What happens with a death at sea (& kudos to NCL)

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Bethlehem, PA, USA
710 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Hello everyone. Yes, it has been awhile since I have visited the forum, but I was emailed notices of the renewed postings in the thread.

Thank you everyone who has recently posted for your kind words; they are greatly appreciated. Yes, it was five years ago, but as everyone knows, you always miss your loved one, even if the loss was not recent.

In the intervening years, my mother has also passed on, although not at sea. Three months before she died, she traveled with all her children on the POA, fulfilling her lifelong dream of seeing Hawaii. I like to think that she and Dad are now sitting on the balcony together again looking at the sunset from another direction.
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Long Island, NY
832 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss.

Comforting to see how NCL handled it - lots of compassion and sensitivity.

God bless to you and your family.
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Central Ohio
3,278 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I really appreciated this comprehensive story. It was wonderful how well you were treated.

But I find myself wondering how it would have went if you were outside the United States when this tragedy occurred.
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The Catskills, NY
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Joined Sep 2013
I know that this post is 5 years old, but tears are on my keyboard as I type. I have never seen this post before, and I just want to say thank you for sharing this heartbreaking story. I can only imagine how difficult this trip was and I am happy that you were able to give us an update with the completion of a POA Cruise. God Bless.
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Venice, Florida
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So sorry to hear of the loss your parents, Thanks for letting us know that your Mom got to see Hawaii. No doubt they are enjoying their forever cruise together.
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I'm so glad you found your way back to this thread. I read through your initial story and just felt heartbroken at the loss of your dad. I lost mine almost seventeen years ago now, and it is still very sad. I am blessed to still have my mom.
I am so sorry for the loss of your parents. As many said before, they raised some really wonderful children who handled tragedy with such grace and calm.
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Eastern Canada
744 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Very sorry for your loss.

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
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College Place, Washington
6,510 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Very sorry for your loss.

I just came home last night from a cruise on The Jewel. We also had a death of a gentleman in his mid 80's.

It also was handled wonderfully.

Prayers and hugs.
Boston, MA
415 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
So sorry for your loss.
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Earl North Carolina
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Joined May 2008
Thank you so very much for sharing. I am so sorry for you loss.

Your graciousness in how you handled this situation speaks very highly of you. Your father did an amazing job.
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South Carolina
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So glad you came back to see how much your post has meant to so many. So sorry for the loss of your mother. And again for the original post.

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725 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
First off, I am so very sorry for the lost of your father. And then you end up losing your mother. I'm not sure I could have been as strong as you. .I'm happy that you were treated quite well. Unfortunately I can not say the same. We were not treated as kind on the Norwegian Pearl.

We were on the Pearl last October. We had been at sea for 2 days. We had not even made it to our first port. My guy friend was breathing really weird the night before. The next morning he told me he thought he was coming down with a cold. Saying my daughter and I had the room too cold. It wasn't too cold as we had slept out from under the covers all night.

We got up and went about our day of doing things on the ship. We went back to our room to rest and again he fell asleep and the noise he made I will NEVER forget. It was the same noise my Mother had made right before she had died in my arms.

I insisted he had to go see the ships doctor. The ships doctor said he had a very bad case of pneumonia and needed IV fluids and other stuff. So they started running one. He gave him breathing treatments etc. He then said before we went to bed at night to go ahead and pack our stuff just in case.

I packed up our cabin. They wanted us down there at 7:30 AM so they could run another round of fluids into him and give him a breathing test. The doctor told me they were sending us to an urgent care. We were in Maria Columbia South America. The Doctor said if he got a fit to travel letter we could get back on the ship. He knew nothing about this port but, said the cartagena colombia port we were hitting the next day had a big hospital with american doctors. I actually asked him to not take us off the ship and please let us go to the next port which was Cartagena. We were not transported by ambulance until Midnight that night. We could of stayed on the ship.

They had an ambulance that met the ship the morning we docked in Maria Columbia. The next thing I know is that they inform me that they have removed us from the ship and checked us into Columbia and we can not get back on the ship. (WHAT)??? They are shoving bills in my face and asking me how do I plan to pay them. I told them I had trip insurance but no one was listening to me. The night before the nurse made copies of what I had. I had all insurance information (Blue cross here at home, and the travel insurance we had as well). They maxed my charged card that I had for our cabin on file. And took my other Credit Card and maxed it as well. (unbeknownst to me) I had no clue they had done that. So by them doing that they left me with absolutely no money to get back home or to take care of stuff while in Columbia. All I had was the cash money I had on me. Only to find out they do not take US dollars. What a nightmare.

The young lady who supposedly worked for the port authority didn't really work for them I found out later. Her and her driver friend ripped me off $150.00 probably more when changed to peso;s. I gave them $400.00 to turn into peso's they asked me if I could give $50.00 more. So, I did. When they got to what was the bank, they told me it was better if just he went in that it was not safe. When I looked at my receipt later it showed they only gave money for $300.00. My word against theirs. After they ripped me out of the money they never came back to the hospital like they were suppose to. I have to add that I trusted these people and also bought them lunch for helping me out. I also gave tip money to them. I was told that they worked for the port authority. I found out later from the US Embassy they are scammers who try to take over your insurance claims and collect the money.

