As Florida and the Caribbean continue the long recovery process after Hurricane Irma, a fake “free cruise” offer for hurricane victims is circulating Facebook.
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald reports that an unknown person has created a fake Facebook page in his name, as well as in the name of his late father. On the fake page, a post alleges that Carnival Cruise Line is offering free cruises to those affected by “the Hurricane,” possibly referring to Hurricane Irma. The fake post directs those interested to call Carnival or message Heald, and even includes specific details: guests will supposedly receive a four to seven night cruise of their choice, less taxes and port fees, as well as a $100 per cabin onboard credit.
“It is a fake page and we have reported the author accordingly,” Heald wrote on his Facebook page. “I know which Facebook group this originates from and I will be severing all ties with them as well.”
As part of a later Facebook Live video Heald addressed the issue, reiterating that he knew the identity of the perpetrator, and that the person had been reported.
“I know exactly who he is — he has the brain capacity of something that lies on its back on the bottom of a pond,” Heald said. “He was a member of a certain gang of a Facebook group. Sad people, just sad people.”
In reality, Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, is leading a $10 million pledge in aid to assist relief and rebuilding efforts for those who have been impacted by the hurricane. That effort will also involve the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation. Carnival ships will also be delivering supplies to affected destinations as part of their itineraries.