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Norwegian Unresponsive to the Coronavirus in Asia


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3 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

Give it another week or so and the cruise lines will begin cancelling cruises. Ports will start closing themselves off to ships as more people appear as infected on ships, and the ships are refused normal entry. Even air travel is going to start spiralling down rapidly to/from the worst infected areas (not just China). Singapore is going a great job with notifications, but they are smart and well organised. I would suspect that they will be one of the first countries to close their port, and possibly their land border with Malaysia, which last time I looked had zero cases - which is a joke. The cruise lines know what is up. I saw cruises advertised as 50% off yesterday.

This is just the beginning.

 

I was thinking the same, more Asian ports outright closing.  A we can do is speculate, perhaps NCL was originally silent because they have insider info how close other Asian ports are to shutting down and therefore didn't want to announce HK to singapore due to singapore being close to closing but had to say something once the HK port close.

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48 minutes ago, Maya1234 said:

“This doesn't appear accurate; this can't possibly be the first time this has happened (and won't be the last either)”

 

 

The law is a great deal more complicated than you seem to understand. For example did you know that “any other reason whatsoever “ has been interpreted by a myriad of courts NOT to mean “any reason”? The reason must be “ like such as” the listed reasons. (I’m not saying the closing of the port does not qualify) ...just that language in a contract is nowhere near as cut and dry as you might imagine. Is a “ port of call” a embarkation port? Probably not given that adhesion contracts like this are interpreted against NCL. Whether “ substituting a scheduled sailing” equates to completely changing the departure point is a more  open question. Could they change a sailing from NYC to a departure from Greece? Seems pretty clear not so where is the line drawn? Not clear.  Our research shows that cruise lines haven’t wanted to have a ruling on the books on  this and have settled out of court when pushed by legal counsel. 

Thanks for posting this.

 

Many people in my area drive to port.  I think cruisers would be angry if a cruiseline substituted a embarkation port requiring a 3 hour longer drive without allowing refunds.  Imagine the anger if the new port required a flight!

 

Once the embarkation and/or disembarkation ports change substantially, I think the cruiseline should offer passengers the option of cancelling with a refund.  To me as a cruiser, that is fundamentally different from changing ports of call visited during the cruise.

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25 minutes ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

I was thinking the same, more Asian ports outright closing.  A we can do is speculate, perhaps NCL was originally silent because they have insider info how close other Asian ports are to shutting down and therefore didn't want to announce HK to singapore due to singapore being close to closing but had to say something once the HK port close.

People seem to think that changing ports is like deciding to park in the west parking structure today instead of the north parking structure at your office. Not that easy, especially if it is an embarkation or disembarkation port. It is a lot more than sending out an email. Especially when all cruise lines are trying to simultaneously make decisions. 

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24 minutes ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

I was thinking the same, more Asian ports outright closing.  A we can do is speculate, perhaps NCL was originally silent because they have insider info how close other Asian ports are to shutting down and therefore didn't want to announce HK to singapore due to singapore being close to closing but had to say something once the HK port close.

 

No, they were originally silent because they were making no changes to itineraries. Most fair minded people acknowledge that. Even NCL has acknowledged that in their response to the USA Today article.

 

Make no mistake about this, the one and only reason NCL is changing itineraries less than 24 hours prior to departure is because they are being forced to do so. 

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3 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

People seem to think that changing ports is like deciding to park in the west parking structure today instead of the north parking structure at your office. Not that easy, especially if it is an embarkation or disembarkation port. It is a lot more than sending out an email. Especially when all cruise lines are trying to simultaneously make decisions. 

.....so then you'd surely acknowledge the same would be true for passengers trying to rearrange flights, many international, given very short notice, to and from areas where the Coronavirus has presented itself.

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“Don't lawyers have free consultations?  If its inevitable you're going to lawyer up, save your time and energy and let the experts get the answers for you.  It would be very surprising that NCL wouldn't protect themselves from the embarkment port. “

 

lol. I am an attorney and we, as well as many law firms around the world, are discussing and researching the effects of Coronavirus on a variety of businesses. Cruise, airline and other travel  which involve “contracts of adhesion”  ( meaning one sided in favor of the drafting party with no negotiation...take it or leave it ) is a big topic of interest. One of my partners presented on the issue this morning. He pointed out the lack of clarity with regards to change of embarkation vs other port of call changes. 

