Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
MIT72

Norwegian Cruise Lines Bad Customer Service - Bait and Switch

Recommended Posts

If it would have been safety issues then NCL would have communicated it that way.Then they could refer to "beyond our control" and wouldn`t have any pressure to make any concessions.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It always amazes me when people totally melt down when issues pop up in life.  Things happen, that is life.  having a tantrum on the floor will do nothing to fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, blcruising said:

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. 

 

Completely agree. 

 

It's not that NCL is the ONLY cruise line that has issues, it just seems to be how they handle the issue once there is a problem.  Of all the cruises I've been on, I've only had itinerary changes once, due to "dry dock" issues, and yes, it was on NCL, with less than a week's notice.  And yes, in my opinion, they handled it very poorly.  

 

As far as booking a cruise for the ports/length of cruise/itinerary, that is why I book a cruise.  I can't imagine giving thousands of dollars to any business and saying "do whatever you want, doesn't matter to me."  When I board a plane/train/taxi, I fully expect to go where my purchased ticket says I'm going.  When I purchase a can of green beans, I expect there is going to be green beans, not peas in it.  I don't think it is unreasonable to have the same expectation when purchasing a cruise.

 

Obviously unsafe and unforeseen conditions are understood.  Things don't always go perfectly in real life.  But again, it's how the business chooses to handle the situation that makes the client feel valued or not, and as the client, I then choose who gets my vacation dollars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 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/ 

 

 

Whether or not you get anyone in the USCG to even acknowledge your request is the first consideration.  While the USCG can inspect the ship to ensure that all international requirements are met, like SOLAS (which is what would cover any mechanical failure), I can tell you that SOLAS doesn't say that a ship can't sail with one of 4 generators out of service, or even 2 of 4.  Nor does it say that operating with only one of two azipods working is unsafe.  You have to realize that 98% of the world's ocean going shipping has one engine coupled to one propeller.  Cruise ships have multiple engines and multiple propellers to provide redundancy, and can legally operate with some of them out of service.  In fact, the ships routinely have an engine down for overhaul for weeks at a time, and continue sailing, and no passenger is ever the wiser.

8 hours ago, MIT72 said:

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.

 

There may have been a fire, or it may have been a blowback with smoke, but the problem was a failure of one of the diesel engines that drives the electrical generators.  It is not an azipod problem.  You show a complete lack of knowledge of what an azipod is, it is a steerable propeller, that can be rotated 360* to drive the ship forward, backwards, or sideways.  The Star has only two azipods.  These two azipods both provide propulsion and provide sideways thrust and turning motion while docking (they also provide steering while underway, since the ship has no rudders).  The Star has 3 bow thrusters that aid in docking as well.  Now, if one of the bow thrusters fail, they can simply request a tugboat to take the place of the thruster, and push the ship sideways when docking.  Saying that the ship will make schedule for the TA means that it is a "docking" propulsion problem is wrong as well.  It just means that they made the schedule for operating at less than full power, which is common in order to save fuel, since the last couple of knots of speed use up a large percentage of the fuel burned.  They have cancelled ports not because the ship cannot maneuver into or out of the ports, but because the ship cannot make the distance between those ports in time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, calizona said:

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. 

While the Splendor fire was due to poor maintenance practices, the Triumph was not due to "lack of attention", it was due to a new part failing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours 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. 

Maybe you should do more research.  Some NCL ships have four engines, some five, and some six.  The engines are not dedicated for propulsion, power or "backup", they all generate electricity that goes to the ship's "grid" just like all the power stations in your state go on one power grid.  You don't get power from just one station, and if it goes down you lose power, if there is capacity on the grid, power will flow from other sources.  Once the engines generate electrical power, it can go where ever it is needed, hotel load, propulsion, thrusters, etc.  And they don't really have a "backup" engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

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.

