Detroit woman faced no-win situation after being stranded in Hurricane Irma

Posted at 7:00 AM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 16:57:38-04

Sandra Richardson, a native Detroiter on vacaction in Florida, found herself in a no-win situation.

She and three friends were in Tampa preparing to board a Carnival Princess cruise ship when Hurricane Irma was approaching Cuba, the very destination of their trip. Crew members assured the group they’d be fine, but couldn’t pin down a final destination in the event Cuba was being hammered by Irma.

“So, I’m blessed I didn’t go,” said Richardson, despite being stuck in Tampa for nearly a week.

Six plane cancellations and a failed attempt to get a bus ride out of town, and Richardson was still high in spirits. She was, however, concerned about getting her trip back. Hotel costs began to pile up during her unexpected extended stay at a Hilton Hotel. They lost power early on, and she eventually had to re-book into a second hotel as she waited for a flight out of town.

We met Richardson on Sunday, she had already been trying for day to fly out of Tampa. She made it back to Detroit on Thursday.

Asked how much it cost and she responded, “Oh my God, I’m embarrassed to tell you.”

That’s why 7 Action News stepped in to try to ensure she’d get a refund, or at the very least another trip.

According to Richardson, she was contacted by Carnival after we first reached out — she, like 7 Action News, has learned that she will be offered a cruise credit for a trip of her choosing in the near future. She said she’s still excited to take the trip.