I finally got help from this wonderful Columbian lady who was married to an American who was in the ICU where my friend was. She approached me and asked if she could help me. I told her I need to contact the US Embassy. She helped me Contact them. (This lady actually translated what the doctor was telling me as well.. She was so wonderful and a God send.) The first words out of their mouths at the Embassy was, We have no money to help you but we can help you get in touch with family and friends to help you. Norwegian Pearl just left us there. When we got to urgent care I am being told by a translator that he has had a heart attack. We went from being told, he has pneumonia to, he has had a heart attack , He needs a heart catherization, and we have to transfer him by ambulance to Barranquilla Columbia. He was in the intensive care for 6 days.

I had 3 wonderfu people show up from the US Embassy to help us. Ms. Vicky lived in Barranquilla Columbia. And the other 2 Dan and his lovely wife came from Cartegena. I was so over whelmed to have someone who spoke English and also was there to help me get him back to the US.

Our trip insurance doctors got on the phone with the doctors in Columbia. They were trying to figure out if he would be able to fly. They sent a nurse from ON Call. She acessed him and talked to the other doctors in the US. Finally were going home.

I had to pay the hospital bill before we could leave. (oh no, where am I going to get this mony). Then they inform me I have to pay for my daughter and myselfs airfare to get back to the states. I knew I wanted to leave when that nurse left with him and not have my daughter and I stuck there.

I got on the phone and called my credit card company. ( I am diabled and so I don't have high credit limits), I've never cried so hard when I heard the lady on the other end of the phone telling me, "We got you, Don't worry about anything, We got you" Capital one I can NEVER Thank them enough. Who does that. I had no ideal how much the hospital bill would be, How much our plane tickets would cost but I've got this lady telling me, We got you! Even gave me a supervisors number if I had any problems.

The doctors and Nurses in Columbia were great! Me standing in the hall crying and the nurse comes over and talks to me with a translater through her phone. I was so upset I never thought of that. We are still friends with this nurse.

He had his open heart surgery in January and I am happy to say he is doing great now. The surgery wasn't so great as he cold blue 4 times. He ended up on the ventilater for 11 days. It was a very long road. Cardiac rehab, all kinds of things we had to do.

We are getting ready to leave next week on another cruise in hope that NOTHING goes wrong.. We are still trying to get that relaxing vacation we tried to have when all of this happened, I had a brain tumor removed, 2 weeks later I lost my mother, He had to have hernia surgery, Then I had to have knee replacement surgery. We were trying to take care of both of our 80 yr old fathers. Mine living further away then his living in the state we live in.

And this is the sour part of. all of this, Nowregian Cruise Lines has not reimbursed a dime of our money! No one even bothered to call to see if he was ok or if we even made it back into the states. I had the cruise paid in full. Gratuities paid in full. Shore excursions paid in full. Drink package paid in full. They kept all of that money and then charged both of my charge cards. One over the max they allowed so I was charged a over limit fee. I've called several times to finally be told 2 things.
1. Go to this websight and put your 350 character story here and someone will bet back with you. (Still waiting. Almost a year of waiting).
2. They transferred me to Carmilla (she's who I am suppose to talk to I guess) Never heard a word from this lady.
The one and only call we have received from Norwregian Cruise :Lines, is to inform him that he has been turned over to a collection agency because he owes $375.00. I have to add they were giving the information for our Travel insurance that I had purchased.

I'm sorry, I am not married to this person. But they took my daughter and my money to pay his medical bills. They took my gratuity money towards his bill, my shore excursion money, our drink package money, our cruise fare and port cost.

I'm pretty angry with them to be honest. I got on their ship on a Sunday, and Wednesday morning at 8:30 AM I was taken off their ship with all my luggage and everything and left in Columbia. We were on a 12 days cruise..

I hope and pray this does not happen to other passangers.

OP, Again I am so so sorry about the lost of your father. I'm Thankful that you were as strong as you were to be there for your mother. Hugs my friend.
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rocklin ca
1,607 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Oh my gosh, lillulu, I have no words. I am teary and amazed at your story. What an unimaginable situation, and NCL certainly seems to have dropped the ball. I would have been terrified going through that in a foreign country. What a gift to find helpful people and thank goodness for Capital One (glad to hear that they helped you make the higher credit card charges when needed).
I can't believe NCL never followed up with you.
Thank you for sharing your story. Like the original poster on this thread, these are stories that need to be told.
We never know what could happen on a cruise.
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Cruising with teens
289 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
I'm so sorry for your loss, but as you said there are much worse ways to go.

Thank you for writing about the process, I did wonder what would happen if traveling with older or terminally ill family members. It's nice to see that the whole thing is carried out with respect and dignity for both the deceased and the next of kin.
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lillulu, you posted my biggest fear. I can not believe you had to go through this and that NCL is not responding to you. You should be refunded any days you weren't cruising, port fees for ports not visited, any unused paid shore excursions and gratuities. Keep fighting for it.
Dallas, TX
1,093 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by NLH Arizona
lillulu, you posted my biggest fear. I can not believe you had to go through this and that NCL is not responding to you. You should be refunded any days you weren't cruising, port fees for ports not visited, any unused paid shore excursions and gratuities. Keep fighting for it.

Isn’t that why you have travel insurance? It’s not the cruise line’s fault someone was ill.

We spent $4000+ in the medical center on our last cruise, and our travel insurance covered everything that our health insurance didn’t cover. I certainly wouldn’t expect the cruise line to cover my healthcare costs or reimburse me for time lost on a vacation.

I would expect that if my wife or I had a medical emergency that couldn’t be handled on the ship, we would be referred to a facility at the nearest port, and after that, it’s up to us. I wouldn’t expect to be reimbursed for the part of the cruise I wasn’t able to complete.

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