Read what Norwegian Cruise Line victims told the Attorney General
The cruise business is preparing for major losses of its billion dollar profits. Almost all known cruise companies have been generous with their refunds and rescheduling options in these times of the Coronavirus threat.
Airlines are offering cancellation fee waivers and allowing re-scheduling.
Almost all, except one.
The Norwegian Cruise line has hundreds of cases of passengers who lost 5-digit amounts due to NCL not bending one inch to accommodate their customers. One horror story after another is surfacing condemning NCL’s policies, hidden regulations, and inflexibility, as well as putting passengers in harm’s way.
A group of victims after sailing on the Norwegian Cruise Jade line are asking the CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line in Miami, the US Federal Marine Commission, and the Florida Attorney General’s office for help.
Today they wrote this letter that was copied to eTurboNews.
eTN is publishing the chain of letters without comments and editing:
Dear Ms. Bird,
I refer to your email, copied below, which is in reply to a communication sent to you from around one thousand passengers on the NCL cruise ship Jade, stating the final terms of compensation the company was prepared to offer after a truly disastrous voyage. I wish to complain formally about these inadequate terms and request NCL to offer a more appropriate sum of reparation.
The case against NCL relates not specifically to the Coronavirus (Covid 19) but to the company’s mishandling of events from the beginning e.g.
- The company, knowing that Hong Kong would not allow entry, delayed informing its clients until formal boarding took place in Singapore when they were handed a piece of paper stating that the itinerary had been changed. This included the canceling of the day in Ha Long Bay which, to many would have been the highlight of the cruise. Had we been informed of this before we flew from London to Singapore we would have made other plans.
- We were told by the boarding staff at Singapore that if we did not go on the cruise we would get no refund from the company, nor the opportunity to reschedule for another cruise. Thus, not wishing to lose the sum of around £6,000.00 we felt that we had no choice but to continue on the depleted and inferior cruise.
- After the first port of call (Thailand), we were told that we would be sailing directly to the third Vietnamese port of call and taking the various stops in that country in the reverse order. This meant further days at sea and finally, an announcement that we would not be calling to any of the scheduled Vietnamese ports because Vietnam would not permit Norwegian Jade entry. The country permitted other ships to dock during this period. Why not the Jade? What lay behind this decision that we have not been told?
- In the end we had only three ports of call for the whole voyage, two in Thailand and one in a second rate venue in Cambodia. This was hardly compensation for the eight ports for which we had paid – and organised excursions. NCL has breached its contract with its clients who have received something significantly different than that for which they paid. Passengers had to reschedule their home flights from Hong Kong to Singapore and were nervous about whether we would be allowed into Singapore at all, or possibly endure 14 days of quarantine.
- Communication with the passengers was poor throughout. One glaring example was when the captain announced that the ship was turning back (to its last port of call) to offload a sick passenger. No mention was made of the fact that this unfortunate passenger had been physically injured in an accident, and people were left with the fear that she was a victim of the virus which, of course, would have meant certain quarantine. The captain could easily have allayed these fears—but he chose not to do so.
All in all, this was a poor and stress-inducing holiday made worse than it should have been by the company’s lack of duty of care for its clients and crew, poor decision making and inadequate communication and the sums offered as recompense are wholly inadequate. Particularly so is the offer of discounts for further cruises since I imagine many people would not wish to travel with NCL again. My wife and I, for example, have had several (satisfactory) cruises with NCL over the last decade but would not wish to sail with NCL again after this experience.
I urge the company to think again about the compensation it is willing to offer for the poor experience and actual distress, its poor management of a situation caused its clients. It has become clear that other cruise lines have reacted more appropriately to their customers both in the matter of recompense, canceling or re-routing the entire cruise to a different, but equally interesting itinerary from the beginning. NCL appears to have made up the rules as it went along at the expense of its customers and crew. The entire cruise has been stressful and quite different from that sold to customers.
The one plaudit I can offer the company is that the crew did their best to keep the passengers happy, despite the circumstances (in which they too appeared to have been told very little and were, in some areas apparently short-handed due to their colleagues being forced to disembark from the ship).
Many people will be writing public reviews of this cruise and talking to the media and if NCL continues to put corporate greed over caring for its clients and staff, its reputation will suffer.
Julian Mincham and Cordelia Bryan
Norwegian Cruise Lines
7665 Corporate Centre Drive
Miami FL 33126 USA
14th FEBRUARY 2020
We, the undersigned passengers aboard MV Norwegian Jade, write to express our total dissatisfaction with the Far East Cruise provided by Norwegian Cruises Ltd (NCL) between 6 and 17 February 2020.
On joining the cruise at Singapore on 6 February passengers were told that the cruise had been significantly altered in that it would no longer call at Ha Long Bay nor terminateat Hong Kong.
At that point, several passengers asked to cancel but were told that they would lose all their money if they did. Many passengers joined the cruise reluctantly, little placated by the derisory 10% discount offered.
Since the start, the cruise has been subject to numerous changes and frequent deceptions. Whilst the fluid health situation made it difficult to make the right judgments, NCL managed to make all the wrong decisions.
You are aware of the final itinerary but the net result is that we have spent 6 days at sea and 3 berthed at second rate destinations. We are of the opinion that NCL has made significant changes to the cruise itinerary so as to make it totally different from the product we purchased.
We note that several other cruise lines have made 100% refunds to their guests or canceled their cruises in similar circumstances. We demand a 100% refund of all cruise fees paid and expenses incurred, including flight changes.
Response received February 23, 2020
On behalf of Norwegian Cruise Line, thank you very much for your loyalty and for making us your vacation of choice. We sincerely apologize for the last-minute update to our Norwegian Jade February 6th, 2020 schedule and can understand your frustration.
As you may know, some countries throughout Asia revised their rules, regulations, and requirements for visiting their ports without much advance notice to cruise lines. Vietnam is one of these countries. We were in constant communication with the port and we disembarked 110 passengers in Thailand earlier in the cruise to ensure we followed Vietnam’s adjusted requirements put in place on February 7th, 2020. Vietnam proved to be unreasonable during this process and denied our upcoming calls, despite previously approving our calls and despite the actions, we took to accommodate their new protocols.
As always, we work to maintain our itineraries. However, at times such as these, we are forced to make modifications. While we regret to learn of your continue disappointment regarding your cruise and our proposal to remedy the situation, we appreciate that you have taken the time to bring your concerns to our attention.
As a company, we are committed to continuously improving customer satisfaction. Recognizing the inconvenience and disappointment you experienced, we extended a 10% refund of current voyage fares, flight change incidentals up to $300 per person, $200 per stateroom onboard credit and 50% future cruise credit as an indication of our desire to have another opportunity to meet your expectations.
Regrettably, we are unable to honor your request for additional compensation and once again extend our apologies.
We look forward to the opportunity to have you join us again in the near future.
Katty Byrd | VP Guest Services
P: +1 954.514.4070 | F: +1 305.436.2179
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