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MIT72

Norwegian Cruise Lines Bad Customer Service - Bait and Switch

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On ‎11‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 10:06 AM, 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.

 

 

 

You started this thread to complain about ports be switched but you would be fine if the entire cruise was cancelled?

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I now understand why people get so upset with the way other people respond when someone posts anything which can possibly be taken negatively. Perhaps it is the way people add their own inflection into the post they are reading. 

 

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On 12/1/2019 at 9:09 PM, ctkathchick said:

Well let it be said that I have over 25 cruises under my belt and this is the first time that this has ever happened. As I said having not gotten any  notice or option on what I wanted to do I would not have batted an eye. I as well as others believe Ncl handled the situation in an unprofessional manner both in how they handled the situation before we boarded as well as once we were onboard and the cavalier attitude that was displayed by Officers as well as the staff at guest services. I am currently looking to book the Greek Isles again just not the same itinerary. I believe that this is more of an anomaly  rather than a normal occurance

I now have more than 75 cruises under my belt, but my first experience with major itinerary changes occurred when I was a relatively new cruiser (and before I discover CC).  It was years ago, yet still a vivid memory as I learned a lot from it.  Since then I have never again assumed I would definitely make any port of call.  I have had plenty of itinerary changes on various lines since then.  Weather mostly, but sometimes mechanical or local conditions (port issues, city power outages, political unrest, etc). So, I will say to you again, if only a couple specific Greek Isle ports are import to you, fly there and have a leisurely visit to the must-see isle then fly or ferry to the next.  Choose that option because there is a chance another cruise will also miss the port you really want to see.  Cruise because you want the cruise experience, but the cost of the cruise experience  that you must be flexible on ports....just look at the cruise contract to see that.  If on reflection, the port is not as important as the cruise experience, then remember that when the next itinerary change happens no matter the circumstances.

 

Edited by Starry Eyes

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After reading through all of this I had to go back to original posting and read the topic.    Boils down to "Customer service".   Yes ports change, yes weather changes plans, yes things break.  BUT customer service should be done with a mentality of "Can we do something for customer" .   I am only a 3 time cruiser with intent on narrowing gap with rest of you fairly quickly.  But NCL who I thought would be my go to cruise line; value without excessive elegance; just left me looking elsewhere after back and forth emails with customer service.   Done a little looking at it seems NCL customer service ranks lower than other lines.   Granted I don't think I would care for a job just know that job is going to be dealing with people with grievances day in and day out.   But i had situations on my last cruise that were NCL's fault, not weather or anything else.  Three of us in a cabin.   Without details lets just say NCL's offer of $50 on board credit  for future cruise for 2 of 3 of us was shocking to me.   I responded back thanking them for the credits; but tactfully asked for a little more and reminded them there were 3 of us.  Asked since I was booked on a NCL cruise coming up could they bump up my internet pkg or something else small as well.   The answer I got back...lets just say my next NCL might be my last and I am giving Princess a try in 2 months.    I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired.

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35 minutes ago, farmermark said:

After reading through all of this I had to go back to original posting and read the topic.    Boils down to "Customer service".   Yes ports change, yes weather changes plans, yes things break.  BUT customer service should be done with a mentality of "Can we do something for customer" .   I am only a 3 time cruiser with intent on narrowing gap with rest of you fairly quickly.  But NCL who I thought would be my go to cruise line; value without excessive elegance; just left me looking elsewhere after back and forth emails with customer service.   Done a little looking at it seems NCL customer service ranks lower than other lines.   Granted I don't think I would care for a job just know that job is going to be dealing with people with grievances day in and day out.   But i had situations on my last cruise that were NCL's fault, not weather or anything else.  Three of us in a cabin.   Without details lets just say NCL's offer of $50 on board credit  for future cruise for 2 of 3 of us was shocking to me.   I responded back thanking them for the credits; but tactfully asked for a little more and reminded them there were 3 of us.  Asked since I was booked on a NCL cruise coming up could they bump up my internet pkg or something else small as well.   The answer I got back...lets just say my next NCL might be my last and I am giving Princess a try in 2 months.    I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired.

