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Norwegian Unresponsive to the Coronavirus in Asia

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I'm Ron Hurtibise from the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Thanks Masekr11 and anyone else who emailed us about this topic. I want to write about the dilemma you are facing over whether you should board the ship or eat the money because I think just about anyone who reads the story could imagine themselves in the same situation.

 

I'd like to report some of your thoughts on it, as well as what you will ultimately do if NCL doesn't cancel and provide credit/ refunds.

 

The problem is, I can't file a story quoting only anonymous source or usernames. So if you are willing to be quoted by name, I'd like to invite you to email me with your full name and city of residence and tell me whether you plan to go or not -- and why -- if NCL ultimately does not cancel the cruise.

 

My email address is rhurtibise at sun-sentinel.com. If you prefer to talk by phone, just send me an email with your phone number. 

 

Looking forward to hearing from you. I'm hoping to get the story posted this afternoon.

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33 minutes ago, ronhurt1 said:

I'm Ron Hurtibise from the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Thanks Masekr11 and anyone else who emailed us about this topic. I want to write about the dilemma you are facing over whether you should board the ship or eat the money because I think just about anyone who reads the story could imagine themselves in the same situation.

 

I'd like to report some of your thoughts on it, as well as what you will ultimately do if NCL doesn't cancel and provide credit/ refunds.

 

The problem is, I can't file a story quoting only anonymous source or usernames. So if you are willing to be quoted by name, I'd like to invite you to email me with your full name and city of residence and tell me whether you plan to go or not -- and why -- if NCL ultimately does not cancel the cruise.

 

My email address is rhurtibise at sun-sentinel.com. If you prefer to talk by phone, just send me an email with your phone number. 

 

Looking forward to hearing from you. I'm hoping to get the story posted this afternoon.

I emailed Ron and had a conversation with him. I would encourage everyone else to do the same. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 3:35 PM, AstoriaPreppy said:

 

In my case, I'm both highly vocal and have travel insurance. 

 

As I've discovered, travel insurance (even the highest level) generally doesn't cover what everyone on my 17 February Jade sailing is having issues with. That is, you're not covered if the cruise line changes your embarkation port less than two weeks before your departure, and expects you to change your flights to a completely different country over 1,600 miles away. This would be roughly equivalent to finding out that instead of boarding in Fort Lauderdale, we instead had to figure out how to get to Venezuela to board a cruise ship.  

 

Travel insurance also doesn't explicitly cover non-refundable hotels we've booked in HK, as the duration of the trip is still the same. We may try rolling the dice and see what happens, but I'm not sure they'll want to pay out. Travel insurance will be great if I catch COVID-19, but I'd really prefer that not happen.

 

In our case, after being forced out of Hong Kong when the port was officially closed, NCL has offered to cover "reasonable" flight changes, which can only be submitted for reimbursement after our sail date commences. Per multiple calls to NCL on the phone, no one is really sure. what "reasonable" is, and they need to make sure we're on the ship and sailing before they reimburse that money to us. They've also offered 10% of the cruise fare refunded to us and a 25% future cruise credit for changing to a new embarkation port. 

 

While I understand NCL's goal of making money, in this case the communication to the guests has been abysmal, with just slightly altered messaging coming out every few days. Princess is posting regular videos and messages each day, updating the public on the status of the Diamond princess. Royal has run open and honest communication with their guests, both canceling cruises and offering generous refund options. 

 

NCL's PR team appears to be led by Kylo Ren, and is just taking a scorched earth perspective on both this specific sailing, and their open and honest communication with passengers. NCL has had every opportunity to make this right for the passengers on this sailing, and has repeatedly taken steps to issue the same statement over and over. It's the same thing if you call.

 

The only thing most of us are looking for from NCL is an acknowledgment that "hey, this really sucks, but here's how we're going to make it right, and we hope you come back to sail with us again!" So far, that has not been my experience. 

That is exactly my situation and I couldn’t agree more. I am really fed up with been told you should have Travel insurance. I do it doesn't cover this situation I always have comprehensive travel insurance and I am fully covered if I was to contract Coronavirus but I am not covered if I choose not to go.

I wish that my fellow CC’s who keep talking about “cancel for any reason insurance” would understand it is not available to every country maybe not even out of North America . I have 77 sea days with NCL and have never once been offered travel insurance at any point in the booking process or afterwards. 

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Reports on social media that the 17 th sailing is cancelled

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Just received a phone call from our travel agent to say that the 17th sailing is cancelled and we will be refunded all our money within 14 days. 

