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stargard1

Refused refund due to medical heart condition

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Thanks for everyone’s feedback, Indeed, this was a difficult lesson to absorb.

 

Unlike US and European Credit Cards, it is not normal for the credit cards from the rest of the world to carry travel insurance. It just not a normal benefit with credit cards outside the west.

 

I bought the ticket directly thru the NCL Representative directly by phone, no insurance option was provided. Maybe I should have asked about it, that’s my fault.

 

This is the reason airlines (American Airlines) and booking companies like AirB&B provide medical reprieve when a trip is interrupted due to medical reasons. This is not uncommon outside the west.

 

I caught the medical problem early and informed NCL, yes, I am supposed to get a 25% refund. Did not get that either. I was simply told “ you travel insurance will take care of it” via email. They no longer respond to my emails. Hence my comment about them as soulless.

 

I was hoping to resolve this amicably before my operations in a few days, but it has dragged out for almost a month with no end in sight.

 

It was interesting to read the comments from the board “ sob story” and  “ People straight up die and don't get refunds for uninsured cruises. OP, you are not special”.  And “ You can't call them soulless for you not reading the contract you agreed to.  I am 150% certain you never thought you would need cruise insurance.  Unfortunately, without it, there's no reason they should give you anything.

So, to all the other 75% of the worlds population that live outside the west who read this, I begin to understand now why NCL does not respond with any compassion.

Advice,: simply, do not take your cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line unless you have your own private travel insurance and don't expect a refund even if legally you are supposed to get one.

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Advice,: simply, do not take your cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line unless you have your own private travel insurance

 

That's the only sensible thing you have said, but it applies to all vacations abroad.

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5 hours ago, salty dingo said:

Good point. Nobody gets bumped from a cruise.

 

Speaking from personal experience, that is simply not true.

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45 minutes ago, stargard1 said:

…. and don't expect a refund even if legally you are supposed to get one.

Interesting parting shot. If you think you are legally entitled to a refund in your particular case, I suggest you pursue your remedy in court. And if you are not legally entitled to a refund, why would you expect one from NCL? 

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27 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

Speaking from personal experience, that is simply not true.

Interesting. I didn't know this was a thing. details please 

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In 2014 NCL refunded all my payments plus gave us over $1,000 In future cruise credits for giving up an inside cabin on a Gem NE Canada cruise 2 months before the sail date.  Was glad to do it, lowered my Sun Panama Canal cruise in 2015 by said amount.  Wish I would have gotten bumped more often.

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3 hours ago, stargard1 said:

Thanks for everyone’s feedback, Indeed, this was a difficult lesson to absorb.

 

Unlike US and European Credit Cards, it is not normal for the credit cards from the rest of the world to carry travel insurance. It just not a normal benefit with credit cards outside the west.

 

I bought the ticket directly thru the NCL Representative directly by phone, no insurance option was provided. Maybe I should have asked about it, that’s my fault.

 

This is the reason airlines (American Airlines) and booking companies like AirB&B provide medical reprieve when a trip is interrupted due to medical reasons. This is not uncommon outside the west.

 

I caught the medical problem early and informed NCL, yes, I am supposed to get a 25% refund. Did not get that either. I was simply told “ you travel insurance will take care of it” via email. They no longer respond to my emails. Hence my comment about them as soulless.

 

I was hoping to resolve this amicably before my operations in a few days, but it has dragged out for almost a month with no end in sight.

 

It was interesting to read the comments from the board “ sob story” and  “ People straight up die and don't get refunds for uninsured cruises. OP, you are not special”.  And “ You can't call them soulless for you not reading the contract you agreed to.  I am 150% certain you never thought you would need cruise insurance.  Unfortunately, without it, there's no reason they should give you anything.

So, to all the other 75% of the worlds population that live outside the west who read this, I begin to understand now why NCL does not respond with any compassion.

