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MIT72

Norwegian Cruise Lines Bad Customer Service - Bait and Switch

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We booked a very specific Norwegian Cruise lines trip ( Dec 6, 2019 departure on Norwegian Star) because we wanted to go to Colombia and through the Panama Canal. The itinerary is only done once a year. Now, two weeks before sailing, they sent our travel agent (NOT us) a notice that the Colombian ports were canceled because of mechanical issues. When I called Norwegian, they refused to make any concessions at all. I told her that we selected that itinerary and planned to take excusions in every port. We picked the option to have a credit for each excusion, but now have no interest in the two ports (George Town, Grand Cayman and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica) that were substituted for Santa Maria, Colombia and Cartagena, Colombia. 

 

Norwegian refused to divulge what the supposed mechanical problem is. I told the customer service agent, I didn't want to get on a ship with unknown mechanical problems. She refused to tell me what was wrong and informed me that they could do whatever they want. They refused to make even the smallest concession for having switched to a product we did not want. We will never sail on Norwegian again. 

 

Norwegian's contract gives them the right to make any changes they want even if the changes are just for their convenience because they don't do maintenance (or just pretend that there is a mechanical problem). Sailing with Norwegian requires "good faith" that they will deliver. After this experience, we have completely lost faith and will never look at one of their offerings again.

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Unfortunately-I know how you feel. Had something similar on a TA. We are finishing our credits with NCL and looking elsewhere. NCL use to be our #1 choice. But now I have to think hard before I choose them as to what is the likelihood they are going to alter the itinerary. If I am just in the Caribbean it doesn't matter much but Panama Canal, TA, Europe- I spend a lot of time researching and planning and when they change it up ( in our case they changed the dry dock schedule, took away 2 ports and dropped us 2 days early) for their convenience, well that was bait and switch too and the consumer is not happy

 

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If I recall correctly, NCL Star has been having mechanical issues for a number of years now.

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21 minutes ago, MIT72 said:

Norwegian's contract gives them the right to make any changes they want even if the changes are just for their convenience because they don't do maintenance (or just pretend that there is a mechanical problem).

 

Every cruiseline contract has the same clause. If this is unacceptable, cruising isn't for you. If you HAVE to go to a specific port, cruising isn't for you. 

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This is typical for NCL. Once they have your money they really couldn't care any less about you. It's funny because Royal and MSC recently missed a port and passengers on that ship were given several hundred dollars worth of cruise credits. Sure they didn't have to, but they did because it's good customer service. NCL has become the worst cruise line when it comes to customer service.

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Btw: I just found this -

 

https://www.cruisehive.com/norwegian-cruise-ship-suffers-mechanical-issues-and-cancels-ports/35535

 

 

Seems like there's a propulsion issue. They've known about it for 3 weeks now and you sail in 2 weeks. So in 5 weeks time they can't get it fixed and are inconveniencing every passenger that sails the Star instead of taking her out of commission for a few days to fix the issue.

 

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56 minutes ago, MIT72 said:

We booked a very specific Norwegian Cruise lines trip ( Dec 6, 2019 departure on Norwegian Star) because we wanted to go to Colombia and through the Panama Canal. The itinerary is only done once a year. Now, two weeks before sailing, they sent our travel agent (NOT us) a notice that the Colombian ports were canceled because of mechanical issues. When I called Norwegian, they refused to make any concessions at all. I told her that we selected that itinerary and planned to take excusions in every port. We picked the option to have a credit for each excusion, but now have no interest in the two ports (George Town, Grand Cayman and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica) that were substituted for Santa Maria, Colombia and Cartagena, Colombia. 

 

Norwegian refused to divulge what the supposed mechanical problem is. I told the customer service agent, I didn't want to get on a ship with unknown mechanical problems. She refused to tell me what was wrong and informed me that they could do whatever they want. They refused to make even the smallest concession for having switched to a product we did not want. We will never sail on Norwegian again. 

 

Norwegian's contract gives them the right to make any changes they want even if the changes are just for their convenience because they don't do maintenance (or just pretend that there is a mechanical problem). Sailing with Norwegian requires "good faith" that they will deliver. After this experience, we have completely lost faith and will never look at one of their offerings again.

You signed a contract allowing the cruise line to change ports. They did. You booked through a travel Agent so that travel agent has been getting all of the notices relating to the cruise. 
 

There was an engine fire a few weeks back. This reduces the total power available. There were reports that the ship needs to dry dock to repair once all of the parts are manufactured. 

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5 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

Btw: I just found this -

 

https://www.cruisehive.com/norwegian-cruise-ship-suffers-mechanical-issues-and-cancels-ports/35535

 

 

Seems like there's a propulsion issue. They've known about it for 3 weeks now and you sail in 2 weeks. So in 5 weeks time they can't get it fixed and are inconveniencing every passenger that sails the Star instead of taking her out of commission for a few days to fix the issue.