I feel heartily sorry for those who have already made their way to Singapore or those in transit.

I hope that anyone who was booked on this cruise gets some recompense and that you can find something  wonderful to do for the next two weeks.

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30 minutes ago, JCopp said:

I emailed Ron and had a conversation with him. I would encourage everyone else to do the same. 

 

I'm in Miami and I have just emailed him as well. 

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5 minutes ago, pol1953 said:

Just received a phone call from our travel agent to say that the 17th sailing is cancelled and we will be refunded all our money within 14 days. 

I feel heartily sorry for those who have already made their way to Singapore or those in transit.

I hope that anyone who was booked on this cruise gets some recompense and that you can find something  wonderful to do for the next two weeks.

Who is your TA, do you have email confirmation you can publish?

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18 minutes ago, ppcox said:

Reports on social media that the 17 th sailing is cancelled

 

12 minutes ago, pol1953 said:

Just received a phone call from our travel agent to say that the 17th sailing is cancelled and we will be refunded all our money within 14 days. 

I feel heartily sorry for those who have already made their way to Singapore or those in transit.

I hope that anyone who was booked on this cruise gets some recompense and that you can find something  wonderful to do for the next two weeks.

 

EDIT: A letter from NCL cancelling the cruise has now been posted on the roll call.

Edited by MadManOfBethesda
New Info

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4 minutes ago, MadManOfBethesda said:

 

 

From what I have seen here and on the roll call for the 17th, it appears that only TAs in the UK have been notified about a cancellation and refund for their clients. NCL continues to state that the cruise is still on. This may have to do with the laws there and NCL having to refund their money for major itinerary changes.

A letter from NCL cancelling the cruise has now been posted on the roll call, so disregard the above.

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Dear Valued Guests and Travel Partners,

On behalf of Norwegian Cruise Line, thank you very much for your loyalty and for making us your vacation of choice.

Due to growing concerns regarding coronavirus in Asia, the ports we planned to visit in Vietnam are no longer open to accepting cruise ships. As omitting Vietnam would substantially change the planned itinerary with no viable replacement, we are forced to cancel the Norwegian Jade sailing on February 17, 2020 from Singapore. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

All guests currently booked on this sailing will receive a full refund that will be processed automatically to the form of payment provided at the time of booking. In addition, and as a goodwill gesture, you will receive a future cruise credit worth 25% towards your future cruise. This credit can used for up to one year from today's date and can be applied towards any of our currently published sailings. Given the cancelation, please note that the previously offered 10% refund and 25% future cruise credit is no longer valid.

Furthermore, we will cover up to USD $300 per person for any airfare penalties or change fees associated. All receipts should be submitted atwww.ncl.com/case-submission.

If you are interested in another sailing, please contact your travel professional or contact Norwegian Cruise Line at 1.866.234.7350. 

For any guests booked outside of the U.S. or Canada, please visit www.ncl.com for our local contact information.

We greatly appreciate your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the very near future.

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12 minutes ago, MadManOfBethesda said:

 

 

EDIT: A letter from NCL cancelling the cruise has now been posted on the roll call.

 

One sentence in this letter says everything...... "We are FORCED to cancel the Norwegian Jade sailing on February 17, 2020 from Singapore. " The only realistic chance of having this sailing cancelled has played out, ie - the governments have closed up in the interest of safety. Even though NCL has previously indicated they believe that was unreasonable, they have no more cards to play and have folded. 

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Yeah! I just got confirmation from Cruisedirect. Full refund +25% future cruise credit. The ones who suffered are those on the current sailing of the Jade. Brave folks, travelling to Asia on a cruise at this time.

 

Thanks to everyone on this forum. Even the trolls remained relatively polite. A refreshing change from some other forums that will remain nameless. <g>

 

So now, I'll have to look into planning our next cruise. With NCL? Mmmmmaybe not. Might be time to graduate to a more professional cruise line.

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They don't even pretend to be interested in their customers. They make it clear this  changes is only  because no ports will allow them to dock once they leave Singapore. I don't know the price of airfare to Singapore, but I imagine changing a flight form Honk Kong to Singapore is more than 300 especially when done at the least minute. Now, though, that the cruise is canceled those with trip insurance can get reimbursed for flights.  They only took this action out of necessity not out of concern for customers or crew. Hope no one was in transit.

