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Couple facing homelessness after selling everything for three-year cruise that never set sail
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Life at Sea

Couple facing homelessness after selling everything for three-year cruise that never set sail

The claimed that they have still not received their refund

A devastated couple are facing homelessness after taking out their life-savings for a three-year cruise that never set sail.

Kara and Joe Youssef, from Ohio, also sold their two flats and most of their belongings to embark on a three-year trip around the world.

However, the pair are now left in a tricky situation after their voyage was canceled at the last minute.

When they found out about Miray Cruises' Life at Sea trip, Kara and Joe were immediately excited and decided to leave their old life behind.

Scheduled to embark on its journey on November 1 and spend a whopping 1,095 days at sea, the cruise was set to stop at 382 ports across the globe, making it any travel fanatic's dream.

The voyage was canceled just days before it was set to depart.
Life at Sea cruises

But the couple received the news that the trip would not be taking place just days before they were set to depart.

The situation has been compared to the infamous Fyre Festival, which promised to be an exclusive and glamorous festival for attendees who were willing to pay thousands for a ticket and accommodation in the Bahamas, but turned out to be a bit of a mess with no music, bad food and an insufficient amount of beds.

A disappointed Kara told The New York Times: "They kept leading us on, making us hold out hope until the very last minute, just days before we were supposed to depart.

"We sold everything we have to make this dream happen. We feel completely defeated."

The initial idea for the cruise came from entrepreneur Mikael Petterson in June 2022. He worked closely with Miray owner Vedat Ugurlu who recommended a ship called the MC Gemini - one which had 400 cabins and could hold around 1,000 passengers.

Cabins ranged from a more reasonable $90,000 to a staggering $975,000 for a swanky suite.

Hundreds of people began to show their interest and started booking reservations.

But concerns quickly began to arise around the amount of fuel it would take to reach each destination.

Around this time, the business also began to have trouble 'processing credit card transactions' too.

This is when Mikael decided to cut ties with Miray, causing further worry to the couple who had already put thousands of dollars down as a deposit.

Kara and Joe Youssef claim they have still not received their refund.

Kara admitted that she and her husband felt nervous, but they had participated in a series of webinars with other passengers and Kendra Holmes, vice president for business development strategy at Miray, which had reassured them that all was going to plan.

"Kendra was very convincing and dedicated. She was very realistic, whereas Mikael had promised us the sun and the moon," Kara said.

In June, the company claimed there was 'unprecedented demand' and it planned to acquire a significantly bigger ship (627 cabins) to accommodate everyone. However, according to The New York Times, investors were being used to fund the bigger ship.

Then, earlier this month, Miray's owner Vedat confirmed that the cruise had been canceled due to shortage of funds and interest.

"We tried everything to find a solution, but at the end of the day we couldn't get the investors and we couldn't sell enough cabins," he said.

On December 28, the couple claimed that they have still not had their refund and have been staying at a hotel in Istanbul paid for by the cruise company.

“We could soon be homeless," Kara admitted.

LADbible Group has previously reached out to Miray for further comment.

Topics: Travel, News