Kentucky Family Left Heartbroken and Out $15,000 After Careless Post on Social Media

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Jun 16, 2024

A family from Kentucky decided to spend their hard-earned savings on an unforgettable family vacation aboard a Carnival Cruise ship. However, thanks to one social media post, they never got their dream holiday.

Tiffany Banks told her troubling story on TikTok. The clips, which have now gone viral, explain how the Banks family lost their reservation after posting their plans online and how Carnival Cruise all but refused to give them their $15,000 back even though they never got to go on their vacation.

The Banks Family Spent $15,000 on the Vacation of a Lifetime

The Banks family of Kentucky didn’t just want to go on a cruise – they wanted to have the trip of a lifetime. Tiffany explained that she and her family planned the vacation for an entire year, choosing the best cruise company, their room, and their excursions to fit their exact specifications.

The Excel Presidential Suite on a Carnival Cruise ship at sunset

Source: @CLLCruiseFUN/Facebook

They paid a whopping $15,000 out of their savings to travel in the Excel Presidential Suite with Carnival Cruise and were wildly excited about their upcoming adventure.

Tragedy Struck When the Banks Family Noticed Their Vacation Had Been Canceled

Then, the day before their flight to Miami, Florida, to set sail on their grand and perfectly planned holiday, Tiffany received an email that their entire trip had been canceled.

A green billboard that reads “Vacation Canceled” against a blue sky

Source: iStock

Tiffany posted on TikTok, “We have nearly $15,000 tied up for this vacation, including excursions. The room itself was I think $12,000 or $13,000, and then we’ve got a few grand tied up in excursions, and actually with almost $2,000 for flights. I have to laugh, or I’m just going to sit down and cry and absolutely lose my mind.”

Tiffany Banks Assumed There Was a Glitch in the System

Tiffany couldn’t believe what he was reading and at first assumed that there was just a glitch in the Carnival Cruise system. She called and explained that she had never canceled her trip, and she and her family were ready to board their flight the next day.

A screenshot from a TikTok video by @thathippiedoc with text that reads, “I called Carnival”

Source: @thathippiedoc/TikTok

However, the Carnival Cruise customer service agent explained that their Excel Presidential Suite had already been booked by another customer and was, therefore, unavailable.

Carnival Cruise Offered the Banks Family the Cheapest Rooms on the Ship

In response to the conundrum, Carnival Cruise offered the Banks family two of the cheapest interior rooms on the ship, which, of course, was not what they wanted.

An interior room on a Carnival Cruise ship with two single beds

Source: Reddit

The company also told the Banks family that traveling in the interior rooms was the only possible solution. They could not refund their $15,000 since the cancellation was made just one day before the ship’s scheduled departure. By this point, Tiffany Banks was furious.

The Banks' Family Holiday Was Ruined

Knowing that her family’s flights weren’t going to be refunded, Tiffany decided they would go to Miami anyway and try their best to salvage some kind of vacation. But when she got there, Tiffany was more disappointed than ever.

A photograph of a Carnival Cruise ship out at sea/A red stamp that reads, “No Refund”

Source: Carnival Cruises/Shutterstock

As she watched the ship she and her family were supposed to be on leaving the dock, she posted another Tiktok that said, “Eff you carnival — Go to hell!!!” At this point, Tiffany was still trying to find a way to get the majority of her hard-earned money back, but Carnival was refusing to help.


How Did the Banks' Family Trip Get Canceled?

Of course, the first question Tiffany had to answer was how their trip was canceled when neither she nor anyone in her family called it off. After Carnival Cruise conducted an extensive investigation, it became clear that a stranger had canceled the trip.

A faceless online hacker wearing black gloves while typing on a laptop

Source: Freepik

Carnival Cruise told Tiffany that she was the “victim of a form of identity theft,” in which someone accessed her online reservation and canceled it.


Tiffany Banks Shared Her Booking Confirmation Number on Social Media

Sadly, the online hacker was able to easily log in to the Banks’ reservation because, when she booked the trip, Tiffany posted a photograph of her booking confirmation page, including the reference number and all her personal information.

A faceless woman booking an online trip

Source: Depositphotos

With this new information, Carnival Cruise apologized for the inconvenience and offered the family $10,404 in credit to use on a future trip. However, Tiffany posted yet another video explaining why she felt this offer was “bogus.”


The Disgruntled Carnival Cruise Customer Wants Her Money Back

Tiffany explained, “They apologized and then spit in my face with another bogus offer. I want an apology from them trying to make it look like I was lying or hiding something or even worse – that there were security issues…@carnival, you owe me a public apology and my money!

A hand gives dozens of hundred-dollar bills to another hand

Source: Freepik

The Banks family doesn’t want credit for another cruise because they never want to travel with Carnival ever again after this wildly frustrating experience. Tiffany said plainly, “We’re not sailing with Carnival ever again.”


Carnival Cruise Responded to the $15,000 Scandal

As the story of Tiffany Banks and her canceled vacation has gone viral, Carnival Cruise has released a press statement regarding their part, of lack thereof, in the incident.

A photograph of a Carnival Cruise ship at sea with the Carnival logo on top


The statement explained, “While we are not going to comment on any specific guest complaint or incident, it is never a good idea to post personal information about your travel plans, including a confirmation number for a booking, which could allow a bad actor or identify thief to use that information in inappropriate or even illegal ways.”


The Internet Is Divided on Who Is to Blame for the Drama

As with any viral situation, the internet is quite divided as to whose fault this situation really is. While some say that Carnival Cruise should have handled it better, others argue that Tiffany Banks is unquestionably to blame.

A faceless man is typing on a laptop

Source: Freepik

One TikTok user wrote, “How is she blaming Carnival when it is clearly her fault?” Another said, “That’s 100% on her; Carnival Cruise owes her nothing.”


The Moral of the Story: Don’t Share Personal Information on Social Media

This situation is certainly not resolved. Tiffany Banks and her family will likely continue to fight for their refund from Carnival Cruise, though whether or not they will get it is yet to be seen.

A faceless person is typing on a laptop with graphics showing cybersecurity

Source: Freepik

But the moral of this story is certainly crystal clear: Never post any personal information or booking confirmation numbers on social media, as strangers from around the world could use them to cancel, change, or hijack your next adventure.