Couple Sells Everything To Go On a 3-Year Cruise, Only To Find Out It Was Cancelled

A couple who sold almost everything they owned to go on a 3-year Life at Sea cruise has been stuck in Turkey for the past month after the owners failed to find a ship and said that investors withdrew. The cruise, run by Turkey's Miray Cruises, was intended to cover 140 countries and 382 ports. The cheapest cabins cost $115,500 a person based on double-occupancy, rising to nearly $300,000 for a room with a balcony. The price included meals, drinks, entertainment, seminars, and medical consultations. Kara and Joe Youssef sold their two apartments, withdrew their life savings, and gave away most of their possessions to fund the trip. The couple left for Istanbul in late October, with the cruise set to depart on November 1. It was then pushed back to November 11, with the departure port changed from Istanbul to Amsterdam, and then delayed further to November 30, before ultimately being cancelled. As of December 28th, the Youssefs had been living in a hotel in Istanbul for a month — paid for by the cruise company — and were still waiting for their $80,000 refund. The company had previously said it would offer buyers alternative departure dates or "expedited refunds" if it was unable to sail on December 1. Life at Sea's website now says that the cruise is set to depart in November of 2024.