More than 500 people stranded in Chon Buri by luxury cruise company
More than 500 Thai tourists found themselves stranded at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri, despite shelling out over 100,000 baht each for a supposedly luxurious cruise trip. The chaotic incident unfolded on Friday, May 19, leaving disgruntled passengers fuming and demanding answers from the cruise company, reportedly identified as Cost Serena, as they were denied boarding despite their hefty payments.
Channel 3 interviewed one victim who revealed that those who purchased the trip under a “buy one, get one free” promotion were allowed access to the ship. However, those who paid the regular rates were left marooned on the pier. Another victim shared her disappointment, stating that she had bought tickets for her entire family, yet only her husband and child’s names appeared on the guest list.
According to Channel 3, numerous singers, musicians, and performers, hired to entertain the passengers during the cruise, were also denied entry. Media reports highlighted that this was not the first occurrence of such an incident, although the scale of affected individuals was unprecedented.
The cruise company defended itself, claiming that the victims’ names were not included in the official list due to an oversight by the customer service department. Consequently, they were forced to deny these individuals passage on the cruise ship.
Frustrated and determined to seek justice, many of the affected passengers wasted no time in filing complaints against the cruise company and took to social media platforms to share their harrowing experiences, hoping to warn others against purchasing tours from the said company.
Some passengers provided further insights into the ill-fated trip, revealing that it was meant to encompass three destinations: Laem Chabang in Chon Buri province of Thailand, Sihanoukville in Cambodia, and Koh Samui in Surat Thani province of Thailand.
A Thai man disclosed that he had endured a six-hour wait, from 9 am to 3 pm, just to board the cruise. Despite paying 20,000 baht each for the trip, the onboard service was abysmal, and he also claimed that the staff members exhibited discriminatory behaviour towards Asian passengers.
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