldn’t…and it’s no one’s fault. Nor is there a way to handle some passengers now and some passengers later with different offerings.

We’re considering a multitude of options in conversations with suppliers to maximize passengers’ investments…but it will take some time…and all are dependent on the pandemic’s effects across the country.  But we are working hard to soldier on and achieve the mission of the Tom Joyner Foundation, which is raising money for scholarships for kids to stay in school, and as soon as we can, we will be back to our “Party with a Purpose!”

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Your Captain,