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Boodram’s Travel & Tours
Ship Ahoy Cruises Fraud Alleged

February 14, 2011

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Boodram’s Travel & Tours
Ship Ahoy Cruises Fraud Alleged

February 14, 2011

Vicky Boodram-Arjoonsingh of Boodram's Travel Tours and Ship Ahoy Cruises of Port Of Spain in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Boodram was booking cruises for two voyages and suddenly nobody is getting their cruise, nor their money back. Carnival Corp filed a lawsuit against her and her operations claiming copyright infringement related to the booking of the two voyages.

The cruises were suppose to embark in April and August 5.

Carnival Corporation, filed a lawsuit (1:11-cv-20269-KMM) at the Florida Southern District Court claiming ‘‘Trademark Infringement’’ before Judge K Michael Moore, and later referred to Judge Andrea M Simonton.

The Court documents filed by Carnival Corporation’s attorney, Jorge A Mestre of Rivero Mestre LLP, also included a “Motion to Expedite’ the matter which was filed on January 31 by Plaintiff Counsel.

The summons was issued on January 24, 2011 to Vicky Boodram, Boodram’s Travel & Tours, Ship Ahoy Cruises, and also sent to the Director of US Patent and Trademark.

In its complaint, Carnival claims injunctive relief as well as monetary damages under various federal and state trademark protection statutes and also a claim for breach of the charter agreements and fraud in the inducement.

As alleged in the complaint, Boodram defaulted on the charter agreements when she failed to meet payment deadlines and presented Carnival with fraudulent letters of credit from a Wells Fargo bank in the U.S. that purported to guarantee a total of US$6.4 million, as well as a related letter from Republic Bank Limited in Trinidad, which Carnival later learned were never issued by the bank. The charters were canceled in January.

Carnival has asked federal judge Michael Moore in Miami to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining and restraining Boodram and her agencies to stop falsely representing that it is affiliated with or authorized by Carnival to sell or market any of its products and continuing to use Carnival's name, trademarks and logos.

An internet posting on January 16 stated that "Carnival Cruise Lines is disappointed that the two planned cruises aboard the Carnival Victory that were to operate from Trinidad in April and August 2011 were canceled due to the charterer's failure to fulfil its financial contractual obligations. Carnival has instructed the charterers to notify any affected customers and refund their money. Guests impacted by these cancellations should contact Boodram's Travel."

The cruises were planned for April and August aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Victory and more than 4,500 passengers were booked for the ships. However, reports say there were problems in getting the ships to dock at Port-of-Spain and that prompted the cancellation of the trips and subsequent promises that all passengers would be refunded. Passengers paid between $4,000 and $6,000 for the Carnival Victory cruises.

As the deal with Carnival fell apart, Boodram's started advertising a replacement cruise on Thomson Dream. This time, the cruise would be planned over seven days instead of five, as of a way of compensating for the confusion. But in court documents, Carnival said it contacted Thompson and was told there was no agreement with Boodram's either.

Passengers who got refund checks from the travel firm were rejected for insufficent funds. A notice placed on the door, gave the name Ramjass Boodram (Boodram-Arjoonsingh’s father) and his contact number and asked that all queries be referred to him. When the number was called, callers were told they had the wrong number. Ramjass Boodram is reportedly also a director of the travel firm.

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