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Norwegian Unresponsive to the Coronavirus in Asia

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I am happy NCL have finally cancelled the 17th cruise (albeit forced to) but why are they offering 25% FCC and 1 year to use it while the guests that have had the cruises on the spirit cancelled only offered 10% and 45 days to use it

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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!

Same!

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I called NCL, because I had questions about the flight refunds/cancellations/etc, since we booked ourselves.

 

The phone rep gave me the NCL Customer Service line, which she suggested calling directly: 866-625-1164.

When you call it actually says "fill out the form online and we'll get back to you!" NO ONE ANSWERS THAT PHONE NUMBER
NOT A JOKE
 
We need to pin down NCL to make sure they will both cover our flight change from HK to Singapore (as they initially said they would) and then ALSO the cancelation fees for the flights now.
 
This is absolutely the worst company I have ever interacted with.

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Yeah, we are very, very iffy about ever sailing with NCL again. Maybe it's time to upgrade ourselves and graduate to a serious cruise line, even if it's more expensive.

 

We are so relieved that the 17 Feb sailing has been cancelled. Sure, it'll be strange staying home for the holidays. Maybe we'll drive to Portugal or the Czech republic instead. The world is our oyster!

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10 minutes 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.

I doubt that they'll just leave it there. They'll probably move it and then tell us we have to change our flights to board the ship at a new location.  Which won't do us any good at all because we're traveling to Singapore on a one-way frequent flyer ticket and I seriously doubt that we'd be able to find an airline with FF seats available to the new location at the last minute.

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9 minutes ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

I called NCL, because I had questions about the flight refunds/cancellations/etc, since we booked ourselves.

 

The phone rep gave me the NCL Customer Service line, which she suggested calling directly: 866-625-1164.

When you call it actually says "fill out the form online and we'll get back to you!" NO ONE ANSWERS THAT PHONE NUMBER
NOT A JOKE
 
We need to pin down NCL to make sure they will both cover our flight change from HK to Singapore (as they initially said they would) and then ALSO the cancelation fees for the flights now.
 
This is absolutely the worst company I have ever interacted with.

Hi, try these email addresses. I’ve gotten direct responses and they seem to be responding. 
 

jrose@ncl.com
kbyrd@ncl.com

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27 minutes ago, Newleno said:

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

Please, but for the social media campaign and press attention people caused, NCL would’ve just created three extra days at sea and still forced this cruise. Exactly what they did for the 2/6 cruise. 

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I predict the 27th will be cancelled within a day or two. This thing is getting much worse by the day. 47 new cases on the Diamond Princess overnight. It sounds like it is airborne. No one wants a ship like that parked in their harbor.

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Does anyone know what happened to the other cost of the holiday for people that booked through tour operators, did they get a full refund of the total holiday? My parents are going on NJ with NCL on 27th Feb but they are staying in Singapore for a couple of days before and it's all booked with Planet Cruise/Iglu. Would they get the total cost of their holiday back if it's cancelled?

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22 hours ago, Atgatsea said:

Maybe NCL is playing chicken to get as many voluntary cancellations (forfeit refund/credit) so that they do not have to issue as many refunds should they cancel last minute.

Bingo!

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1 hour ago, Ongley said:

Does anyone know what happened to the other cost of the holiday for people that booked through tour operators, did they get a full refund of the total holiday? My parents are going on NJ with NCL on 27th Feb but they are staying in Singapore for a couple of days before and it's all booked with Planet Cruise/Iglu. Would they get the total cost of their holiday back if it's cancelled?

Getting information out of them is like pulling teeth.  If they give you a hard time, try talking to the reporter who contacted this thread.  Just because they caved on the 17th sailing doesn’t mean NCL won’t continue doing this to others.

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2 hours ago, Masekr11 said:

Please, but for the social media campaign and press attention people caused, NCL would’ve just created three extra days at sea and still forced this cruise. Exactly what they did for the 2/6 cruise. 

They would have kept Vietnam on the itinerary and then invoked the clause stating they have the right to cancel, alter, substitute any port for any reason (again) while on the cruise and then told us to it was someone else’s fault.

Edited by Atgatsea

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2 hours ago, cybergremlin said:

I am happy NCL have finally cancelled the 17th cruise (albeit forced to) but why are they offering 25% FCC and 1 year to use it while the guests that have had the cruises on the spirit cancelled only offered 10% and 45 days to use it

My hope is they do right by everyone, including the people on the 2/6 and 2/17 sailings as well as take care of those impacted by the cancellations on the Spirit.