Edited by MoniMommy

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3 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 

One sentence in this letter says everything...... "We are FORCED to cancel the Norwegian Jade sailing on February 17, 2020 from Singapore. " The only realistic chance of having this sailing cancelled has played out, ie - the governments have closed up in the interest of safety. Even though NCL has previously indicated they believe that was unreasonable, they have no more cards to play and have folded. 

Not quite.  They've only folded with respect to the cruise of the 17th.  There's still our cruise out of Singapore scheduled for the 27th that is still on at this point in time.  NCL will probably wait until just a few days before we're scheduled to depart to make any changes. That is, IF they decide to make any changes.

 

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1 minute ago, MoniMommy said:

They don't even pretend to be interested in their customers. They make it clear this  changes is only  because no ports will allow them to dock once they leave Singapore. I don't know the price of airfare to Singapore, but I imagine changing a flight form Honk Kong to Singapore is more than 300 especially when done at the least minute. They only took this action out of necessity not out of concern for customers or crew. 

Perhaps. But I have 3,293 reasons to be happy that NCL finally stepped up and offered full refunds.

 

We were already able to get refunded for our airfaire through Finnair. Still waiting on final confirmation, but the magic eight-ball says it's good to go.

 

I'll have to look elsewhere on this forum to find out what cruise lines are head and shoulders above NCL. I recall past cruises, I think with MSC, that had great entertainment (comedians, music groups, etc). Which forum should I check out?

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Thanks to everyone for standing up for their values and for what is right.  This never would have happened had we all not spoken up together but we forced them to acknowledge us and they blinked.  
 

Next time we book a cruise, let’s not forget how Norwegian Cruise Lies treated us throughout this ordeal and look at how other operators (Royal, Celebrity, etc.) treated their customers with respect.  I wish I could ask Harry whether it was really worth it.

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1 minute ago, Atgatsea said:

Thanks to everyone for standing up for their values and for what is right.  This never would have happened had we all not spoken up together but we forced them to acknowledge us and they blinked.  
 

Next time we book a cruise, let’s not forget how Norwegian Cruise Lies treated us throughout this ordeal and look at how other operators (Royal, Celebrity, etc.) treated their customers with respect.  I wish I could ask Harry whether it was really worth it.

 

Unfortunately, the change had nothing to do with everyone's comments and standing up for what is right. They just had no where to dock.  Vietnam ports closed by government. 

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1 minute ago, Atgatsea said:

Thanks to everyone for standing up for their values and for what is right.  This never would have happened had we all not spoken up together but we forced them to acknowledge us and they blinked.  
 

Next time we book a cruise, let’s not forget how Norwegian Cruise Lies treated us throughout this ordeal and look at how other operators (Royal, Celebrity, etc.) treated their customers with respect.  I wish I could ask Harry whether it was really worth it.

Question! Do you even consider taking another cruise with them at 25% off!? Mine and my wife's initial response is No!

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4 minutes ago, Atgatsea said:

Thanks to everyone for standing up for their values and for what is right.  This never would have happened had we all not spoken up together but we forced them to acknowledge us and they blinked.  
 

 

?? say what, ah the reason was because vietnam was not going to let them dock/tender

Edited by Newleno

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Now the waiting game for us still booked on the 27th sailing..I anticipate changes to itinerary and possibly even embarkation port but don’t expect they’ll cancel. 

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11 minutes ago, JCopp said:

Question! Do you even consider taking another cruise with them at 25% off!? Mine and my wife's initial response is No!

And let my hard-earned money go towards paying bonuses for Harry, Katty, et al?  NCL offers nothing that Royal, Carnival, etc. don’t offer, too.  I am with you: NCNCL (Never Cruise Norwegian Cruise Lies).

Edited by Atgatsea

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Just now, AliciaandMark said:

Now the waiting game for us still booked on the 27th sailing..I anticipate changes to itinerary and possibly even embarkation port but don’t expect they’ll cancel. 

What are they going to do with the ship for 10 days? Just let it sit in Singapore?

Maybe they will change the embarkation port, if so it will be a significant change and we can get a full refund.

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5 minutes ago, Newleno said:

?? say what, ah the reason was because vietnam was not going to let them dock/tender

Ok Whatever.  

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1 minute ago, MazzyKn said:

What are they going to do with the ship for 10 days? Just let it sit in Singapore?

Maybe they will change the embarkation port, if so it will be a significant change and we can get a full refund.

Continue putting pressure on them.  They are still selling rooms!  Contact the reporter who reached out to us, tweet them, tell your friends about their unscrupulous behavior.  

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