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MIT72

Norwegian Cruise Lines Bad Customer Service - Bait and Switch

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This type of thread always amuses me.

Every cruise line I have been has had itinerary changes one time or another when I have cruised. Travel, of all kinds is never guaranteed to be perfect.

 

Also, if they took the Star out of commission for a while the people on those cruises during the repair would probably more disappointed because they weren't going at all, versus just missing a few scheduled ports.  Please look at the bigger picture. 

 

Big lesson learned, never book a cruise for a specific port.

Safe sailing all! 😊

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We were on 33 day cruise from Hong Kong to NZ in Jan 2017 I recall.

The STAR missed about Half the ports as it only had one engine(azipod?) working.

The issue was not new.  We learned it was ongoing back to April the prior year.

 

They offered us $200 per cabin.......what an insult.

 After almost daily protests in the atrium and Australian TV coverage, they sent the area VP out to cruise with us.

The passengers were so angry he left after one day.  We did everything but" loot:  the ship's store.  Videos on U tube.

Passengers were on their honeymoons, bucket list cruise or possibly their last cruise Ever due to age or health.

THEN both engines failed and were adrift in the Tasman Sea.  3 Tugs had to come rescue the ship and take us back to Melbourne.  Now they couldn't Guarantee an on-time arrival in NZ to make or flights; so were jumped ship.

 

By now we were being offered more and more up to almost 100% credit and FIVE years to redeem it.

The officers and front desk crew gave us bad information; some said Lied.

The Hotel Manager said "What do you want me to do---ROW? 

 

 Using our last of the credit next year and then back to ROYAL.

 

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MIT72 - I know you are disappointed but would you prefer that NCL cancel the entire cruise and disappoint 2000+ guests?

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Nationwide offers this: 

Port Of Call Changes (Itinerary Change)

Provides a one-time benefit of up to $1250 per person for the inconvenience of an itinerary change by the cruise line prior to departure, as long as you go on the cruise.

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If the ship is unsafe and runs the risk of getting stranded at sea, I would much prefer that the entire cruise be cancelled.

We keep wondering exactly what happened in the incident on Nov 4, when there was a fire and/or explosion.  We are guessing that one of the ship's azipods was ruined and cannot be used. The ship probably has four azipods, two of which are the ship's main propulsion and two of which rotate and help dock the ship. Since the ship leaves Barcelona today and is supposed to get to Miami on-time, we think that the broken azipod is one of those used to dock the ship. The switch in which ports they visit may be because NCL is too cheap or pay for tug boats to assist in the absence of the azipod and/or is unwilling to go to the trouble to tender passengers into the ports if they don't have good maneuverability.  All around NCL's customer service is very poor. A good company would provide customers with options in this case since it is NOT an "act of God" and there is two weeks notice (and they could have apparently given uws a lot more since the issue started on Nov 4). NCL clearly has no respect for its passengers. This is not the type of cruise someone typically picks for their first cruise. This trip is for those who care about the itinerary. 

     NCL's parent company, NCL has a glorious "Vision, Mission and Values" statement that they clearly think is good PR. Their top value is "Flawless Execution" which is obviously not the case.

 

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I guess no one remembers the Carnival Splender or Triumph that were stranded at sea due to lack of attention in those cases. Obviously NCL had been informed that the ship is safe at lower speeds as the damage engine is probably out of service until repairs. So Kudos to NCL for changing ports to provide a safe experience while still providing a quality product. 

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In this case it doesn't appear to be slower speed since the ship is supposed to be able to get from Barcelona to Miami on time. perhaps those passengers will be skipping a lot of ports. 

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My husband has done more checking and found out that the NCL Star has only two azipods and is now down to just one. Maybe they are just getting started on cancelling ports. They are not treating their passengers with any kind of respect since it is clearly risky to spend two weeks on a ship that is down to one main engine and probably has not done any better maintenance on that one. 

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2 hours ago, Cruisercl said:

This type of thread always amuses me.

