Man Spends $55,000 on 3-Year Global Cruise Following Wife’s Death, Left Without Refund After Sudden Cancellation

  • Passengers of Life at Sea cruise call for criminal fraud investigation into Miray Cruises by US government after trip cancellation and failure to receive refunds.
  • David Purcell, a retired attorney, shares his motivations for seeking justice and the return of his money in an interview.
  • Miray Cruises denies fraud accusations, promises refunds to be issued by February 15.

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David Purcell and dozens of other passengers signed up for a three-year around-the-world cruise with Life at Sea, only to have the trip abruptly canceled by its parent company, Miray Cruises. Now, Purcell and 77 others are calling for a criminal fraud investigation into Miray Cruises by the US government. They have not received refunds for their bookings. Purcell, a retired attorney, shared his story and explained his motivations for wanting justice in an interview. Miray Cruises has denied the fraud accusations and stated that refunds will be issued by February 15.

Purcell’s interest in the ocean began at a young age, and he even served in the Navy. He later worked on cruise ships as an estate planning speaker. However, it wasn’t until he came across an article about the Life at Sea cruise that he became intrigued. At the time, Purcell’s wife was battling pancreatic cancer, and he saw the cruise as something to look forward to. In March 2023, he put down a deposit for the cruise.

The cruise’s itinerary, which included destinations such as Norway, Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia, South America, Asia, and the Mediterranean, appealed to Purcell. He was especially drawn to the potential for creating a tight-knit community onboard the smaller ship. Sadly, his wife passed away in May 2023, leaving him with a sense of loss but also the hope of the upcoming cruise.

In June, Purcell selected a cabin and paid a significant portion of the cruise fare. To prepare for the journey, he sold his house and took other financial hits. He moved into a friend’s spare bedroom and eagerly awaited the cruise. However, as the departure date approached, Purcell began having unanswered questions and concerns. Still, he never anticipated the cruise being canceled.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Purcell received the devastating news that the cruise was officially canceled. He was in Honduras at the time, preparing for a dive trip before the cruise. Instead, he spent Thanksgiving night at the Miami Airport, and his dreams of scuba diving around the world were crushed. Now, Purcell and others who have not received refunds are seeking justice and the return of their money.

Purcell is currently trying to rebuild his life in Missouri, living in a two-bedroom apartment. He plans to join a grief group to help process his loss. Initially, Purcell suspected confusion and incompetence from Miray Cruises, but he began suspecting fraud in October. He turned to the US Attorney in Southern Florida to investigate the matter, hoping that the Department of Justice’s resources can uncover the truth and potentially pressure Miray Cruises to refund the passengers.

Despite the adversity, Purcell remains optimistic and wants to enjoy the blessings in his life. Though he may not be on that ship, he is taking charge of his own life.

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