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Patron who was stranded after Caribana demands refund

A man who journeyed from Antigua to Barbuda to participate in the Caribana festivities in early June, has reported that he has not been compensated for extra expenses incurred when he was left stranded by party boat, Excellence.
Yesterday, David Rhodes contacted OBSERVER media and recounted his plight of having to stay in Barbuda longer than was expected after the boat broke down.
“I was supposed to be one of the ones going on the Barbuda Express, one of the first trips; I think it was a 2 o’clock ticket. They told me I wasn’t able to. They  told me I had to go back to the guesthouse where  we were staying and they will call us to let us know when we will be able to get back to Antigua,” he said.
Rhodes also recalled that at around 12 am on June 6, he received a phone call saying that the boat was fixed and he could return to Antigua that night if he desired. He also said he spoke to “Mr Goodwin”, a government official responsible for chartering the trips to and from Barbuda for Caribana.
“I wrote an invoice for all my expenses and they told me they would pay my extra expenses that I had while I was in Barbuda, plus they dropped me back in Antigua at 3 o’clock in the morning where I had to pay to go to English Harbour where I live.”
Rhodes claimed that he has not had an easy time communicating with Tropical Adventures — the company, which operates Excellence — and believes the company should assume more responsibility for the mechanical issues the boat faced.
“When I went to Tropical Adventures with the bill, they told me I had to contact someone from the government to get my money back because the government chartered the boat. If the boat belongs to Tropical Adventures,  and I pay you the money for the ticket, why do I have to contact the government?”
The Executive Director of Tropical Adventures told OBSERVER media that Rhodes could seek legal action if he wishes to, since his company cannot advance the situation any further.
“When his lawyers write, he will get a proper response. I have no involvement in the individual sale of tickets; I don’t know all who got on the boat and I don’t even know who the person is. There is nothing more I can do at this time,” he said.
OBSERVER media tried to contact the government officials, whose direct role was chartering the trips between Antigua & Barbuda for comment on the matter, but the repeated efforts were unsuccessful.

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