 

Well,,,, you don’t run down to the auto parts store and pick up a cruise ship engine. You have to wait for the proper parts to be manufactured. Then the dry dock can be scheduled. 

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What’s a reasonable time range for that type of thing.  We have a Midnight Sun cruise leaving June 14, I would hope it’s fixed long before then....but my sympathies to folks who are disappointed (or worse, have their cruise cancelled) as a result of the problems.

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6 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

Well,,,, you don’t run down to the auto parts store and pick up a cruise ship engine. You have to wait for the proper parts to be manufactured. Then the dry dock can be scheduled. 

 

You're right, you have the parts shipped in from the manufacturer. Two weeks time is plenty of time to get any part you may need. NCL is probably ok with changing ports to closer ones as it will cut down on their fuel expenses...further increasing their profits which is all that matters to them.

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35 minutes ago, erdoran said:

What’s a reasonable time range for that type of thing.  We have a Midnight Sun cruise leaving June 14, I would hope it’s fixed long before then....but my sympathies to folks who are disappointed (or worse, have their cruise cancelled) as a result of the problems.

 

Hard to say. Royals Allure has had azipod issues since around April. No drydock on this side of the world can handle her. She'll be limping along on modified schedules for a year before repaired. 

 

It'll depend on how long it takes to get the parts, and whether it's a dry dock repair or not, and other stuff. 

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Ok, so I am also booked for the Star Dec. 6 out of Miami to So. America.  Disappointed in the itinerary change.  This is the 3rd in a row of Norwegian cruises I've been on that an itinerary was changed.  Not thrilled! I called to ask about the change and the rep was very nice, but she had no information about the "mechanical problem".  If there is a propulsion issue, why can they go still go to Grand Cayman and Costa Rica, rather than Santa Marta and Cartegena?  I admit I don't know about these things, but I still would like to understand.  Have been really looking forward to this for a while.☹️

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We have been searching for the problem since we were told of the port changes. I'm concerned if it is an azipod issue that they have not fixed that another similar problem could develop and leave us stranded. We are trying to figure out who to contact in the Coast Guard about arranging a ship inspection before we sail on Dec 6.  https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2019/11/articles/power-loss/norwegian-star-suffers-propulsion-problems/ 

 

On their corporate website, Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding Company, they have their "Vision, Mission and Values" statement, which includes the "value" of "flawless execution." Obviously, they are failing to honor that part of their values. http://www.nclhltd.com/vision-mission-and-values  After today's surprises, I read that mission statement and realize that it is worthless. Since the other companies in the holding company are Oceania and Regent, I hesitate to try them. The press on Oceania is good, and we had talked about using them to go through the Panama Canal, but given the parent company's attitude, I wonder if I should also avoid them in the future. 

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3 hours ago, Montanagirlalways said:

Unfortunately-I know how you feel. Had something similar on a TA. We are finishing our credits with NCL and looking elsewhere. NCL use to be our #1 choice. But now I have to think hard before I choose them as to what is the likelihood they are going to alter the itinerary. If I am just in the Caribbean it doesn't matter much but Panama Canal, TA, Europe- I spend a lot of time researching and planning and when they change it up ( in our case they changed the dry dock schedule, took away 2 ports and dropped us 2 days early) for their convenience, well that was bait and switch too and the consumer is not happy

 

We had a horrible experience on our recent TA on the Getaway. We wrote to NCL customer service explaining everything that went wrong with it. Like you, NCL used to be our first choice but no more. We have 4 certificates left, using two next year and selling the other two and then no more. We are looking to do Celebrity. It used to be, at least in our experience, that when you wrote to NCL someone would call you back after 3-4 weeks or write you a letter, personalized letter. Now, we received a robotic letter, and they offered us a $50 dollars credit for a future cruise, we just laughed. NCL keeps building ships but not improving on customer service or keeping loyal customers. IMHO.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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.  I'm not sure if cruising is for you, I'm not saying that meanly.     I have only been on 7 cruises but 3 of them have had itinerary changes, on 3 different lines.  This is not just an NCL thing.  No, NCL is not going to talk to you if you booked through a TA, that is my understanding anyway, I have never booked through a TA.  If you can't accept the terms of the contract (that they can change the itinerary) you probably shouldn't book the cruise. 

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We have been on many cruises on many lines all over the world. We have had a few skipped ports, but usually the cruise line makes good when the customer is unhappy. We have never had cruise ports cancelled due to mechanical issues - it was always something like wind and the cancellation was last minute.