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The cruise lines will very soon start to self police. If there is a real risk that a ship will be put into quarantine for two weeks they won't even sail. They still need to support the passengers, pay the crew, and run the ship, but that costs a lot of money if only 7 days out of a 14 day quarantine period has been funded by fares. Plus, there is a 100% loss on the subsequent sailing while the ship sits somewhere. Then there is the decontamination period. A ship that is quarantined costs a lot of money. A ship that is refused port entry then needs to find another port, and the cruise line needs to somehow evacuate the sick, and arrange for re-supply. It's a total nightmare. Cancelling a cruise and just tying up an empty ship and sending the crew home unpaid costs way less money. Cathay Pacific have just asked their workers to take unpaid time off because they can't fly out of HK. "It has offered a voluntary special leave scheme to all employees from 1 March to 30 June. The airline said that preserving cash was "key to protecting" its business."

 

The cruise lines are in a terrible situation. Nothing good will come of this, except for the lawyers. 

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Just flagging to anyone who has already changed their flights to Singapore for the upcoming Jade cruise: 

 

I just got off the phone with NCL (again), after I couldn't figure out how to submit my claim for flight changes via the website. When you go to the "contact us" link as instructed to submit a claim, you need to enter your reservation number, cabin, sail date, etc.

 

Unfortunately, the sail date can't be in the future: that is, you can't select 17 Feb and submit my ticket changes now. 

 

Per the NCL rep (after asking management), you can only claim the flight changes after you are onboard and sailing on the Jade on the 17th. Essentially, NCL doesn't want someone submitting a ticket change, and then canceling their trip outright (and pocketing the extra money). 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

Just flagging to anyone who has already changed their flights to Singapore for the upcoming Jade cruise: 

 

I just got off the phone with NCL (again), after I couldn't figure out how to submit my claim for flight changes via the website. When you go to the "contact us" link as instructed to submit a claim, you need to enter your reservation number, cabin, sail date, etc.

 

Unfortunately, the sail date can't be in the future: that is, you can't select 17 Feb and submit my ticket changes now. 

 

Per the NCL rep (after asking management), you can only claim the flight changes after you are onboard and sailing on the Jade on the 17th. Essentially, NCL doesn't want someone submitting a ticket change, and then canceling their trip outright (and pocketing the extra money). 

 

 

Can you help to explain what exactly are NCL prepared to pay. We need to rearrange our flights from HongKong to Singapore. Qatar airlines are waving the change fee but want £1200 ($1550) for the new flights. So what are you claiming from NCL?

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26 minutes ago, ppcox said:

Can you help to explain what exactly are NCL prepared to pay. 

 

That's a great question. I've had more than one call with NCL phone reps today, and there hasn't really been a firm answer. 

 

Our two tickets from NY ended up costing about $550 USD each to change, which I'd consider reasonable seeing that we're attempting to alter international flights departing in 9 days. I'll be submitting a claim for this amount, and I can't imagine that NCL would actually dispute that number. 

 

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9 hours ago, SeaShark said:

 

First, Norwegian shouldn't have to tell them anything...the guest can read the policy and see what it does, and does not, cover. That it does not cover epidemics will be in there in black & white for all to see...nobody has to be told. I'm surprised that they haven't read the policy on their own (if they had, they wouldn't need to be told what is, and is not, covered).

 

Second, how exactly did NCL not act in good faith? Did they violate the contract with the guest? Did they fail to uphold their end of the agreement? Did the customer have insurance that covered a specific occurrence and they weren't paid for that? If you don't have insurance that covers epidemics, then you can't ask for payment because of an epidemic. Not paying someone who is not insured for an event is not "bad faith".

Simple, I walk away. I as the consumer will not forget. Simple I say. Never again. First NCL Must address this. 3 large cruise ships under quarantine ? Hmmm,, you address this like a few days ago. Yes they have the staff. Yes they know better. If they do not then its not a company I need to spend my hard earned money on. Period. Not upset. Not mad. Its business, be it good or bad. Thank you. 

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I feel really bad for the folks in "limbo" right now who have a booked cruise in the area and aren't sure what the heck is going on.  That's pretty stressful. 

 

I'm still not clear if those who booked the NCL insurance "CANCEL FOR ANY REASON" (their caps not mine) insurance are still getting a 75% or 90% cruise credit for a future cruise?  That was the deal I signed up for...and the NCL rep who signed me up for it explained in some detail using examples.   

 

Since some of you seem to have each article of NCL's contracts committed to memory, enlighten me and others, I have bought the NCL insurance "CANCEL FOR ANY REASON".  So if Coronavirus spreads (and of course we hope it doesn't)...I cannot change my cruise and postpone it for fear of this reason?  But if I forget my passport at my house (real example my NCL rep gave me), I can postpone and get 75% credit towards that new cruise? (package I paid for)

 

Very confused.

