SARASOTA, Fla. - Richard Pamerleau stopped by Legendary Journeys Travel Agency to check on his passes for a Nov. 11 cruise with his wife for their 52nd wedding anniversary.
The couple paid nearly $1,000 for the trip.
“We went over to see what was going on, get passes, and a big sign said closed,” he said.
Mike Albano and 42 other residents booked a December trip on the same ship, paying $488 a piece.
“I’ve got nothing from Legendary Journeys,” he said.
Albano and 42 other residents at Top of The World also booked an MSC cruises on the same ship for December and paid 488 dollars each. “I’ve been continually calling can’t get them…all are disappointed, upset.”
Al Ferguson, the travel agency's owner, closed his business of 20 years on Tuesday.
“This is heartbreaking moment for me,” he said.
On Facebook, Ferguson said he experienced a drop in business due to new Cuba travel advisories, terrorism and recent hurricanes.
“Fear is a difficult thing to overcome in the travel business," he said.
But what sealed his business' fate was an employee stealing proprietary information, which left a financial impact of $1.4 million.
“Legendary Journeys has assets to cover it. We have more assets than the deposits lost….all will be refunded," he said.
Customers will receive a 100 percent refund by Dec. 30, Ferguson said.
Anyone with questions is asked to email the agency at email@example.com.