Advice,: simply, do not take your cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line unless you have your own private travel insurance and don't expect a refund even if legally you are supposed to get one.

You did NOT have insurance.   Where do you think compassion comes in???    Sorry it doesn’t.   You aren’t entitled to anything and certainly not any exception you seem to think you are entitled to.     

 

This can can happen to anyone completely unpredictable.  

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To the OP I am sorry to hear of your health issues and wish you all the very best of health in the future.The responders telling you that you should have got travel insurance are of course correct if a little blunt. I was trying to figure out where you are from and why buying travel insurance for an expensive trip wouldn’t be your norm. I don't understand how you so travel aware to book and get a refund via AA and Airbnb and seem oblivious to insurance.

Maybe the replies were not what you were expecting I think if you still feel the matter is unresolved then call them and speak to a customer service rep.

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19 hours ago, stargard1 said:

I arranged for a 3 week for me and my wife on Norwegian cruise lines out of LAX. (3.5K USD trip). We had saved an planned this trip for almost 2 years.


One month prior to travel I found that I had a blockage on one of major arteries. The doctor recommended That I do not travel until the heart procedure is completed. The condition was serious enough that the medical procedure was scheduled within 3 weeks of the initial diagnosis which would have been right in the middle of my cruise trip.

 

contact American airlines, Airbnb and told them of the situation and provided them with the proper documentation, they graciously gave me a emergency medical reprieve and refunded me my ticket and booking fees. I suppose neither one them wanted me to die on the trip, I appreciated that.

 

Norwegian Cruise lines however flatly refused any refund, even after I showed all the medical documentation. I was shocked. They said there is no reason that they would provide a refund, I suppose they expected me to make the trip and maybe die on the trip just for kicks….. soulless company


I even asked them to keep the cruise ticket refund in my account, so I could use it in a later date, they refused.

They were required to provide with a partial refund, because I cancelled early. They said” you should have travel insurance with your credit card, we suggest you claim it there”. I did not travel insurance with my credit card company, so at the end, I have not got the partial refund and or a medical reprieve refund. They even stopped answering my emails.

 

Norwegian is a soulless company that simply does not care about you. If there is a lesson here that I would advise anyone looking for a cruise, avoid vacationing with Norwegian, they are a company that has simply no character, loyalty or care for their customers.

Good luck with your procedure and good heart health from now on. 

 

I see you said no mention of insurance from the representative when you booked. This may be true or if you booked so long ago, you may have forgotten but certainly when NCL sent you the conformation on your cruise there was a place where it gave you a price for insurance. That would have been the time to look into it, especially when you were planning such an expensive vacation.  

 

No difference than any other line: this is the reason there is insurance offered. If they refunded for everyone who had a medical condition there would never be a reason for insurance I know this sounds cold and I do not mean it that way, but this is how all mass marketed lines handle cancelling after final payment. As for the airlines, that is different. It is much easier to fill those vacant seats or less expensive for the airline at the last minute, than it is for a cruise line to sell  a cabin.

 

There is no way you can fault NCL for a mistake you made nor should you hold them responsible. Maybe next time you decide to take a vacation, you will consider calling a travel agent.    

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4 hours ago, stargard1 said:

simply, do not take your cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line unless you have your own private travel insurance

You should amend that to say "any cruise line", they all have the same policies.  The mainstream ones do anyway.

 

4 hours ago, stargard1 said:

don't expect a refund even if legally you are supposed to get one.

You said "one month prior to travel".  4 weeks is technically 28 days, was it 4 weeks or was it more than 30 days.  If you cancel more than 30 days prior to the cruise you are entitled to 25% refund.  Otherwise - you received what you were legally owed.

 

Not all US cards offer travel insurance, and even those that do often offer only offer trip cancellation insurance but no medical coverage during the trip.

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6 hours ago, Motegi said:

To stargard1 I hope that your procedure goes well and that you have a speedy recovery.  