Every cruise line I have been has had itinerary changes one time or another when I have cruised. Travel, of all kinds is never guaranteed to be perfect.

 

Also, if they took the Star out of commission for a while the people on those cruises during the repair would probably more disappointed because they weren't going at all, versus just missing a few scheduled ports.  Please look at the bigger picture. 

 

Big lesson learned, never book a cruise for a specific port.

Safe sailing all! 😊

NCL is by far the worst repeat offender in this. It is another reason why I book a week prior to the cruise. They have the most cavalier of the mass market lines and make no apologies for inconveniencing their guests. They do it because their contract says they can, and things change all the time. Solid customer service would give the passenger the opportunity to cancel or sail at a reduced rate. Not because the legal jargon says so, but because that is what solid customer service is. Each business can choose to operate as Spirit Airlines which routinely scored low on satisfaction or they can be Amazon or Costco. 

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21 minutes ago, MIT72 said:

My husband has done more checking and found out that the NCL Star has only two azipods and is now down to just one. Maybe they are just getting started on cancelling ports. They are not treating their passengers with any kind of respect since it is clearly risky to spend two weeks on a ship that is down to one main engine and probably has not done any better maintenance on that one. 

Always better to research "before " the rant begins.

You booked through TA, NCL won't correspond with you directly. Policy of theirs.

Likewise trying to contact the Coast Guard is a stretch, it's a government entity and they do things their way, not what some random person requests.

NO cruise line is going to deliberately try to get pax stranded. They deal with these problems enough to know the risks involved.

 

If you have trip insurance ( cancel for any reason), being your frustration level is where it is take advantage and Cancel.

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33 minutes ago, MIT72 said:

My husband has done more checking and found out that the NCL Star has only two azipods and is now down to just one. Maybe they are just getting started on cancelling ports. They are not treating their passengers with any kind of respect since it is clearly risky to spend two weeks on a ship that is down to one main engine and probably has not done any better maintenance on that one. 

Your husband should due more research all NCL ships have four engines. Two for purpolison, one for power generation and one for backup. 

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12 minutes ago, calizona said:

Your husband should due more research all NCL ships have four engines. Two for purpolison, one for power generation and one for backup. 

 

Not to mention that azipods are not engines, they are electric motors that run off of the electricity produced by the actual engines.

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29 minutes ago, calizona said:

Your husband should due more research all NCL ships have four engines. Two for purpolison, one for power generation and one for backup. 

 

 

That's not correct.  Just as one example, the newly launched Encore has five.

Edited by ColeThornton

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1 hour ago, MIT72 said:

In this case it doesn't appear to be slower speed since the ship is supposed to be able to get from Barcelona to Miami on time. perhaps those passengers will be skipping a lot of ports. 

 

The ships don't always go at full power, though.  That wastes fuel.  It's possible that the trip from Barcelona to Miami was scheduled to be run at (totally making up these percentages as examples) 70% power, and at that speed they can make it on time.

 

Sometimes between ports, if they're further apart, you'd need to go faster to get there on time.  Perhaps it's unsafe or impossible to run at these speeds, in that case they'd replace those stops with ones that are on a more direct route.

 

If you're familiar with a manual transmission in a car, imagine you lost 5th gear.  You could still drive to where you're going in 4th, but probably wouldn't go above 65mph.  Doesn't mean the car is inherently unsafe, but if you're planning on going from New York to Miami in 14 hours, you may want to just settle on Myrtle Beach instead because you won't make it on time the other way.

Edited by kpjb

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2 hours ago, MIT72 said:

The ship probably has four azipods, two of which are the ship's main propulsion and two of which rotate and help dock the ship

No, she has TWO.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Star

Propulsion:

 

Even the Breakaway Plus class ships (the largest in NCL's fleet) only have two.

 

If there's an issue with the actual engines (the generators) and electrical generation capacity is reduced they can't run full speed to make all the ports.