I really like when someone says that NCL's customer service leaves a lot to be desired, because they won't give them what they want.  Not knowing your issue, but what they offered, I would guess the issues wasn't a big one.  

 

I think the cruise lines have made monsters out of their customers, because they hand out perks for the littlest issues.  They should fix the issue and a simple "We are sorry, but the issue has been corrected" should suffice for the majority of issues.

 

As far as change in ports, I don't think the cruise lines owe the customer anything other than to reimburse them for their port fees.  If someone, like the original OP, wants to visit a particular port, the best advice would be to do a land trip, because you never know what will happen.

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I've read all 5 pages of this thread, and I agree with many posters on here. If you are cruising to see specific ports, maybe you shouldn't cruise to them, but instead go on a land based vacation to them! That way you can truly experience the area and it's culture. For us, cruising is about the ship experience mostly. We book our cruises based on the ships we are sailing and what they have to offer...not specifically about where we are going. Cruise contracts (not just with NCL) state that changes can be made to your itinerary at ANY time. That means months, weeks, days or even while on that sailing, they can change your itinerary. The destination is the ship, after all! It just happens to be your means of transportation from place to place, but it is where you are "residing" during your vacation.

 

I'll admit, I'm new to NCL (doing my first in March), but I've cruised many other lines and my husband has cruised more than I in his previous life. I frequent these boards often, for all different lines and often I hear the same gripe about the customer service and funny thing...it can be from any of the mass lines and yet the same complaint about customer service. So, if you think it's just NCL that has the bad CS, think again. Just read through these boards someday and you'll see what I mean. It all comes down to what makes YOU happy, and some expect more than others and some can never be happy. Life is too short folks! Enjoy ever minute. The complaints you share are all 1st world problems. There are people that will never have the ability or luxury to cruise. My dad only got to experience his first cruise a couple years ago when we invited him along, and just did his 2nd with us...but it is just not something he can do very often as a person on a fixed income. But he is happy to just be able to have this type of vacation.

 

To the OP, I'm sorry you didn't get to go to the ports you were wanting to go to, but cruising is so much more than just the ports you visit! :) 

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22 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

I really like when someone says that NCL's customer service leaves a lot to be desired, because they won't give them what they want.  Not knowing your issue, but what they offered, I would guess the issues wasn't a big one.  

 

I think the cruise lines have made monsters out of their customers, because they hand out perks for the littlest issues.  They should fix the issue and a simple "We are sorry, but the issue has been corrected" should suffice for the majority of issues.

 

As far as change in ports, I don't think the cruise lines owe the customer anything other than to reimburse them for their port fees.  If someone, like the original OP, wants to visit a particular port, the best advice would be to do a land trip, because you never know what will happen.

"Not knowing your issue"   -very accurate wording; why did you bother then?    

"I think the cruise lines have made monsters out of their customers, because they hand out perks for the littlest issues."...why I said  "   I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired. "      The issues; not issue were big enough my son will likely never go on another cruise again.  I had two fantastic cruises with them that had minor issues like leaving us stranded for a couple hours missing part of an excursion ...like I said also things break...you roll with it and move on.    But my 3rd cruise that you chimed in on was far from small issue. 

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56 minutes ago, farmermark said:

After reading through all of this I had to go back to original posting and read the topic.    Boils down to "Customer service".   Yes ports change, yes weather changes plans, yes things break.  BUT customer service should be done with a mentality of "Can we do something for customer" .   I am only a 3 time cruiser with intent on narrowing gap with rest of you fairly quickly.  But NCL who I thought would be my go to cruise line; value without excessive elegance; just left me looking elsewhere after back and forth emails with customer service.   Done a little looking at it seems NCL customer service ranks lower than other lines.   Granted I don't think I would care for a job just know that job is going to be dealing with people with grievances day in and day out.   But i had situations on my last cruise that were NCL's fault, not weather or anything else.  Three of us in a cabin.   Without details lets just say NCL's offer of $50 on board credit  for future cruise for 2 of 3 of us was shocking to me.   I responded back thanking them for the credits; but tactfully asked for a little more and reminded them there were 3 of us.  Asked since I was booked on a NCL cruise coming up could they bump up my internet pkg or something else small as well.   The answer I got back...lets just say my next NCL might be my last and I am giving Princess a try in 2 months.    I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired.