So, you have experience in purchasing parts for marine diesel engines?  I can tell you that two weeks would be a rush order for a part that was immediately in stock at the manufacturer.  Many parts are not kept in vast quantities on the shelf at the manufacturer or vendors, as they are not frequently required, and costs a lot of money to have an expensive part sitting around collecting dust for a year or two.  These engines are not like cars, where there are hundreds of thousands of units on the road, there may only be less than 10,000 of a particular marine engine in use around the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Cruise ships have multiple engines and multiple propellers to provide redundancy, and can legally operate with some of them out of service. 

 

Are there (US or international) rules saying any vessel must have at least one way of propulsion at all times? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ray98 said:

It always amazes me when people totally melt down when issues pop up in life.  Things happen, that is life.  having a tantrum on the floor will do nothing to fix it.

careful! several comments have been removed including mine. peeps need to get a grip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Are there (US or international) rules saying any vessel must have at least one way of propulsion at all times? 

Considering some, primarily cargo ships, have a single engine and single prop I would say that is not the case.

 

Only because I can recall the name because it's so unique, here's an article on the Walenius Wilhelmsen - https://www.motorship.com/news101/ships-and-shipyards/wwls-next-generation-ro-ro-in-detail

 

In it is this passage -

"Primary power in the latest ship is delivered by an electronically-controlled, S60ME-C8 two-stroke main engine built under MAN licence and direct-coupled to a single, fixed pitch propeller."

 

Single engine, single prop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Are there (US or international) rules saying any vessel must have at least one way of propulsion at all times? 

 

11 hours ago, hallux said:

Considering some, primarily cargo ships, have a single engine and single prop I would say that is not the case.

 

Only because I can recall the name because it's so unique, here's an article on the Walenius Wilhelmsen - https://www.motorship.com/news101/ships-and-shipyards/wwls-next-generation-ro-ro-in-detail

 

In it is this passage -

"Primary power in the latest ship is delivered by an electronically-controlled, S60ME-C8 two-stroke main engine built under MAN licence and direct-coupled to a single, fixed pitch propeller."

 

Single engine, single prop.

Well, you two are sniffing around this from two different sides.  To be "seaworthy" a ship must have a means of propulsion (except for unpowered barges, etc), but the number of means of propulsion is not specified.  If a ship with a single engine (and 95% of the world's ships only have a single engine) loses that engine, then it is not "seaworthy" and when towed into port it must have its means of propulsion restored, or it cannot leave port again unless given special permission to be towed onwards.  Ships go "dead in the water" all the time, even cruise ships with multiple engines and multiple means of propulsion.  Even SOLAS's "Safe Return to Port" requirements for passenger vessels only says that the ship must be designed so that loss of one engine room or one means of propulsion would still allow the ship to return to port under it's own power (and this only applies to ships built after2010), but it doesn't say that the ship cannot operate without one means of propulsion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, rugerdog said:

 

 

 

  When I board a plane/train/taxi, I fully expect to go where my purchased ticket says I'm going. 

 

 

It`s the airlines duty to bring you to the destination on the ticket but the route they choose is up to them !

 

Every cruise line can change the itinerary if there are reasons why they have to do it. Thats shown in every contract and everybody shold be aware of. Nothing one should blame the cruise line for. And no cruise line will change an itinary just for fun. If it would be any fuel saving reasons they wouldn`t have made this itinerary, they would have chosen "cheaper" ports from the beginning.

So there are always serious reasons for an itinary change.

 

The complete other questions - and i think thats what the OP was more angry about - is, how a cruise line deals with an itinerary change.Even if it is not cruise lines fault they should always give some features to the customers to make them happy. The bigger the ininerary change is the larger the concession should be. And if it is only 100 USD OBC, thats better than nothing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 7:49 PM, 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. 

It is really that simple..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 8:24 PM, DaCruiseBug said:

 

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.

