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COVID 19 abruptly ends 'Cruise of a Lifetime'

Retired judge seeking $60,000 refund

ENCINITAS, Calif. — COVID 19 has abruptly changed the plans of millions of people and that includes retired judge who was suddenly told to leave his cruise ship in Brazil. In this Zevely Zone I went to Encinitas to speak to a couple asking for a $60,000 refund.  

Credit: Judge Marshall Hockett

Last November, I introduced you to retired Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett and his wife Debbie who had saved up for years to take the cruise of a lifetime.

"People should live their lives and not sit in a movie theater watching some body live their live for them," said Judge Hockett.

Credit: Judge Marshall Hockett

In the 1970's, Marshall and Debbie traveled throughout Europe together in a VW van nicknamed "The Banana" because it was bright yellow. The young couple filled up a journal with memories which last fall they turned into a book titled Tripping 1975: Falling in Love One Country at a Time. The book chronicled their trip in 1975 to France, England, Spain, Portugal and many other magical places.  

Credit: KFMB TV

Their goal was to retrace that trip on a cruise. They left Miami on January 8th. "It was an awesome catastrophe I'd have to say," said Debbie Hockett. By the second week of March, their cruise hit rock bottom when they were handed a letter in Rio de Janeiro. "It said essentially, you got two days to get off the ship and take your baggage with you," said Judge Hockett.

 

Credit: Judge Marshall Hockett

What was supposed to be an around the world, 180 day cruise was over. The Hocketts scrambled to find a hotel room and then book flights to get home. Judge Hockett is living with Parkinson's Disease and to make matters worse someone stole his wheelchair during the debacle.

Credit: Judge Marshall Hockett

The Hocketts are hoping for a 60-thousand dollar refund but they say the cruise company which they don't want to mention by name isn't picking up the phone. I asked them, "If Judge Marshall Hockett had this case in his court room what would be the ruling?"

The couple giggled and responded, "A noose. Guilty. A noose."

   

Credit: Judge Marshall Hockett

It wasn't the fairy tale ending Marshall and Debbie were hoping for but somehow their lives still feel like one.

"I really couldn't ask for more, except for the 60-grand and a few more people to read my book," said Judge Hockett.

 "So if you were to compare your two trips?" I asked.

Credit: KFMB TV

They laughed and said, "The first one was better. I'll take the Banana, I'll take the Banana."

If you'd like to read Judge Hockett's book go to facebook.com/Tripping1975.