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I was booked to go on my first Norwegian cruise sailing out of Venus on the Dawn July 5th.  Reading how Norwegian has handled this crisis versus the other cruise lines I have cancelled my cruise.  I will go back to sailing on Royal Caribbean and Carnival like I always have.  I think people are crazy to not cancel a cruise with this company if you still have time to without penalty.

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8 minutes ago, AIO Cruiser said:

I was booked to go on my first Norwegian cruise sailing out of Venus on the Dawn July 5th.  Reading how Norwegian has handled this crisis versus the other cruise lines I have cancelled my cruise.  I will go back to sailing on Royal Caribbean and Carnival like I always have.  I think people are crazy to not cancel a cruise with this company if you still have time to without penalty.

Bravo! 

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To the group - there are several other threads on Cruise Critic where cruisers are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences with NCL.  I have started posting and encourage others to do the same so that unsuspecting people know, at least, NCL’s nature and their priorities.

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25 minutes ago, AIO Cruiser said:

I was booked to go on my first Norwegian cruise sailing out of Venus on the Dawn July 5th.  Reading how Norwegian has handled this crisis versus the other cruise lines I have cancelled my cruise.  I will go back to sailing on Royal Caribbean and Carnival like I always have.  I think people are crazy to not cancel a cruise with this company if you still have time to without penalty.

Good choice! Makes me very happy to hear!

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1 hour ago, AIO Cruiser said:

I was booked to go on my first Norwegian cruise sailing out of Venus on the Dawn July 5th.  Reading how Norwegian has handled this crisis versus the other cruise lines I have cancelled my cruise.  I will go back to sailing on Royal Caribbean and Carnival like I always have.  I think people are crazy to not cancel a cruise with this company if you still have time to without penalty.

I'm guessing sailing out of Venus would have been another one of those last minute cancellations, good thing you didn't purchase any airline tickets.

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1 hour ago, AIO Cruiser said:

I was booked to go on my first Norwegian cruise sailing out of Venus on the Dawn July 5th.  Reading how Norwegian has handled this crisis versus the other cruise lines I have cancelled my cruise.  I will go back to sailing on Royal Caribbean and Carnival like I always have.  I think people are crazy to not cancel a cruise with this company if you still have time to without penalty.

 

We were scheduled with RCCL last year to go to Cuba - they handled that debacle well.  We are scheduled for Alaska with NCL in a few months.  I wish I had not already made final payment when this all came out because I would cancel.  We had planned a 11 day Italy cruise next year with NCL - I have cancelled.  Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.  Back to RCCL

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15 minutes ago, MargaretatMittagong said:

We are booked on 27Feb cruise I just logged onto my cruise. Says we are at sea 20 days

5095188D-2FB4-477E-A2F5-B1A8114626F6.png

 

Yeah, I posted about that earlier today on our roll call thread, as well as the response I received from NCL, which was basically that they knew nothing about it and it was probably an IT glitch (yeah, right).  

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I just wanted to post a summary of my thoughts about NCL, and the complete debacle over the canceled 17th February 2020 Hong Kong to Singapore Jade sailing.

 

As a guest on this voyage, I can say that without a doubt, NCL handled this terribly. Not just bad, but "how do you continue to function as a brand?" bad.  

 

NCL's idea of proactive messaging consisted of issuing the same statement regarding the coronavirus over and over and over, posting it repeatedly in the cruise critic forums and our roll call with no further details or context. Sometimes they changed details, or removed info with each posting, but it was largely a cut and paste job assigned to an entry level PR intern. While other lines offered transparency, NCL’s angle was “coronavirus is an issue, and we're SUPER concerned, but guys, it's really not a big deal!” Other lines posted banners on their sites with up-to-the minute details, sometimes updated multiple times a day. As of my writing this, a search for “coronavirus” on the NCL website only brings up the stock message posted on CC by NCL, which last updated yesterday. A search for Jade brings up… nothing relevant to the canceled 17 February sailing.

 

After Hong Kong slowly began to shut down, other cruise lines proactively switched ports, or canceled cruises outright. NCL waited until the government of Hong Kong forcibly closed the port to take any public steps, moving our departure port to Singapore. While moving the embarkation port over 1,600 miles away (like if Carnival changed a boarding from Miami to Venezuela 10 days before departure), they made it clear that anyone who disagreed or decided not to go would get 0% refund, no future cruise credit, and loose all of their money.

 

If you did sail, NCL offered a 10% refund of the cruise cost paid, and a 25% future cruise credit of the fare paid. Additionally, they said they would cover “reasonable” flight changes from Hong Kong to Singapore.

