Costa Cruises Offering Full Refund to Costa Concordia Guests

The refund includes travel expenses coming home, company says

By Sebastian Del Marmol
|  Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 10:26 AM EDT
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S. Floridians Tell of Experience Aboard Costa Concordia

ASSOCIATED PRESS

People take pictures of the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. The cruise captain who grounded the Costa Concordia off the Tuscan coast with 4,200 people on board did not relay correct information either to the company or crew after the ship hit rocks, the cruise ship owner's CEO said as the search resumed for 21 missing passengers. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

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S. Floridians Tell of Experience Aboard Costa Concordia

Among the thousands of passengers aboard the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of an Italian island Friday were several South Floridians who are now telling of their experience on the tragic voyage.
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A week-and-a-half after the Titanic-like cruise disaster off the coast of Italy, Costa Cruises is offering all passengers who were aboard the Costa Concordia on Jan. 13 a full refund, including travel expenses “incurred both reaching the port of embarkation and on the homeward journey.”

The company said Monday that onboard expenses will be refunded, and that it “will reimburse any medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident,” according to a statement issued by a Miami public relations firm representing Costa Cruises North America.

The Daily Telegraph of London reported that Costa Concordia survivors would get a full refund and a 30 percent discount on future voyages. The newspaper’s report quoted a Costa Cruises spokesman as saying the company “will offer a 30 percent discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company” in addition to the refund.

That raised the ire of survivors, with Brian Page, 63, telling the newspaper that the offer was “ridiculous and insulting.”

Costa Cruises said, however, that the full refund and 30 percent future cruise discount is for people who were booked to sail on a Costa Concordia cruise beginning on or after Jan. 14. So the future cruise discount does not apply to those who were onboard when the accident occurred on Jan. 13, said Buck Banks, who issued the statement Monday.

Costa Cruises also said that “every effort will be made to return the valuables left in the cabin safe.”

Costa Cruises’ parent company is Miami-based Carnival Corporation.

So far, 15 bodies have been found in the cruise disaster, and 17 people are still missing.

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