Sau Hou Chang
Number of Cruises: First One!
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dawn
Sailing Date: May 20th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
You have received so many complaints about the services of cruise line, but none of them is similar to mine. Can you imagine an “international” cruise line would have no idea which customer does not need a visa to go boarding? I would like to share my unpleasant experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) so that you know how ignorant and irresponsible they are.
I was in New York to join the 7-night Bahamas trip (going to Bermuda and Bahamas) on Norwegian Dawn on May 20. I was denied boarding because of the ignorance and incompetence of NCL. When I showed my Macao passport to the cruise staff, she expressed doubt whether I needed a visa to go to Bermuda. The cruise staff contacted another staff in a white uniform who told me that Chinese passport holders needed a visa. I explained to her that my Macao passport was not the same thing as a regular Chinese passport and that I had investigated and ascertained that I did not need any visa to go to Bermuda. In fact, after booking the cruise, I received instructions from Expedia.com, to which I booked the cruise, that infomed me via the CIBT web site about possible visa requirements. I received an e-mail from CIBT on May 15 that I, a Macao passport holder, did not need a visa to go to Bermuda. In addition, I checked the Bermuda immigration regulations provided by NCL web site and learned that Macao is not one of the countries requiring Bermuda entry visas. No matter how I explained this to the cruise staff, I was denied boarding the Norwegian Dawn.
On June 2, I wrote a letter and enclosed the CIBT visa information to NCL and explained the incident and request for a refund and/or appropriate compensation. On June 24, I received a letter back from the NCL who put all the blame on me. I was told that it was my responsibility to check my documentation and guests denied boarding are not entitled to a refund. I wonder if the NCL did investigate the incident before they gave me such a disrespectful response. In fact, I wrote to the Governor to Bermuda about my visa status and got a response from the Deputy Governor’s Office on June 22 that I don’t need a visa to enter Bermuda . If NCL took customer’s letter seriously, they would have checked my visa status before putting the blame on their customers.
I suspect that this is a trick of NCL who are making me quite angry but they want me to give up. How much time and effort must a consumer take to get back their compensation because of the mistakes of the company? Why NCL does not take the responsibility to admit their mistakes?
I will not give up my file because I believe there is consumer rights and justice in the United States! I’ve just sent a letter to the NCL on June 27 to express my dissatisfaction with their irresponsible response to my request. I hope they will take proper action to investigate their mistakes and give me a satisfactory response.
Thanks so much for sharing my story with all those who are concern about consumer rights.
Sau Hou Chang