A frustrated Auckland couple who had planned to cruise around the Pacific for 72 nights are still waiting for their $40,000 refund back after the dream trip was cancelled due to Covid-19.

David and Marion Hines are gobsmacked the same operator Princess Cruises is now advertising new cruises on its website before repaying guests whose holidays were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Princess Cruises says the couple's refund is in progress and has apologised for the delays caused by a large number of refunds it needs to process.

The retirees were due to depart on a trip around the Pacific Islands, Australia, Hawaii and Alaska on on April 15 - but the Circle Pacific World Cruise on the Sun Princess was cancelled in March after the borders started closing.


They were given the option of a 150 per cent credit for future cruising, or a 100 per cent cash refund, which the couple opted for.

On April 2, they received an email confirming their choice - but are still waiting for the money to be returned.

David Hines tried to contact Princess Cruises at the end of April after their travel agent was unable to help, but he said the New Zealand number reached an automated message and when he was redirected to an overseas office the person he spoke to was unable to help him.

"We haven't heard a word ... and we haven't got a cent."

Their travel companion had opted for the credit but concerned that cruise ships may not be enjoyable during the pandemic they opted for the refund.

They now felt like they had drawn the short straw as even if they had wanted to rebook a cruise they couldn't because Princess Cruises still had their money.

On Princess Cruises website at the weekend they were promoting a suite of cruises including one to Alaska although no travel dates have been set.

"I'm absolutely disgusted. Repaying us should have been their priority. Obviously they are wanting to get back into business, but sorting out their old business should have been their priority and they've put us right at the bottom of the priority list."


In the meantime, Hines said they were unable to plan any other holidays such as one to Queenstown as all their travel money was still being held by Carnival.

"The bad thing now is we want to spend that money on a holiday somewhere else and we haven't got it."

Since the couple married 13 years ago, they have taken a number of cruises together because his wife really enjoyed them and this was the first bad experience they had.

"If I get bad treatment at a shop they usually give me back that plus something else as well."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

He didn't blame them for wanting to get back operating - but just wanted his money back.


"We were insulted just being offered the money. Any decent compensation would have been for more than you paid not exactly what you paid."

A Princess spokesperson apologised for the delay and said the refund was underway.

"As you'll understand with all cruises on hold until the end of August there is a heavy backlog of refunds to process."

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