 

However I must agree with the other respondents here.  You were likely presented with an option to purchase insurance coverage when you were making your reservation with NCL.  If you had voluntarily opted out of that extra option then there lies the problem.  

 

Some research or a basic query here on Cruise Critic would have also provided the information needed regarding third party travel insurance for your cruise vacation.

 

It is certainly a disappointment to not be able to take your vacation that you had planned for so long.  

 

However, you should be thankful that your cardiac condition was diagnosed now before it could have resulted in a debilitating major cardiac event.  I would be grateful that it did not manifest while you were on the 3 week cruise because that would have resulted in a much more serious situation with emergency medical care in a foreign country,  possible delay of care, and a very costly medical evacuation flight back to the United States.  

 

 

And without travel insurance, a situation like that could lead to a real financial disaster.

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I'm truly sorry for your heart condition and I hope recovery was rapid and complete!

 

Quite honestly, NCL and ALL cruise lines refund policies and schedules are EVERYWHERE and they are practically all EXACTLY the same.  Just for fun I did one "google" and there it was.  They even offer cancellation insurance as you check out as do all cruise lines.  Ever think why they offered it?  I've booked cruises without it. I sure have.  I also knew the risk.  It's hard to believe that you didn't too as the cancellations policies are all over the place, website/cruise contract/www.  It would have been much better to come to CC BEFORE you booked your cruise and found out the policies of the cruise line if you had any doubts.

 

Happy future travels

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OP, I think people new to cruising may not realize what their risks and options are, both with regard to travel insurance vs cancellation penalties AND - even worse - their financial exposure during the cruise if something horrible, like a heart attack happens mid-cruise, especially at sea.  Can you imagine that happening, you being so far from lan that you die before you get to a hospital with appropriate facilities (yes, there ARE on-ship facilities that might be fine, I just don’t know) AND your spouse/estate being saddled with a bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for medevac and uninsured medical treatment?  It’s cold comfort, but losing the cruise fare is the lesser of two evils.

 

Regarding travel insurance, when I booked by phone with a TA, I think he had to uncheck travel insurance on every single info page.  Online, there is a travel insurance section and in My NCL, summary, it’s there too.  There is ample opportunity.  The thing is, I suspect you, like me in my naive days, figured you are in good health and nothing would prevent you from going on the cruise, and travel insurance IS pricey.

 

As others have said, EVERY cruise line, without exception, has a cancellation policy and applies it.  They make $$$$$$ selling travel insurance so it’s very much in their financial interest to do so.  They are in business to make $$.  They do as they say and they publicize the cancellation penalties and make the insurance available in order to be fair - it’s their business model.

 

There is a wonderful travel insurance forum in cruise critic, I strongly advise you to read it and learn about your real options, not just the cruise line insurance.  You do have lots of choices.

 

Someone posted here a few months ago about a cancer diagnosis and “heartless NCL” sticking to their published refund policy.  That is what they do.

 

Finally my hubby had CABG in 2004 and it saved his life -doc said he’d have died within weeks otherwise.  He’s still around to annoy me all these years later - although headed in for a cath on Tues.  I know you are disappointed, but think of how much worse it would have been had you not known about the problem and something happened during the cruise?

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I know that I was unaware of the strict cancellation penalties with all of the mainstream cruise lines until I found CC. I did decline the insurance, probably thinking that I could just postpone my trip if I needed to, or that my health insurance would work outside the US (😂). Once I realized I was not willing to gamble, I made sure my trips were insured. Never needed it so far, but my parents did with a cancer diagnosis.

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4 hours ago, DrSea said:

Interesting. I didn't know this was a thing. details please 

 

2 hours ago, mugtech said:

In 2014 NCL refunded all my payments plus gave us over $1,000 In future cruise credits for giving up an inside cabin on a Gem NE Canada cruise 2 months before the sail date.  Was glad to do it, lowered my Sun Panama Canal cruise in 2015 by said amount.  Wish I would have gotten bumped more often.

