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Don’t post booking info online

Banks later discovered that the reason Carnival had canceled her cruise wasn’t due to a glitch in the system or an error, but identity theft, she explains in a follow-up TikTok.

Before her cruise, Banks and her husband posted a photo of their countdown tracker for the cruise on Facebook. Their booking information was also on the countdown tracker.

An identity thief online saw her post, added her booking information to their account (which you can do) and canceled the cruise that same day, Carnival eventually discovered.

Even when the mystery was solved, Carnival was reluctant to refund her money. They had originally offered her family the cheapest and smallest rooms on the ship, with no refund. Banks refused that because she wanted the Presidential Suite or a full refund.

Due to Banks’s persistence and virality on TikTok, Carnival said they’d give her a $10,000 cruise credit — but only if she made a video saying that there has been a “positive resolution.”

“We’re not interested in sailing with Carnival ever again,” she says in the follow-up TikTok. She refused their offer.

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Get travel insurance

Banks doesn’t say whether or not she had travel insurance, but several commenters recommended it for her next trip.

Travel insurance is a useful and fairly inexpensive way to avoid losing, say, $15,000 on a cruise due to identity theft.

You can buy regular travel insurance, which often covers cruises. There’s also cruise travel insurance, but CNBC says it’s usually much more expensive than general travel insurance.

Cruise insurance typically costs 3% to 8% of the cost of the cruise, and covers medical emergencies, lost baggage and job loss cancellation (covering expenses if you lose your job), according to CNBC. Many plans also spell out specific coverage against identity theft such as Banks experienced.

Many credit cards now have travel insurance baked into them. If you use that credit card to purchase your cruise, then any issues before or during the trip can be resolved using that insurance, according to CNBC.

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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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