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  #1  
Old October 15th, 2011, 04:19 PM
ncl12345 ncl12345 is offline
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I am posting this as this story unfolds but my immediate question why NCL can dump a nearly 80 year old couple of U.S. citizens in Colombia without funds or assistance to get home. My parents embarked on the 2 week Panama canal cruise that left Los Angeles on 10/1. Apparently along the way my father fell ill. Because of his health (he has an implanted defibulator) he purchased NCL’s trip insurance so he would be evacuated to the U.S. should he become ill. It would seem that on Wednesday 10/12, NCL unceremoniously dumped my parents in Cartagena, Columbia for treatment. As their son, I am listed as their emergency contact. NCL did not have the common courtesy to call me and let me know that they had been put off of the ship. I did not find out until my mother called me at 10 pm on 10/14 to tell me where they were and that they had maxed out their credit cards paying for treatment, using the phone of a kind “missionary” as she put it. My wife immediately contacted NCL who claimed they did not have any information that they were not on the ship. It is presently 2 pm on 10/15 and after numerous calls to NCL they are claiming they are unable to get anyone on their ship to respond so they have no information. They have repeatedly ignored my request to at minimum return my calls with information. They have failed to call me even once. The ship is due to arrive back in Tampa tomorrow morning at 6 am and is today in its last port of call, Key West, FL. I find it unfathomable that they cannot reach a ship that is currently docked in the U.S. They also failed to call the agent of the insurance company Berkely Care and their provider called “On Call Assistance” which I am told is standard procedure in circumstances such as this and that they take over from there. A call from us to Berkely Care this afternoon at 1 pm revealed that NCL had failed to notify them and open a claim file on my parent’s behalf. We opened that file ourselves but at this point there is little they can do. I have also contacted the State Department to see what assistance they can provide. As elderly Florida residents I feel that NCL’s treatment is less than humane and something I would be interested in knowing their excuse for.

  #2  
Old October 15th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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WOW

PLEASE KEEP US POSTED AS TO YOUR PARENTS WELFARE!

Yes I am shouting. I can't believe this would happen, and definitely shouldn't have happened.
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  #3  
Old October 15th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Follow-up: NCL representative Harmony finally called. She claimed she had information about my parents. That information was that Tom Mulligan from the consulate had contacted her about my parents. That is solely because I had already spoken to Tom Mulligan (the State Department patched me through to him) who said he had called NCL and was going to be calling them again. I had told him that when he spoke to them again that he should advise them that they should return my call. She also began denying that NCL had said that they couldn’t confirm that my parents were not on the boat which she and the other agent both said was the reason they were supposedly emailing the ship in the first place. BTW – they communicate in an emergency with their ship by EMAIL. REALLY…

Also, a wonderful representative from Berkely Care was able to contact their on the ground people and they patched a call through to me so I've spoken to my Mom today. She is beside herself and very weepy but so far only worse for wear.

And can you believe NCL held my parents up for $70 cash (no credit card accepted) to return THEIR passports to them to get off the ship!!!

  #4  
Old October 15th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncl12345 View Post
Follow-up: NCL representative Harmony finally called. She claimed she had information about my parents. That information was that Tom Mulligan from the consulate had contacted her about my parents. That is solely because I had already spoken to Tom Mulligan (the State Department patched me through to him) who said he had called NCL and was going to be calling them again. I had told him that when he spoke to them again that he should advise them that they should return my call. She also began denying that NCL had said that they couldn’t confirm that my parents were not on the boat which she and the other agent both said was the reason they were supposedly emailing the ship in the first place. BTW – they communicate in an emergency with their ship by EMAIL. REALLY…

Also, a wonderful representative from Berkely Care was able to contact their on the ground people and they patched a call through to me so I've spoken to my Mom today. She is beside herself and very weepy but so far only worse for wear.

And can you believe NCL held my parents up for $70 cash (no credit card accepted) to return THEIR passports to them to get off the ship!!!
Wow. I don't even know what to say. Its like a bad dream I'm reading. Is this REALLY happening??? How awful!
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Old October 15th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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And can you believe NCL held my parents up for $70 cash (no credit card accepted) to return THEIR passports to them to get off the ship!!![/quote]

I really hope this is not true. NCL, please tell me this part is not true.
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  #6  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:01 PM
barb-ottawa barb-ottawa is offline
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Don't understand why NCL would have their passports in the first place?