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The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority. We have proactively implemented several preventative measures outlined below due to growing concerns regarding Coronavirus infections in China. We will continue to consult with The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and take appropriate additional action as needed. 

 

Policies currently in place include:

  • Guests who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 30 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels. The standard incubation period recognized by the WHO and US CDC for this virus is 14 days.
    • Guests who are denied boarding will be issued a refund when they provide proof of travel.

 

  • The recent Hong Kong port closure will result in itinerary modifications and we will share the revised itinerary as well as further details as they become available.

 

  • Prior to the port closure in Hong Kong, we implemented non-touch temperature screenings for all passengers embarking from this destination and any guest who registered a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius or higher, were not allowed to board. Guests on these voyages were also subject to temperature screenings when returning from shore excursions at ports of call.
    • Guests who were unable to sail due to a high temperature were advised to open a travel insurance claim with their insurance provider.

 

  • For all guests, we will continue standard pre-boarding health reporting and evaluation. Any guests who appear symptomatic are subject to pre-boarding medical evaluations including but not limited to temperature checks as deemed necessary.

 

  • Any guest who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening at our onboard Medical Center and may be subject to potential quarantine and disembarkation.

 

  • We have implemented additional cleaning and disinfection protocols on board all voyages. These protocols will be enforced in addition to our already rigorous sanitization standards in place.

 

  • Our crew members who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau within 30 days will not be allowed on board our ships.

 

  • Singapore and the Philippines are not currently allowing Chinese nationals to disembark at their ports. Guests with a Chinese passport who are traveling on voyages that disembark in one of these regions will not be allowed on board our ships. If additional port restrictions are put into place we may have to modify this policy as needed.
    • Guests who are denied boarding due to this will be issued a refund.

 

The above measures will remain in effect until further notice and are subject to change at any time as we evaluate the situation and continue to consult with local health authorities as well as the WHO and US CDC.  

 

At this time, we have made a number of itinerary changes and none of our vessels are currently calling to ports in mainland China.  We also have the flexibility to alter our itineraries as needed to avoid areas of concern. All itineraries that call in mainland China for the next six months are currently under review and we will communicate any itinerary revisions as soon as possible. As always, we will closely monitor the situation and take appropriate action as necessary.

 

We apologize for the inconvenience to any guests affected by these measures put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all our guests and crew. 

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42 minutes ago, Norwegian Cruise Line said:

Any guest who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening at our onboard Medical Center and may be subject to potential quarantine and disembarkation.

 

I find this policy interesting.

 

So, if I'm concerned about getting sick onboard and want to exercise caution and stay home, I lose my entire cruise fare?

 

But if I don't want to lose my cruise investment and end up cruising and get sick onboard, NCL could attempt to have me disembarked and sent home mid-cruise?

 

Oy vey. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Edited by blcruising
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1 minute ago, blcruising said:

 

I find this policy interesting.

 

So, if I'm concerned about getting sick onboard and want to exercise caution and stay home, I lose my entire cruise fare?

 

But if I end up cruising and get sick onboard, NCL could attempt to have me disembarked and sent home mid-cruise?

 

Oy vey. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Ridiculous !!! Cancel the bloody thing & refund your customers - we will be back and honour you (NCL) .. at this point too many people are inconvenienced , frustrated and will move on to other companies ( ourselves included).

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Just now, Bevi65 said:

Ridiculous !!! Cancel the bloody thing & refund your customers - we will be back and honour you (NCL) .. at this point too many people are inconvenienced , frustrated and will move on to other companies ( ourselves included).

Seems so obvious, doesn't it? It defies common sense.

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5 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 

I find this policy interesting.

 

So, if I'm concerned about getting sick onboard and want to exercise caution and stay home, I lose my entire cruise fare?

 

But if I don't want to lose my cruise investment and end up cruising and get sick onboard, NCL could attempt to have me disembarked and sent home mid-cruise?

 

Oy vey. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

 

Might surprise you, but that policy applies to every cruise from every port. Past, present, and future. 

 

You could get sick (ANY illness, not just coronavirus) on any cruise which could result in your being quarantined and possibly debarked.

 

Nothing new in that policy.

 

 

I am ALWAYS concerned about getting sick on a cruise...and I will be long after coronavirus is a thing of the past...doesn't mean I have a built-in excuse to void the cancellation penalties portion of my agreement.

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10 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

Might surprise you, but that policy applies to every cruise from every port. Past, present, and future. 

 

You could get sick (ANY illness, not just coronavirus) on any cruise which could result in your being quarantined and possibly debarked.

 

Nothing new in that policy.

 

 

I am ALWAYS concerned about getting sick on a cruise...and I will be long after coronavirus is a thing of the past...doesn't mean I have a built-in excuse to void the cancellation penalties portion of my agreement.