 

This is where things started to go off the rails: what is “reasonable?” Who would even write such a nebulous phrase in a corporate message dealing with money? Changing a flight from one Southeast Asian city to another a week before departure isn’t exactly inexpensive! It took multiple calls to NCL to get anyone to provide feedback, which was “economy to economy” would be covered, but not if you changed your economy fare tickets to business class. Was this true? Who knows, because my only knowledge of that was from one phone rep who asked her manager.

 

It got even better after I called Delta and changed the flights. When I tried submitted claims as directed to in the message, I ran into the next snafu: the NCL claims system won’t accept claims on a sailing that hasn’t happened yet… the calendar won’t let you select a future sail date. A call to NCL provided more context: the phone rep explained that the line didn’t want people changing their flights, submitting a claim, and then canceling everything and not going on the cruise. While this actually makes no sense (how would you come out ahead if you forfeited your entire cruise fare AND had to pay for flight change fees), that was their position. For many of us, we’ve spent hundreds of dollars per-person on flight changes. If we’ll get that money back, we have no assurances.

 

Even better was NCL’s position of 0% refunds. If you canceled your departure, you would simply loose everything. Compare this to every other competitor in the region, which offered generous cancelations and future cruise credits because of the extraordinary situation. NCL’s public angle appeared to be saying that COVID-19 was serious in statements, but not really and everything was great and you had to go on the voyage because they said you did.

 

Granted, legally the cruise line was entirely within their rights to do this, but from a consumer standpoint, this is about as short-sighted a perspective as I’ve ever seen.

 

This morning, things went even more bonkers. British guest on CC and in our FB group reported getting called by the travel agents, saying the cruise was full canceled. I immediately hopped on the phone, and called NCL directly. Inexplicably, the phone reps in their call center had NO IDEA the voyage had been canceled. I hung up and called the TA I’d used. She called the TA desk at NCL, and got the same response. I called NCL back, and the phone rep AT NCL said “actually, a lot of times they keep the TAs updated sooner than we find out,” which was about as galling a thing as an employee of any company has ever said to me.

 

After about an hour, I realized that NCL had taken the extraordinarily shortsighted step to tell their British travel agents that the voyage was canceled, before their own staff.

 

I called NCL back, and while on the phone I finally received the email from NCL saying that the cruise was canceled. This email offered a full refund, a very generous 25% future cruise credit (sarcasm intended), and $300 per person in airline cancelation fees. When I started asking the phone rep questions, she gave me the customer service phone number, and assured me they were available at that number until 5:30 pm.

 

The kicker is when I called the “customer service” number provided, NCL appears to have just inserted a recording that says “for customer service, got to the website and open a claim.” In other words, there is no human at NCL I can speak to to answer any questions!

 

What are those questions? I’m glad you asked:

 

  • Will we get our flight changes covered for the Hong Kong transitions to Singapore as originally assured? Mine are certainly more than $300 per person, so who knows if I’ll ever get this money.
  • When will we get our refunds?
  • Will the refund be lump sum, or piecemeal for any of the add-ons we’ve purchased, like internet packages, dining, prepaid service charges?
  • What about the cruise next vouchers we redeemed for this voyage? Are those refunded? Returned to our account? Gone into the ether?
  • What about the guests who have already departed and are in Singapore, or en-route? Other lines have been super helpful regarding this, but NCL’s lack of comment on these guests speaks volumes.

 

Ultimately, NCL’s horrendous behavior during this extraordinary situation gives me little confidence I’ll be able to get answers to any of these questions, or that they’ll actually do the right thing.

 

While other companies seem to realize that a heartfelt apology and efforts to mitigate a situation for their guests goes a long way, NCL’s playbook is to just ignore us until they can’t, and then to do the bare minimum. This entire experience has left such a horrendous taste in many passengers mouth that many have said they have no intention of using the 25% future cruise credit. The front line staff on the ships may be great, but at a corporate level, NCL have no souls.

 

Let this be a warning to everyone considering an NCL cruise at this point, or at any point in the future: NCL did this to me, and they can do it to you too. You may not know when, and you may not know how, but as a corporate organization, they are actually, demonstrably bad people, who seem incapable of mustering up even a basic human level of compassion of understanding for their guests or passengers.

 

All I really wanted during this entire debacle was someone, anyone at NCL to say “you know, this really stinks, but we’re working on it because we appreciate you spending your time and money with us.”

 

Sadly, that’s not what we got.

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