  #7  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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I'm shocked. When my husband ended up in the hospital in Roatan, the ship contaced the port rep. She sent a taxi to the pier to collect me and my sister-in-law. The port rep took care of everything and babysat us.

The NCL desk agent did ask me if I wanted my bill, though, as I was leaving the ship. Since we didn't know if my husband was alive or dead, thought that was just a little callous! Keep us informed. Good wishes to your parents.
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  #8  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for changing your font OP
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  #9  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Why would NCL have their passports and why didn't your parents just stay on the ship?
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  #10  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:22 PM
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I'm a little confused here. I'm going to talk to myself to see if I can uncover something or other. Where did your dad fall ill, while ON the ship, and in her infirmary? If so I would think the doctor would have notified the captain that he was recommending immediate treatment on shore, no air lift. Perhaps the question of having travel insurance did not come up? But if he was in the ship's infirmary, I imagine the ship was expecting payment for seeing the doctor and your mother would have told the doctor or nurse that he had Berkley Care travel insurance. but since nothing happened to inform Berkley, I'd guess he did not fall ill and go to the infirmary, right?

But if he fell ill in his cabin, and your mother got him off the ship, then I wonder where the ball was dropped. Could she have physically removed him herself? If not, then there was some assistance required from some ship personnel, or if a call was made to a facility on land, then surely the Captain knew since he'd have had to give permission for those medical people to board. Again, perhaps no one asked if he had travel insurance, so no one contacted Berkley Care.

Someone has to contact Berkley care in order for them to take over, and start a file. If the passenger himself cannot do it, then I hope your mother asked someone on the ship to do so while she was tending your father.

I know you are distraught and may not know the answer to my questions above, but please let us know some more details as you find them out.

I, too, buy travel insurance for the sole purpose of being air lifted out should I become ill or have an accident on board. But for that to happen, I or my traveling companion have to notify the insurance company, I'd think.

I have just turned 71 and do not have the brain I had even 10 years ago, so I sympathize with your parents who are older than I, and wonder how I'd feel at that age when something along those lines happened to me. It's easy for me to say, "I or my traveling companion must contact the insurance provider" but in reality, with the confusion that must have surrounded them, I can see that that possibly did not happen.

Regardless of whose fault it is that Berkley Care was not notified, now that they have been notified, I hope that they will provide the transportation necessary to reunite your family and get your father the proper medical treatment he needs.

  #11  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Sounds like a good job for your Senator. Hope he is able to do some substantial butt kicking which sounds decidedly in order.

I don't usually jump on the "sue 'em" bandwagon, but I sure hope you can get hold of a good junkyard dog lawyer asap.

  #12  
Old October 15th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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Tell you mother to hang to to every and all bills, statements etc. from every cash/credit outflow they have done so far. She will need those to show to the insurance company.
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Sounds of the wind or sounds of the sea make me happy just to be. ~June Polis

Dude, don't you understand the first rule of holes? When you find yourself in a hole stop digging. Take it from a fellow Gopher.
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A passport, as I'm sure you know, is a document that one shows to government officials whenever one reaches a border between countries, so the officials can learn who you are, where you were born, and how you look when photographed unflatteringly.
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  #13  
Old October 15th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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rvsullivan rvsullivan is offline
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We're missing some info here. If he was unloaded (kicked off) they would have emptied the cabin, including passports etc. Some of these facts don't make sense. I'm sure we need to get more info. Hope all works out.
Now, if he fell ill while they were ashore and missed the ship sailing, this would all make more sense. If the ship sailed without them, not having first hand info and the insurance company not knowing would make sense. Let us know what you find out.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rvsullivan View Post
We're missing some info here. If he was unloaded (kicked off) they would have emptied the cabin, including passports etc. Some of these facts don't make sense. I'm sure we need to get more info. Hope all works out.
Now, if he fell ill while they were ashore and missed the ship sailing, this would all make more sense. If the ship sailed without them, not having first hand info and the insurance company not knowing would make sense. Let us know what you find out.
I have to agree with rvsullivan that more info is needed but I find it very strange that 2 people in this post have "found" CC today only to post complaints.....
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  #15  
Old October 15th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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I could be wrong, but I think the trip insurance medical coverage is usually secondary to the primary medical coverage, which in this case is Medicare (an assumption based on their ages). I think Medicare covers you while on land in a foreign country like most health insurance, and even on the high seas (while many medical insurance plans do not cover you while on the high seas). But depending on the remote location's policies, you may have to pay and get reimbursed.