 

What if they chose your cruise to "take it out of commission for a few days to fix the issue." Dry dock space is coordinated well in advance to anticipated use. The modified itinerary allows the ship to continue to sail for the time being. I can't fault NCL and I would think all other cruise lines do this as well. The ship wouldn't sail if passenger safety was at risk. Sort of like a bad tooth.......most put of off until it becomes necessary to fix or remove  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, razor7_us said:

What if they chose your cruise to "take it out of commission for a few days to fix the issue." Dry dock space is coordinated well in advance to anticipated use. The modified itinerary allows the ship to continue to sail for the time being. I can't fault NCL and I would think all other cruise lines do this as well. The ship wouldn't sail if passenger safety was at risk. Sort of like a bad tooth.......most put of off until it becomes necessary to fix or remove  

I agree with several of your points.  Totally cancelling cruises means totally cancelling long planned vacations for thousands of people once the problem is diagnosed then docking space and repair crew and parts are all obtained. Admittedly outside my field professional expertise, but if one of the diesel generator is down, I would not think a dry dock space would be required (as opposed to the azipod issue that is reportedly, chronicly slowing RCL’s Allure), but some type of repair dock space would be presumed if they canceled cruises. 

 

The professionals who diagnosed the issue may have advised that they could work on the generator just as well while the ship was underway as at a dock, in which case why ruin so many people’s vacations and so many crew members’ income stream (gratuities matter greatly for many crew).  

 

I know the OP professes to care disproportionately about two ports,  and thus wants compensation, but sadly that is not how the cruise industry works.  Not just NCL (There are angry threads about Allure, too, and she will take a long time to fix as the Freeport drydock has been out of commission due to a major crane mishap).  The OP will likely find all cruise lines allow themselves the ability to make these changes, and should not trust any of them to feels as he/she does about those changes.

 

No matter which cruiseline, if the OP wants to be able to cancel for itinerary changes and various reasons allowed by the cruise contract and whatever other whims, the the OP should buy “cancel for any reason” insurance from an independent vendor after carefully reading the policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you book through a Travel Agent, it is the agent that will be receiving any and all information regarding the trip and they in turn forward it to you. Everyone that cruises signs the fine print that states they are okay with the cruise modifying their itineraries for whatever reason. We were on a sailing the other year that cancelled a port of call, and everyone was irate (we were as well), so I understand your frustration, however the cruise has every right to do so if safety is a concern. As the other comments have stated, and I do not want to sound rude, but cruising might not be for you if that is something that you want compensation for. Or look for "cancel for any reason" travel insurance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Chengkp, I was waiting for a true expert to chime in.  I actually Lol’d at the comment about having enough time to get a part in.  Working in manufacturing nothing to do with ships though, it can take weeks to get in even the most simple part.  I think society believes you can order these items on Amazon and have it there in two days!  I almost choked on my coffee reading the post about contacting the coast guard to do an inspection.  Really?  Finally, the expert research performed by husbands.  Reading all these posts has truly provided me free entertainment this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 10:46 PM, 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. 


1. Good luck with the Coast Guard. Pretty sure it won't happen, unless they already have scheduled an inspection. 🤣🤣
2. The Star has 4 engines. It sounds like 1 engine is possibly out of commission, so they still have 3 good engines.
3. The ship wouldn't be sailing if it wasn't seaworthy.
4. With one engine down, the ship would not be able to go at top speed and still run the power needed for hotel services, like A/C. Therefore, it probably would not be able to get to South America in the time needed. 
5. ALL cruise lines have had to change itineraries. They have the right to do so. It's in the contract you agreed to.
6. I agree with other posters. It sounds like cruising might not be for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is a new CEO coming on board soon so perhaps rules for communications to passengers might change.

 

The agents are told what to say and what not to say.

