Ohio locals Kara and Joe Youssef sold their two apartments, most of their belongings and withdrew their life savings to embark on a three-year cruise around the globe.
Their excitement was palpable, and as they made their way to Istanbul, Turkey in late October, they envisioned the 1,095 days they would spend at sea, where they would be stopping at 382 ports across the world.
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That was until the cruise company cancelled last minute, claiming they didn’t have a ship suitable for the voyage, leaving the Youssefs stranded in Istanbul.
The couple, who gave up both their homes and spent the majority of their life savings on a ticket, were devastated, and not to mention, stressed.
The Turkish company, Miray Cruises, announced the cruise, Life at Sea, back in March, saying it would be an opportunity to explore the world via sea. It seemed like a great idea at the time, especially for the Youssefs who dreamt of travelling after the pandemic.
Ticket prices started at $90,000 for an inside cabin and went all the way to up $975,000 for a suite - and despite it being a hefty amount, many passengers thought it was a great deal as it was cheaper than living three years in many major cities.