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Old October 15th, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
I could be wrong, but I think the trip insurance medical coverage is usually secondary to the primary medical coverage, which in this case is Medicare (an assumption based on their ages). I think Medicare covers you while on land in a foreign country like most health insurance, and even on the high seas (while many medical insurance plans do not cover you while on the high seas). But depending on the remote location's policies, you may have to pay and get reimbursed.
Medicare doesn't cover anything outside of the US as I understand it. As far as the travel insurance goes that depends on how the policy is written. I always make sure that I purchase a policy that is primary and one that will guarentee payment to the provider so the provider will provide treatment without upfront payment.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
I could be wrong, but I think the trip insurance medical coverage is usually secondary to the primary medical coverage, which in this case is Medicare (an assumption based on their ages). I think Medicare covers you while on land in a foreign country like most health insurance, and even on the high seas (while many medical insurance plans do not cover you while on the high seas). But depending on the remote location's policies, you may have to pay and get reimbursed.
No basic Medicare(parts A B and D) does not cover anything outside the US period. (as usual there is one exception that has no implication here-if you permanently live in the US closer to a hospital that is located in Mexico or Canada that is covered) Some supplemental policies do. So if Medicare is their primary, the cruise coverage will be prime although they might want a rejection anyway....

  #18  
Old October 15th, 2011, 09:16 PM
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Theres so many gaps in this story.. I hope the parents are safe and sound.. but did NCL fly them out.. Did they call for a rescue boat to meet them 1/2 way? Or was the parents in port when the father became ill and never made it back to the ship? I dont wanna call this a fake post but Im sure NCL has policys once they evac someone off the boat they have to notify Corporate who would inturn notify the son and file the insurace.. Never heard of cruise line just dumping a sick person off and saying good day.. Maybe if it was a younger guy and he was kicked off the boat for (drugs) they may say f off but not for a sick older man

  #19  
Old October 15th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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Another follow-up:

I just received a call from Tom Mulligan at the consulate in Colombia who advised that he had spoken with the clinic and my Dad. The clinic tells him that Dad will be released tomorrow and that arrangements have been made for regular transportation by air. There are not enough thanks for everything he has done through the day to bring this to a conclusion. With God’s help they should be home by late tomorrow evening. I can only advise if you ever find yourself stranded in Colombia, know that name.

As far as the missing details, what I have learned today is he became ill after Costa Rica and spent some time with severe vomiting and diarrhea in his cabin. At some point was taken by wheelchair to the infirmary where he continued to experience severe vomiting and diarrhea and became dehydrated and did not respond to treatment. Upon reaching Cartagena he was removed by NCL crew who also assisted in packing their belongings and was taken by ambulance to a nearby clinic. I have not been able to confirm an exact diagnosis but am told the doctor is saying some sort of virus. That’s all I know right now and have no issues to that point in the story. People get sick. But, regardless of any other facts or perceived facts, my issues with their handling of the situation are this:

1) They didn’t notify the emergency contact so U.S. based assistance could be provided.
2) They did not contact or assist in contacting the trip insurance carrier or its local agent which would have provided them the emergency transport to which they were entitled by virtue of paying the premium. A premium that NCL was all too happy to collect however so is obviously in their records. Given the ages of the cruisers some assistance would seem appropriate. The insurance company today confirmed that they would have received this service had they have been notified. But for purposes of clarity they do say that prepayment and reimbursement is how it works.
3) Due to 1 and 2 above this left them to feel they were abandoned and alone in a country where they don’t speak the language. Yeah boo-hoo. Say that if it were your nearly 80 year old parents experiencing that.
4) Until they were notified by the State Department representative I contacted, NCL was unable to even confirm they were not on the ship due to a claimed inability to make contact with the ship other than by email. Mind you, this is 3 ½ days after they have been disembarked.
5) And thus, because they claimed to have no information, they were unable to provide me any information whatsoever that would have been oh so helpful in providing assistance to my parents.

And this I feel shows a lack of humanity. For those that expressed their kind thoughts, I thank you and hope your cruises are happy and that you don’t experience anything like this yourselves. For the rest only Karma.

  #20  
Old October 15th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by russianmom View Post
I have to agree with rvsullivan that more info is needed but I find it very strange that 2 people in this post have "found" CC today only to post complaints.....
Could it be?

Last edited by jake54321; October 15th, 2011 at 10:04 PM.

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