As an experienced cruiser to a relatively new cruiser, I’d say a couple things about customer service in general, not just NCL.  Shore side and ship board customer service are quite distinct on all the line lines I have experienced.  By that I mean if you had a problem on your cruise when you had three in your cabin, the ideal time to get the problem solved (and secondarily  to ask for any appropriate compensation for the issue if there was a delay in fixing the issue, etc) was while you were on the ship.  There are limits, of course, to what they can do for you on board, so if you feel it is a major issue and you feel under compensated, you may end up contacting shoreside after the cruise, but that is the secondary act.  Did you take the issues to guest services and were they addressed properly?  If you felt you deserved compensation, did you ask for it on board?  If not, remember to do so next time no matter which line.

 

The other point, as others have made on this thread, is that sometimes people ask shoreside customer service a question about something on the ship.  Shoreside tries to answer, but they do not know everything that will happen on each sailing.  It just happens, and not just on NCL.

 

Certainly branch out any try other lines.  There are many loyalists, But I am not one.  I cruise and enjoy different lines.  As a frequent cruiser I value the differences...different styles, different venues, different menus.  Happy cruising.

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1 minute ago, farmermark said:

"Not knowing your issue"   -very accurate wording; why did you bother then?    

"I think the cruise lines have made monsters out of their customers, because they hand out perks for the littlest issues."...why I said  "   I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired. "      The issues; not issue were big enough my son will likely never go on another cruise again.  I had two fantastic cruises with them that had minor issues like leaving us stranded for a couple hours missing part of an excursion ...like I said also things break...you roll with it and move on.    But my 3rd cruise that you chimed in on was far from small issue. 

Like I said, to some, it is only bad customer service if they don't get what they want.  Some issue are NCL's fault, but it doesn't mean they have to give cash, OBC, future cruise credit, etc., an I'm sorry is adequate for many issue where folks want something.

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20 minutes ago, farmermark said:

"Not knowing your issue"   -very accurate wording; why did you bother then?    

"I think the cruise lines have made monsters out of their customers, because they hand out perks for the littlest issues."...why I said  "   I understand a business cant give away perks and refunds etc. with every little mishap.    But  trying to use reason with NCL customer service when NCL is only at fault.....they leave a lot to be desired. "      The issues; not issue were big enough my son will likely never go on another cruise again.  I had two fantastic cruises with them that had minor issues like leaving us stranded for a couple hours missing part of an excursion ...like I said also things break...you roll with it and move on.    But my 3rd cruise that you chimed in on was far from small issue. 

 

I've seen over and over people complain about cruises about a "huge" issue and in reality it was just a small issue or completely down to their unrealistic expectations. Purposefully not disclosing the issue and then complaining that $100 is not enough is not likely to get many on your side about how poor their customer service is.

 

I also second what others have said and you should not have waited until you were back from the cruise to address this. 

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3 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

I've seen over and over people complain about cruises about a "huge" issue and in reality it was just a small issue or completely down to their unrealistic expectations. Purposefully not disclosing the issue and then complaining that $100 is not enough is not likely to get many on your side about how poor their customer service is.

 

I also second what others have said and you should not have waited until you were back from the cruise to address this. 

Where did I say it wasn't first addressed onboard?    That was assumed by you.  There was a long line of us on just one issue onboard.   One issue; a lot of us waited over an hour in port for one excursion where NCL dropped the ball lining things up; and then we got turned away from excursion.   On a different cruise I said we got stranded but rolled with it.  I call being stranded for a while and missing part of excursion a small issue and roll with it.   That I agree is simply an "I'm sorry" event.

.   

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5 minutes ago, farmermark said:

Where did I say it wasn't first addressed onboard?    That was assumed by you.  There was a long line of us on just one issue onboard.   One issue; a lot of us waited over an hour in port for one excursion where NCL dropped the ball lining things up; and then we got turned away from excursion.   On a different cruise I said we got stranded but rolled with it.  I call being stranded for a while and missing part of excursion a small issue and roll with it.   That I agree is simply an "I'm sorry" event.