 

I think in the end, no company would put a ship in the ocean if it truly had issues as they have to consider the crew and officers as well.    Still, sorry your cruise ports were cancelled, but I don't find those very interesting.  I would be more mad if something in the Baltics were cancelled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you most likely bought "cancel for any reason" travel insurance, suggest you use that option and cancel this trip.  Cruising may not be for you.  If you board the ship angry and resentful, it will be very hard to have a really good time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our second cruise we lost a cruise port due to bad weather. On our third cruise we lost a cruise port due to a health epidemic in that country. We didn't get, and we didn't  expect any sort of compensation or grand gesture from the cruise line because I happened to actually read the cruise contract after our first cruise. OK, I only skimmed it but being a reasonably intelligent adult I got the gist, heads the cruise line wins, tails the cruise line wins. Cruising  is like going to Vegas but the cruise lines have better house odds! 😉

 

Is that dreaded cruise contract fair? It doesn't matter, I freely signed it for my second cruise and my third, and so on. 

 

So, on my next cruise I know I'll can miss my favorite port, or a port I really wanted experience for the first time. C'est la vie. 

 

An esteemed philosopher once said; "Cruising is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” 

 

 

 

😁

 

Edited by DirtyDawg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, DirtyDawg said:

On our second cruise we lost a cruise port due to bad weather. On our third cruise we lost a cruise port due to a health epidemic in that country. We didn't get, and we didn't  expect any sort of compensation or grand gesture from the cruise line because I happened to actually read the cruise contract after our first cruise. OK, I only skimmed it but being a reasonably intelligent adult I got the gist, heads the cruise line wins, tails the cruise line wins. Cruising  is like going to Vegas but the cruise lines have better house odds! 😉

 

Is that dreaded cruise contract fair? It doesn't matter, I freely signed it for my second cruise and my third, and so on. 

 

So, on my next cruise I know I'll can miss my favorite port, or a port I really wanted experience for the first time. C'est la vie. 

 

An esteemed philosopher once said; "Cruising is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” 

 

 

 

😁

 

Bad weather and health epidemics are outside of NCLs control. A mechanical issue with NCLs ship rests squarely and solely on NCL. They can do nothing and choose a strict adherence to the terms and conditions of the contract passengers are forced to sign OR they can extend something to them as a gesture of goodwill in this unfortunate situation.

Edited by blcruising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, blcruising said:

Bad weather and health epidemics are outside of NCLs control. A mechanical issue with NCLs ship rests squarely and solely on NCL. They can do nothing and choose a strict adherence to the terms and conditions of the contract passengers are forced to sign OR they can extend something to them as a gesture of goodwill in this unfortunate situation.

 

I disagree that a mechanical issue rests squarely and solely on NCL. Sometimes things break or as the esteemed philosopher also said; "it happens". I agree that most mechanical issues would be on NCL but certainly not all.

 

It would be nice if they extended something as a gesture of goodwill but the industry is at ,or near, a cyclical high. Demand is extremely good and profits are very good across the industry so NCL doesn't need to be nice. If this happened back in 2009, when the industry was hurting, you can bet the farm that NCL and all the other cruise lines would be bending over backwards with gestures of goodwill because cabins were hard to fill back then at decent prices for the cruise lines. Some people might say that this makes the cruise lines greedy corporate son of a guns,  but I say they are just being human. In the next industry downturn, when prices are a lot less than what they are now, I'll take advantage of them. I certainly won't be nice and say the cruise fares are to low for the poor cruise line to earn a decent profit, so please, please take another 500 bucks. 

 

 

Edited by DirtyDawg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 6:49 PM, sfaaa said:

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

I think you are right and it would make me leary to even consider cruising on the Star. That being said, to the OP, disappointing of course. I would be as well, but this is not bait and switch. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry? What would you expect them to do? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2019 at 11:02 PM, MIT72 said:

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.

 

 

We haven't either but we also have never been given anything for cancelled ports other than our ort charges back. When ports have been cancelled on out sailings prior to the actual sailing we have been given nothing. We have sailed on 4 lines that have had to adjust the ports for various reasons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...