 

Ditto.....I was also booked on this Gem cruise. Quite a number of us were bumped...about 6 weeks before the cruise. NCL was very generous, offering full refunds along with future credits equal to your cruise fare.

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5 hours ago, stargard1 said:

 

Advice,: simply, do not take your cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line unless you have your own private travel insurance and don't expect a refund even if legally you are supposed to get one.


That is the issue, you are not legally entitled to a refund. Did you actually cancel your cruise? It does not sound like you have done that. It sounds like you have only called to demand a full refund and were told “no”. And that you did not cancel your cruise hoping that those answer would change.  
 

When cancelling a cruise, dates and times matter. At the time of your diagnosis, you may have been entitled to a partial refund. Since you decided to hold on to the reservation, it is too late for a partial refund. 
 

If you had called to say “cancel my cruise”, you immediately get a refund of all paid port taxes. You get an immediate refund of anything you paid for above and beyond your cruise fare (gratuity on perks, shore excursions, and daily service charge). You immediately get a Partial refund of cruise fare in accordance with the contract you signed. 
 

STOP emailing NCL. Get on a phone and talk to someone. NCL gets thousands of emails a day. 

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5 hours ago, stargard1 said:

 

 

Unlike US and European Credit Cards, it is not normal for the credit cards from the rest of the world to carry travel insurance. It just not a normal benefit with credit cards outside the west.

 

 

 

 

What's the definition to "outside the west"?

 

Just asking becasue there are many credit cards out there - if you are looking for a specific one, you can find one with travel insurance, car insurance, etc...  but the more options you want, the higher the yearly cost will be.

 

 

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I hope you health issue is resolved.  I've had triple bypass and then had to have two more stents.  My stents were needed only one week before one of my cruises was scheduled.  The Doc said he would prefer I not go, but then decided here's some extra medicine, go have fun.  Would have hated to miss the cruise, but no sweat on the cancellation if I had.  I had travel insurance purchased for that cruise and for every one we've ever been on.  That's the process.  Buy insurance.  It's just part of the cost of a cruise...I think.  Or take a chance like you did.  Your insurance company would have been happy to quickly refund the cost of the cruise for you.  Not NCL's issue.  

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In addition to travel insurance here is something I learned when talking to a cab driver

in the Bahamas a few years ago. There are public hospitals and there are private

hospitals (and I am assuming this is true other places as well). If you get sick as a

traveler and want to go to the private hospital (I am assuming shorter lines and a

larger variety of services) just to be seen you have to give them  CASH. The amount

was either $300 or $500. I can't remember. Anyway that was just to get in the door.

So ever since then I make sure I have some extra cash with me just as INSURANCE. It gets

put in a separate envelope and is never touched. Luckily since I started doing this

there  are the same US dollars in there never touched.And he said they might

let you put part of your bill on a credit card but don't assume they will. This might

have changed but was in place when we cruised there a couple of years ago.

Also if I travel where only local currency will be accepted I add to my emergency money

local currency too.

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16 minutes ago, Budget Queen said:

This poster just joined a day ago?   

Typical of people with a complaint these days.  Go out to every forum or social media they can, join if needed, and post their complaint even if it has little merit.

 

I'm a member of a non-public FB group related to my cell provider, the admin of the group posted a "crackdown" message related to people slamming the carrier.  There have been many posts in the group recently by new members complaining about policies of the carrier, ones which are laid out in plain English in the info about the plan/carrier.

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1 hour ago, xcell said:

What's the definition to "outside the west"?

It means that the OP paid with a credit card without any additional benefits. Specifically travel insurance. 

Edited by BirdTravels

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The poster thought he had a legitimate complaint so he posted on this forum.  He received an education about cruise lines and travel insurance on this forum.  Hopefully any future travel he takes he'll be smart enough to buy the trip insurance.  Just another of life's lessons.

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