SPOKANE, Wash. – With more and more people looking to travel after several months of lockdown, one local family is hoping their experience will help you be extra careful before handing over money.
Jennifer Wagner says she and her family were ecstatic to finally book a dream vacation.
"We just decided we were going to book this cruise,” she said. “It was a seven day cruise through Greece, five days of ports to all the different islands.”
It was something she says they careful planned out and researched.
“When you book the cruise, you have to put in the information for each passenger, so they know the ages of all the passengers when you book,” she said.
Travel documents show that all reflected on their confirmation. They had no concerns until they received an email earlier this month.
“(It essentially stated) whether or not you are eligible to be vaccinated, you must be vaccinated to board the boat,” she said. “Right away, my husband and I started freaking out. We have a 10-year-old who isn't eligible to get vaccinated.”
Jennifer, her husband and their 12-year-old are all fully vaccinated, but their youngest doesn't even have the option. The family says they were left wondering why this policy wasn't made clear before they paid nearly $10,000.
“I said (to a company representative) why would you let us purchase this knowing we have a 10-year-old…they told us our system is not that sophisticated,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer told our ‘Help Me Hayley’ that it’s her understanding that she could book another cruise at a later date, but with so much uncertainty, she isn't so sure she wants to.
“I understand COVID guidelines, and I'm willing to abide by that,” she said. “But as devastating as this is, give us our money back.”
And as the fight for that continues, Jennifer is hoping her story will help you.
“I think it's important people recognize how fluid this can be,” she said. “I feel like it's buyer beware.”
Jennifer hopes anyone making travel plans will ask pointed questions about vaccination requirements, especially for children. It’s also crucial to do extensive research on travel insurance before selecting a policy. Ensure you know exactly what is covered and what’s not.
KHQ is still waiting for a response from the cruise line.