Garrison Keillor’s Cruise Remains on Hold with No Refund and No Rescheduled Date

The cruise ship owned by Prairie Grand, LLC, a company founded by famed radio personality, Garrison Keillor, has been docked and on hold since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began. The vessel, the Veendam, was set to sail with 1,350 passengers for the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale on March 18. However, Keillor’s company cancelled the trip as details on the COVID-19 crisis began to develop. Shortly after, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a “no-sail order,” which has been extended through July 24, essentially docking all cruises sailing from the U.S. Most cruise companies, such as Carnival, have allowed their customers to either request a refund or rebook with 125 percent credit. However, receiving a refund through Keillor’s Prairie Home Cruises has not been so easy, mostly because the ship is operated through a charter company. How the charter relationships work is the company rents the boat from a larger cruise corporation. Prairie Home Cruises operates their cruise through a rental from Holland America. Keillor has been less than forthcoming with passengers who are out thousands of dollars. Six weeks after the cancellation, he sent a mass email which included his personal experience regarding to sheltering in place and plans for a book he intends to write where residents of his fictional town, Lake Wobegon, collectively catch a virus from eating cheese. Keillor continued, offering to sell advice copies of the novel. Passengers who have attempted to get refunds for their tickets have reported having to push through a lot of red tape to get any response. This fact has been disappointing to the loyal following...
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