A woman sold an apartment for a 3-year world cruise, now in flux

MV Gemini with Life at Sea Cruises

  • A cruise that was announced in March, with plans to travel the world, is now in limbo.
  • Potential passengers have paid deposits on rooms costing up to $109,000 a year, per CNN.
  • Customers are now asking for refunds amid internal uncertainty, a potential passenger told Insider.

Customers who spent thousands of dollars on a multi-year billed cruise across all continents are demanding their money back after problems with the cruise line’s founding staff arose, months after the venture was announced.

The first of its kind MV Gemini Cruise, announced in late February, was due to launch from Istanbul in November, with plans to visit all seven continents and 135 countries. The trip is now plagued with management issues that are preventing customers from boarding.

The MV Gemini cruise was organized by Miray Cruises and its subsidiary Life at Sea Cruises. However, ties between Life at Sea at Miray for the project were severed this month, according to CNN, citing the former chief executive of Life at Sea Cruises.

In a March 10 press release, Miray Cruises mentioned that the ship would be “overhauled” ahead of the trip, months from now. Miray Cruises did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment, but said in a May webinar for passengers that the voyage was continuing, according to CNN.

Kimberly Arizzi was among the first to sign up in March and sent a $5,000 deposit for the cruise at the time, interfacing directly with the Life at Sea sales team, Arizzi told Insider. But the uncertainty surrounding the ship and the reshuffling of staff prompted her and other potential passengers to reconsider their plans.

“I thought my life was set for the next few years,” Arizzi told Insider. “It wasn’t just the furniture that I lost, it was the boat-topia – the idea of ​​being in a like-minded community, doing something together for the very first time.”

A woman sold her apartment before the trip

Arizzi, who lives in Chicago, sold thousands of dollars worth of clothing, furniture and televisions ahead of the cruise. She recently retired and also sold her apartment, moved into a park trailer, she said.

Jim Cremer, another potential passenger, told Insider that the trip was initially a “dream trip”, but at this time he is “not yet convinced that Miray can pull it off”.

In a Life at Sea community Facebook group with nearly 800 members, Mike Petterson, the former chief executive of Life at Sea, wrote that his company had issued refunds after a split with Miray, and questioned that she would be ready to sail by November. .

Arizzi’s deposits were refunded on April 20, she told Insider. Prospective customers have until the end of June to send in deposits amid the fracas, according to Petterson.

Petterson did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

The two companies organizing the trip have separated

Arizzi echoed that there had been a rift between Life at Sea and Miray, with parent company Miray hosting two to three webinars a day to ease customer concerns about the future of travel, she told Insider.

The webinars also left some with mixed feelings, she added.

“It was like a press conference where the astronauts go to the moon and look really sullen, but should look excited,” Arizzi told Insider. “They promised so much, and perhaps over-promised.”

Arizzi told Insider that Miray plans to go ahead with the cruise, inviting guests to Istanbul three days early to party on the boat. She won’t participate or make another deposit for at least the next year. She decided to embark on a short-lived cruise through the summer “and see what’s in store for next year.”

“I believe the Gemini ship will continue,” she said, “but I just don’t think I’ll be happy about it.”

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