     Last summer we spent two weeks on Holland America going around Japan and two Russian ports. Holland America had never done that route before and some of the logistics were subpar and some excursions were not good. Holland America provided partial refunds on the bad tours and was generally very responsive. 

     Announcing that the port changes are due to mechanical issues and then failing to divulge the issues is very worrisome. I've read too many horror stories about passengers stranded at sea under horrible conditions. If the engines on the ship are not in good shape, they should reveal that fact and allow passengers to rebook or do something else.

 

 

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Royal Caribbean's Allure has had propulsion issues since around April/May. It won't be fixed until her drydock in April.  Royal has 1) not said anything besides propulsion issues that I'm aware of and 2) offered no compensation to passengers (and in fact waited months before they switched the Nov-Apr itineraries).

 

Ports won't let ships come in if the ship is in any danger of having actual issues that would affect docking. So more than likely they just can't go as fast as usual so switched ports out. 

 

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All cruise lines alter ports, I remember RC going into Hong Kong and not berthing in the town as listed, took everyone to old airport, unfortunately nobody on RC had informed the taxi companies, so about 2000 frustrated passengers trying to late night shop and unable to do so...

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4 hours ago, smplybcause said:

Royal Caribbean's Allure has had propulsion issues since around April/May. It won't be fixed until her drydock in April.  Royal has 1) not said anything besides propulsion issues that I'm aware of and 2) offered no compensation to passengers (and in fact waited months before they switched the Nov-Apr itineraries).

 

Ports won't let ships come in if the ship is in any danger of having actual issues that would affect docking. So more than likely they just can't go as fast as usual so switched ports out. 

 

Exactly, in May we were delayed 4 hours from leaving Fort Lauderdale on the Adventure because of the Allure.  Anyone booking her since has known the problems, know what can happen.  Star is the same, booking her now is asking for trouble.

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Our 15 day Panama Canal cruise this past April had three itinerary changes made before we left. It happens but I never really expected any back nor did I roll around on the floor in a tantrum. 

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1 hour ago, tallnthensome said:

Our 15 day Panama Canal cruise this past April had three itinerary changes made before we left. It happens but I never really expected any back nor did I roll around on the floor in a tantrum. 

Just curious where you saw anyone "roll around on the floor in a tantrum". The OP has issues with customer service on NCL and explained what it was.  Just curious why people feel the need to defend NCL so much.  I like the cruiseline but when they make mistakes I don't defend them.  Lately there have been quite a few issues with NCL and I also would be hesitant to book with them for anything other than a Caribbean cruise where it doesn't really matter what ports I go to.  

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OP

 

Saying Star does this route annually I can't say is true.  And yes, if booked via TA NCL typically will talk to them directly and not you.

 

Beyond that, I'm surprised Star is still having issues.  Star has been plagued by propulsion issues forever.  Some will nitpick the latest is engine VS pods, doesn't matter, Star issues have interrupted many trips with varying comp for losing major parts of a trip.

 

All I can say is decide how you are treated and vote with your wallet.

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8 hours ago, MIT72 said:

We have been searching for the problem since we were told of the port changes. I'm concerned if it is an azipod issue that they have not fixed that another similar problem could develop and leave us stranded. We are trying to figure out who to contact in the Coast Guard about arranging a ship inspection before we sail on Dec 6.  https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2019/11/articles/power-loss/norwegian-star-suffers-propulsion-problems/ 

 

On their corporate website, Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding Company, they have their "Vision, Mission and Values" statement, which includes the "value" of "flawless execution." Obviously, they are failing to honor that part of their values. http://www.nclhltd.com/vision-mission-and-values  After today's surprises, I read that mission statement and realize that it is worthless. Since the other companies in the holding company are Oceania and Regent, I hesitate to try them. The press on Oceania is good, and we had talked about using them to go through the Panama Canal, but given the parent company's attitude, I wonder if I should also avoid them in the future. 

You do know Oceania and Regent could not be more different than NCL?

you will probably be paying 3-4 times as much. Worth it IMO. Not sure how often one makes a jump from NCL to Regent 

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48 minutes ago, thistimeplease said:

Just curious where you saw anyone "roll around on the floor in a tantrum". The OP has issues with customer service on NCL and explained what it was.  Just curious why people feel the need to defend NCL so much.  I like the cruiseline but when they make mistakes I don't defend them.  Lately there have been quite a few issues with NCL and I also would be hesitant to book with them for anything other than a Caribbean cruise where it doesn't really matter what ports I go to.  

I think they were referring to the recent incident where passengers organized a protest in the lobby of a NCL ship (Spirit I believe) when ports were cancelled due to bad weather.  Their protest aka mutiny went viral on social media and the news.

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