 

While the policy is the same, the situation here is greatly different. They are effectively requiring passengers to sail in and through areas where they already know there is a higher than normal risk. Just look at the Diamond and then the Ocean Dream situation. To post a policy like they've posted in light of these known facts is ridiculous.

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Norwegian have no option. They either shut down operations entirely, or they try to

mitigate the damage and quarantine/disembark the sick. Give them credit with the scope of the travel restrictions that they are implementing, and the 30 day rule. That 30 day rule only came out from the CDC in the last couple of days. I feel sorry for anyone who hopes to cruise or fly within the next year or so. We have a trip to a concert in Dallas in June, and my wife (ICU RN) is seriously looking to just pull the pin and take our losses if things don’t improve radically by then. 

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17 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 

While the policy is the same, the situation here is greatly different. They are effectively requiring passengers to sail in and through areas where they already know there is a higher than normal risk. Just look at the Diamond and then the Ocean Dream situation. To post a policy like they've posted in light of these known facts is ridiculous.

What would worry me is getting quarantined on a ship for two weeks, flying home, and then getting quarantined for another two to four weeks for flying out of a no-go area, after having possible contact with the infected. 
The CDC are increasing the monitoring period to 30 days, because people are asymptomatic for 14 days, and are then getting a bit sick for another 7, before rolling up at a hospital some time after that when they have already been running around infectious for a couple of weeks. In a way that is better, as the really sick people go to hospital very early and don’t get to share, but the not very sick ones get to spread it around a bit more. Over time that eradicates the illness, and is actually better for everyone, as most people end up getting the regular unleaded version, and not the killer high octane one.  

Edited by elwood_98034
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17 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

Norwegian have no option. They either shut down operations entirely, or they try to

mitigate the damage and quarantine/disembark the sick. Give them credit with the scope of the travel restrictions that they are implementing, and the 30 day rule. That 30 day rule only came out from the CDC in the last couple of days. I feel sorry for anyone who hopes to cruise or fly within the next year or so. We have a trip to a concert in Dallas in June, and my wife (ICU RN) is seriously looking to just pull the pin and take our losses if things don’t improve radically by then. 

 

They had an option to be proactive a week or so ago, but chose not to be. Now, you're right, they can only react to the situation and try to mitigate things.

 

They've already played the odds and lost when Hong Kong closed up shop. Now they have people scrambling to reschedule flights a day or a week before their sailing.

 

Next, they have to hope no one gets sick on the next two Jade sailings or shows up infected but isn't caught in the screening. Because they could be dealing with the same, or maybe even worse, as Diamond Princess is dealing with. No port is going to allow NCL to debark 1,500 passengers (these aren't sold out sailigs) that could have been subject to the virus.

 

I am praying that no one gets sick on these next two Jade sailings.

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30 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 

They had an option to be proactive a week or so ago, but chose not to be. Now, you're right, they can only react to the situation and try to mitigate things.

 

They've already played the odds and lost when Hong Kong closed up shop. Now they have people scrambling to reschedule flights a day or a week before their sailing.

 

Next, they have to hope no one gets sick on the next two Jade sailings or shows up infected but isn't caught in the screening. Because they could be dealing with the same, or maybe even worse, as Diamond Princess is dealing with. No port is going to allow NCL to debark 1,500 passengers (these aren't sold out sailigs) that could have been subject to the virus.

 

I am praying that no one gets sick on these next two Jade sailings.

Every day at work we are getting new guidance coming out referencing the CDC and our local Department of Health. I honestly don't think anyone has a handle on this, and I fear that the Chinese wouldn't be totally open and frank regarding the severity of the disease. I think Norwegian and the travel industry as a whole have suddenly discovered that they have a tar baby on their hands, and are doing their best to not go out of business entirely if this thing gets worse, and the entire industry shuts down, either from port closures, or the public panicking and staying home en mass.

 

Everybody is going to be affected by this. You, me, them. Everybody.

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Who pays when a ship gets quarantined? I am thinking the cruise line has to pay the port fees and extra food in addition to refunding passengers who will miss cruise because the ship us quarantined. Also does cruise l iui be pay for return flights after quarantine? Seems like canceling a cruise would be less expensive for the cruise line than risking a 14 day quarantine?

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36 minutes ago, MoniMommy said:

Seems like canceling a cruise would be less expensive for the cruise line than risking a 14 day quarantine?

Agree. If another ship faces this especially from a passenger who was unlikely to be screened out (say a US citizen who hadn’t traveled out of country) there is going to be a greater likelihood of cancellation than facing this mess. 

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