.   

 

Ok, then what did NCL do about it while you were on board? Which is the event that they gave you $50 for guest 1 & 2? If the issue was you were turned away from the excursion - did the refund you the cost of the excursion?

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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. 

Are you kidding me? Yeah - go ahead and contact the Coast Guard for a ship inspection. 

 

We were on NCL Star when the fire in the engine room happened. We missed one port and were compensated $100 per person for the inconvenience. They were not obligated to do so and I've heard since that the compensation to other cruises after us were not compensated as well. 

 

Regarding port changes - they happen for various reasons - weather included. If this isn't something you can roll with then I'd suggest looking at a land based cruise. 

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3 hours ago, farmermark said:

when NCL is only at fault

For this mechanical issue? 

 

Consider this (since it's a similar situation of a travel company buying a machine and having a mechanical fault with it) - Southwest (NCL equivalent for this example) buys planes from Boeing (shipyard), Boeing (shipyard) installs engines made by CFM (engine manufacturer).  Southwest follows the maintenance schedule on the engines and yet there's STILL a fan blade failure that is later to be found as a result of unexpected and previously undiscovered fatigue across that engine range.  If you were on that flight, are you going to complain that Southwest obviously didn't follow maintenance schedules?  The only difference here - Southwest can more easily shift equipment to get you on to your destination.

 

Similar deal - say NCL IS doing all the scheduled maintenance (for all we know, they are), there's NOTHING that can be pointed at indicating NCL could have done something different to prevent the engine from failing.  UNEXPECTED FAILURES HAPPEN....

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3 minutes ago, hallux said:

For this mechanical issue? 

 

Consider this (since it's a similar situation of a travel company buying a machine and having a mechanical fault with it) - Southwest (NCL equivalent for this example) buys planes from Boeing (shipyard), Boeing (shipyard) installs engines made by CFM (engine manufacturer).  Southwest follows the maintenance schedule on the engines and yet there's STILL a fan blade failure that is later to be found as a result of unexpected and previously undiscovered fatigue across that engine range.  If you were on that flight, are you going to complain that Southwest obviously didn't follow maintenance schedules?  The only difference here - Southwest can more easily shift equipment to get you on to your destination.

 

Similar deal - say NCL IS doing all the scheduled maintenance (for all we know, they are), there's NOTHING that can be pointed at indicating NCL could have done something different to prevent the engine from failing.  UNEXPECTED FAILURES HAPPEN....

Whoa....I was not talking about the original posters situation.    Issues I had on different cruise.   

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1 minute ago, farmermark said:

Whoa....I was not talking about the original posters situation.    Issues I had on different cruise.   

That wasn't clear, but there were people saying NCL is to blame for the mechanical issues in the OP's circumstance...

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3 hours ago, smplybcause said:

 

Ok, then what did NCL do about it while you were on board? Which is the event that they gave you $50 for guest 1 & 2? If the issue was you were turned away from the excursion - did the refund you the cost of the excursion?

Yes this description is pretty vague.  We had an excursion in Sweden that was disorganized re people finding the right bus after the excursion and there be no organized way for them to know if anyone had been left behind as a result.  We were in a suite and called the concierge immediately upon returning to the ship.  We were not angry but were concerned that NCL knew about this provider and that it wouldn't happen to future guests....and we are cruisers who don't complain about everything every day.  She made a few calls to confirm this is what happened, then called us and refunded 25% of our excursion (there were 3 of us).  Now, we felt that was fair....but some might want 100% refunded.....  

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1 hour ago, lanceholt said:

She made a few calls to confirm this is what happened, then called us and refunded 25% of our excursion (there were 3 of us).  Now, we felt that was fair....but some might want 100% refunded.....  

I was on an final-day airport excursion and our bus got stranded (bus driver's fault), so while we did get to the airport, we didn't get the city tour.  I wrote to NCL to let them know, more as a vetting issue, not a complaint.  They refunded 50% of my fee (making the trip cheaper than the NCL shuttle).  But there were those who were insisting they should get a 100% refund, even though they got to the airport on time - and of course blaming NCL.