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58 minutes ago, kpjb said:

The ships don't always go at full power, though.  That wastes fuel.  It's possible that the trip from Barcelona to Miami was scheduled to be run at (totally making up these percentages as examples) 70% power, and at that speed they can make it on time.

Correct.  Using a recent Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss as an example - 2 sea days from LA to Puerto Vallarta they were able to run at 15-17 knots, but since the last port (Cabo San Lucas) wasn't much further North than PV they had to run at top speed (~23 knots) to make it to LA in 36 hours.  If one of the engines on the Bliss was out of service we wouldn't have been able to make that 36 hour run at top speed and would have had to miss one of the ports.

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2 hours ago, MIT72 said:

My husband has done more checking and found out that the NCL Star has only two azipods and is now down to just one. Maybe they are just getting started on cancelling ports. They are not treating their passengers with any kind of respect since it is clearly risky to spend two weeks on a ship that is down to one main engine and probably has not done any better maintenance on that one. 

Your husband needs to do more research. The two azipods are fine. One Engine is down providing less total power. 
 

The ship is not down to one main engine. Your husband needs to do more research. 
 

The last report was the “repair”

will require a dry dock to cut a hole in the hull to replace parts. 
 

The contract you signed allows the cruise line to change the itinerary at any time for any reason. 

 

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MIT72,

Is there anyway you can switch cruises, if NCL will allow?  I know it's very close to your cruise date and you have lots of plans in the works.

It looks like NCL has 2 Panama Canal cruises coming up that do have Columbia ports.  One is a partial PC on the Dawn leaving on 12/1/19 and another is 1/4/2020 with a full PC on the Gem.

We started cruising in 2000 with NCL and had 3 wonderful cruises, but tried another line and have not been back to NCL.  I keep thinking I'll book another NCL cruise, but the customer service issue and their booking website have kept me from jumping back in with them. Every cruise will have it's issues, most of them can be overlooked.  However when you need to speak with Customer Services, you would like to think that the CS agent was attempting a resolution.  

On our PC cruise with another line, we missed 1 port and during our excursion on Cartegena, Columbia we ended up in flooded streets that prevented doing anything. We had to walk in water up to our mid thighs.  Neither the horse carriages or the bus could get us out of the old town.  But I didn't have the heart to ask for a refund since the excursion guide was so considerate and caring.  It certainly wasn't her fault.  In all honesty, I look back on that and get a chuckle. 

It looks like you're going to some wonderful places and personally I would just go with it and enjoy what ports you do visit.  Try to make the best of it if NCL won't let you change your cruise.  And I'm not being snarky at all.  I do wish you the best.

 

 

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18 hours ago, smplybcause said:

 

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. 

The problem is NCL seems to be abusing this clause.  Lots and lots of last minute port changes and cancellations on many NCL ships recently.  Customers are getting fed up.

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7 hours ago, david_sobe said:

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.

Gotcha, must have been too early for me and the coffee didn't kick in as I didn't pick up on that.  

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1 hour ago, Love my butler said:

The problem is NCL seems to be abusing this clause.  Lots and lots of last minute port changes and cancellations on many NCL ships recently.  Customers are getting fed up.

 

I've seen a lot of people pissed at royal when they do the same thing. The 12 months of allure itinerary changes created a ripple effect and several itineraries on other ships had changes too.

 

But I go on cruises with the thought process of being pleasantly surprised if I make it to every port. 

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Going on 6th NCL Cruise in April (started in 2005). Just received notice of itinerary change. Basically was 1st and last ports were switched. Hitting same ports and never had an itinerary change on any of previous cruise have been on, including on Carnival and RCL.  Never realized the changes are so extensive.

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In addition to "mechanical issues" there is growing unrest in Colombia, and today the borders are closed due to the protests.   Perhaps NCL and the other cruise lines either can't get into Cartagena or are deciding that the safety of the passengers is more important.

 

We were in Cartagena in April and it was a lovely city, but if we were there this week I'd enjoy the pool vs. getting off the ship. 

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