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About PhilBenz

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  1. Typical troll bait. OK, I'll bite. It's not about whinging. It's about getting NCL to step up and do what's right. They took their own sweet time doing it, but they finally caved. It doesn't matter that it probably wasn't our actions but the closing of Asian ports that made them cancel the 17 feb and 27 Feb sailings. What matters is that they cancelled them, and offered full refunds to passengers. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there are some COVID-19 coronavirus cases amongst the crew. They'll doubtless swap out all the crew and wash their hands of the whole thing, and leave Asia to go cruising somewhere else until the smoke thins. I'm reminded of Pete Seeger's "Song of the Punch Press Operator": Employees who risk being carriers of the virus will be replaced by fresh meat. It's a sorry state of affairs, but should serve to remind future passengers that NCL, like most (if not all) cruise lines is a huge corporation interested only in the bottom line. Paying lip service to passengers' health and well-being is part of the dance. Nobody should be surprised at this. It's the way things work in the modern world. Book more cruises, as you like, but remain vigilant to protect your own interests, without the illusion that companies like NCL have anything but their own fiduciary interests at heart.
  2. Actually, that could be a good sign. Make your request in good faith and quote the above, clearly. Perhaps NCL will surprise us and do the right thing.
  3. Sadly, you are entirely at the mercy of NCL's estimation of your "reasonable" expenses, since there is no yardstick for the word "reasonable". But don't forget, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Complain until you are blue in the face, and take all you can get. Don't hesitate to contact press outlets if their offer is distinctly underwhelming. This said, only do all that if you have lots of time on your hands. You might just have to accept the loss.
  4. I bet that the Jade, currently in Port Klang, Malaysia, is busily scrubbing the whole ship down and rotating crew. They might even change their port of embarkation. I'm sure they are eager to put the controversy of the 17 Feb sailing behind them. Will they cancel the 27 Feb sailing? Unlikely.
  5. My heart goes out to all those booked on the 27 Feb sailing of the Norwegian Jade. My wife and I were booked on the 17 Feb sailing, and along with other forum members I began a social media and press campaign to get NCL to cancel and refund our cruise. Although I wrote directly to several NCL addresses (including kbyrd@ncl.com, Astuart@ncl.com, hsommer@ncl.com, sdeaton@nclcorp.com, PublicRelations@ncl.com, jleung@nclcorp.com, jrose@ncl.com), the few who answered me were not helpful, and I suspect the bad press they got also had little effect on their decision. It was only after the Jade was barred from entering ports in Vietnam (and perhaps dissuaded from further stops in Thailand) that NCL finally threw in the towel, cancelling the 17 Feb sailing. So, will they also cancel the 27 Feb sailing? Given their past bahavior, I bet they won't cancel... unless the planned ports on that sailing also refuse to accept them. I mean, look at it from the point of view of ports between Singapore and Dubai: here is a ship that has been all over Southeast Asia in recent weeks, that most recently docked in Singapore where there are also a number of local transmission cases of COVID-19 coronavirus, and now plans to carry passengers and a floating petri dish into their own waters. If you were in charge of some of those ports of call, what would you decide? NCL is probably going to spend the next 10 days giving the Jade a clean bill of health - sterilizing the entire ship, switching out crewmembers and getting a note from their mommy saying that they've been good little boys and girls. Unless the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and cause enough alarm to prevent sailing out of Singapore at all, I feel fairly confident in the belief that they will maintain the 27 Feb sailing as is. Business as usual. Should you cancel? Statistically speaking, you probably are at little risk from the virus, even though it might be hard to relax knowing everything that's been going on. NCL could change their port of departure from Singapore to somewhere with less contact to the pandemic than Singapore, like Port Klang, Malaysia, where the ship is now. IMHO, that is the most likely scenario. Only you can decide what you want to do. If you need help waging a press campaign, I can help put you in touch with Ron Hurtibise at the Miami Sun Sentinel. He wrote a nice article about the situation, though it only came together after NCL finally caved. Here it is, if you're interested: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-coronavirus-spawns-dilemma-for-planned-asia-cruisers-20200213-oh4medemiva2hjsn74homcr4vq-story.html Good luck!