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6 hours ago, farmermark said:

..... There was a long line of us on just one issue onboard.   One issue; a lot of us waited over an hour in port for one excursion where NCL dropped the ball lining things up; and then we got turned away from excursion.   On a different cruise I said we got stranded but rolled with it.  I call being stranded for a while and missing part of excursion a small issue and roll with it.   That I agree is simply an "I'm sorry" event.

.   

Have all your issues occurred on shore excursions?  Obviously all the cruiselines use independent local contractors for shore excursions; while vetted, sometimes they do not handle those large groups as well as cruisers would like.  You may find the other cruiselines use the same contractors in many ports, so the problems may not disappear just because you change lines, sad to say.  You could consider private excursions (the pluses and minuses are no doubt better discussed on other threads).

Edited by Starry Eyes

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Just got back from a Princess Cruise.    While on cruise we had an excursion in Panama.  Mechanical problems delayed train;  and we were over an hour extra as things snowballed.  Delay meant we lost "position/importance" using track going from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean to a freight train which delayed us further.  Still saw everything just not as much time to shop in street vendors at port once back near ship.  WAITING for us in our cabin was a apology from Princess and a 30% refund notice.  Was not expecting that nor were we even going to bother contacting guest service as there was no reason too.  Like I said; excursion was completed and we saw everything.  Much unlike fiascos with NCL; Princess had no hand in causing; nor was there any way of looking at big picture and seeing problems arising.  Princess totally innocent yet WAITING for me in cabin was apology.  One to other extreme.  Yes this is only based on 4 cruises....but WOW what difference!       

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It is good to know which cruise lines treat their customers well and go beyond what is legally required. Thank you for your post. 

 

Based on our experiences on our 4th and last NCL cruise, we never play to use them again. We were not alone in my opinion. NCL appears to be racing downmarket and many other previous passengers including ourselves were disappointed in the food quality and selections and other aspects of our trip. 

 

I'm waiting for the novel coronavirus situation to stabilize before making any new bookings with any travel company.

 

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1 hour ago, farmermark said:

Just got back from a Princess Cruise.    While on cruise we had an excursion in Panama.  Mechanical problems delayed train;  and we were over an hour extra as things snowballed.  Delay meant we lost "position/importance" using track going from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean to a freight train which delayed us further.  Still saw everything just not as much time to shop in street vendors at port once back near ship.  WAITING for us in our cabin was a apology from Princess and a 30% refund notice.  Was not expecting that nor were we even going to bother contacting guest service as there was no reason too.  Like I said; excursion was completed and we saw everything.  Much unlike fiascos with NCL; Princess had no hand in causing; nor was there any way of looking at big picture and seeing problems arising.  Princess totally innocent yet WAITING for me in cabin was apology.  One to other extreme.  Yes this is only based on 4 cruises....but WOW what difference!       

 

So...did Princess refund the money out of their pocket, or was the 30% refund from the actual tour provider...and Princess, by leaving the note in the room, simply took credit for it?

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2 hours ago, farmermark said:

Just got back from a Princess Cruise.    While on cruise we had an excursion in Panama.  Mechanical problems delayed train;  and we were over an hour extra as things snowballed.  Delay meant we lost "position/importance" using track going from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean to a freight train which delayed us further.  Still saw everything just not as much time to shop in street vendors at port once back near ship.  WAITING for us in our cabin was a apology from Princess and a 30% refund notice.  Was not expecting that nor were we even going to bother contacting guest service as there was no reason too.  Like I said; excursion was completed and we saw everything.  Much unlike fiascos with NCL; Princess had no hand in causing; nor was there any way of looking at big picture and seeing problems arising.  Princess totally innocent yet WAITING for me in cabin was apology.  One to other extreme.  Yes this is only based on 4 cruises....but WOW what difference!       

We had a similar experience with Celebrity in Stockholm, when the shuttle bus company they were using were a total shambles, when we got back in the ship WAITING in our cabin was an apology even though it wasn’t Celebrity’s fault, a refund for the price of the shuttle and $50 off our account.  Great customer service Celebrity!! I also like Princess for their customer services, probably why u try and stick to these cruise lines 👍

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