(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Customers of Ubersoca Cruise (USC) have launched an online petition against USC founder and chief executive officer Nathaniel Turner and affiliate Roger McGregor, demanding a full refund for the Soca Music Festival at sea later this year.
The customers have cited concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that the new guidelines and other health restrictions imposed on the cruise industry by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States will make it impossible for USC to achieve a safe and luxurious cruise experience for its paying clients.
In its petition, they said: “As paying customers, we demand that Ubersoca Cruise put the people they call ‘family’ first over profits. While we often say ‘Soca til’ we die,’ we do not mean that we are willing to literally risk our lives for a few vacation days in support of or in furtherance of the cruise experience.
“It is impossible for Ubersoca Cruise to deliver the cruise experience we all expect with the energy and excitement of a Caribbean carnival with the new world of social distancing. We are demanding a full refund now.”
The online petition has garnered more than 500 signatures and has gotten support from other countries including the US and Martinique.
The registered and paid customers are calling themselves the “UberSoca Cruise Refund Group”.
On its Facebook page, USC boasts the experience is the largest soca music festival at sea, showcasing its schedule which runs from November 9-14, 2020 (pre-party on November 8) and November 14-19, 2020 (pre-party on November 13).
The event is advertised as a six-day, five-night cruise on the Royal Caribbean, which sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Harvest Caye, Belize, and Costa Maya. Belize is currently in a national state of emergency and its borders are closed due to Covid-19.
According to USC’s Facebook page, Belize is one of the stops for Ubersoca Cruise 2020. The UberSoca Cruise Refund Group said several countries that had a carnival scheduled for 2020 have cancelled it or will most likely cancel it soon.
“Sadly, there is no vaccine and all health experts, including the CDC, have made it clear that a safe and efficient vaccine will not be available for at least 12-18 months,” said the Refund Group.
“We are a mere six months away from the Ubersoca Cruise sail dates of November 9-14 and November 14-19. A vaccine will not be available before Ubersoca Cruise,” the petition added. The group is also claiming that Ubersoca Cruise leadership is touting an unproven drug called Remdesivir to justify proceeding with its scheduled UberSoca Cruise 2020 in November.
The Express contacted Turner on Monday to comment on the situation. On Tuesday, USC sent an official statement on the matter.
“Ubersoca Cruise is aware of our guests’ concerns and questions. We are actively working on a solution and will respond directly to our passengers in the very near future. Due to confidentiality restrictions we are not at liberty to discuss these matters in public forums,” it said.