  6. Reach out to journalists and spread the news! Especially Miami-based papers, in NCL's backyard.
  7. Wait, I don't understand. How can you hope to travel to any foreign country without a passport? Seems like a must-have item to me. Guests who are just boarding for the day to attend a wedding are a different story. If NCL is springing a last-minute regulation like that without prior notice, that's another strike against them, IMHO. Thanks again to everyone here for supporting our struggle against irresponsible NCL decisions regarding the 17 Feb sailing. I hope those on the 27 Feb sailing get a similar offer. FWIW, the Miami Sun-Sentinel posted this article after I spoke to a journalist there. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-coronavirus-spawns-dilemma-for-planned-asia-cruisers-20200213-oh4medemiva2hjsn74homcr4vq-story.html Sadly, I can't read it because their websites detects my location in France. Perhaps someone could check if they got the story right.
  8. Yeah, we are very, very iffy about ever sailing with NCL again. Maybe it's time to upgrade ourselves and graduate to a serious cruise line, even if it's more expensive. We are so relieved that the 17 Feb sailing has been cancelled. Sure, it'll be strange staying home for the holidays. Maybe we'll drive to Portugal or the Czech republic instead. The world is our oyster!
  9. Perhaps. But I have 3,293 reasons to be happy that NCL finally stepped up and offered full refunds. We were already able to get refunded for our airfaire through Finnair. Still waiting on final confirmation, but the magic eight-ball says it's good to go. I'll have to look elsewhere on this forum to find out what cruise lines are head and shoulders above NCL. I recall past cruises, I think with MSC, that had great entertainment (comedians, music groups, etc). Which forum should I check out?
  10. Yeah! I just got confirmation from Cruisedirect. Full refund +25% future cruise credit. The ones who suffered are those on the current sailing of the Jade. Brave folks, travelling to Asia on a cruise at this time. Thanks to everyone on this forum. Even the trolls remained relatively polite. A refreshing change from some other forums that will remain nameless. <g> So now, I'll have to look into planning our next cruise. With NCL? Mmmmmaybe not. Might be time to graduate to a more professional cruise line.
  11. Thanks for pointing this out, PPCox! Brits can potentially use this legislation to get a full refund. I doubt we have anything like this here in France, but I'll start looking.
  12. The vast majority of so-called "travel insurance" policies do not cover the current COVID-19 pandemic. They cover you for things that happen to *you* prior to your trip (hospitalisation, etc) not "force majeur" situations. Who in their right minds would travel to Singapore right now and embark on an NCL Jade petri dish while waiting to see if they come in contact with the coronavirus pandemic? These posts slamming those who didn't "purchase appropriate insurance" are disingenuous and rude. But if that's how you roll, by all means, have a good laugh at the unwashed masses.
  13. If we're still talking about the Norwegian Jade, it doesn't stop in China, as such. They changed the embarkation port from Hong Kong to Singapore, barred Chinese nationals from boarding, and keep flouting their "improved" screening methods. Security precautions are all well and good under normal circumstances. But the current coronavirus pandemic is an extraordinary situation that NCL needs to acknowledge and take appropriate steps to remedy, such as offering full refunds to valued passengers.
  14. No, they didn't feel they were "at risk". For those, like me, who booked before the coronavirus epidemic hit the news, it was business as usual. My wife and I are in good health, and we looked around and tried to figure out if there was any reason to spend another couple hundred bucks on travel insurance we thought we didn't need. And it's true that many so-called travel insurance policies wouldn't cover this situation anyway. Nobody could forsee that bats and pangolins would conspire in spreading a biological agent over half the planet. It is not unreasonable to expect the cruise line to make what we call here in France a "geste commercial" towards their frequent passengers, in order to show that they really do have their passengers' health and well-being at heart. Nobody in their right mind will leave their cozy homes to venture unprotected into a virus-infested zone that has the kind of death toll we are hearing of daily from China. Singapore isn't at risk only because of its proximity to China, but because there are notable cases of local transmission taking place, like those two Brits who carried the coronavirus back home after a conference. And from what we see happening on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship can become a veritable petri dish, infecting more and more victims as the quantine drags on. So I find SeaShark's remarks disingenuous at best, or just plain offensive. It doesn't help to badmouth people who didn't bother "to adequately insure themselves" and who are looking to the cruise line, NCL, to do the right thing. Sure, SeaShark is entitled to his opinion about the relative merits of travel insurance, but the way he's going about airing that opinion just seems sad.
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