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gamecockks 04-30-2008 08:09 AM

Norwegian Customer Service is undoubtedly the WORST in the industry. Our family (my parents, two sisters, their husbands and four children...a total of 11 of us), booked a five (5) night cruise in September, 2007, on the Norwegian Jewel for December 16, 2007, to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. We were involved in a head on collision that was not our fault after a pick-up truck crossed the median on I95 and struck us head on 100 miles from Miami, the morning of the date of departure and we all were hospitalized, some overnight. Of course none of us were able to go on the cruise. When we returned from Miami, we contacted Norwegian to ask if they might be willing to help us with some type of credit for a future cruise. Their Customer Service department informed us that they did make certain exceptions with regard to credit for missed cruises and stated that we would need to send a formal letter with documentation to their Customer Service department. We spent three days and countless hours putting together the letter and documentation only to get a response three weeks later stating that it would be unfair to other NCL customers that had accepted their terms and conditions if they were to issue us any type of credit or even partial credit and that there were NO exceptions! We spent a number of hours on the phone with Customer Service representatives and even two "Executive Assistants", to the CEO. We were floored when two of those "Executive Assistants", actually said it was "too bad"! It was incredible to us that not only did they flatly say "NO!" to our request, but they were rude and uncaring. Their Customer Service department had instructed us during a difficult and traumatic time to organize and draft a letter with documentation of our ordeal for credit or even partial credit on a future cruise, and then later sent us a letter stating that they would never have even considered the request to begin with. We had never sailed on a NCL ship before and obviously we never will in the future. We have, however, sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Celebrity and have never had an experience with their Customer Service department even remotely similar to that of the experience we had with NCL. It is just incredible that NCL Customer Service, after intentionally leading us to believe we could expect some type of consideration, would then dismiss that request and callously declare that there would never be any exceptions! How could it possibly be a good business decision to dismiss our request for even partial credit, despite our having received prior instructions from their own Customer Service department to make that request? NCL, to our amazement, totally discounted the opportunity to make 11 new and forever loyal NCL customers for life. They never showed any kind of empathy and quite frankly became belligerent, annoyed and rude during phone conversations. Our friend who actually did make the cruise because he flew reported that the entertainment and food on the ship were average, but that the rooms were cramped and the Customer Service on the ship was every bit as lacking as that of the Corporate Office! We just want to tell everyone about our horrible experience with NCL and hope that when others choose a cruise line for their travel experience, they will choose a cruise line that values its' customers.

penny3333 04-30-2008 09:00 AM

Sorry to hear of your problems gamecockks, but did you have insurance? Without insurance there is not much they can do. I don't know why they would say they would give consideration to your request, that is not the case with any other cruise line that I know of. Without insurance I know of no recourse, even if you were a repeat customer. I do hope you all have recovered.

Jim C. 04-30-2008 09:06 AM

While I can't and won't debate the rude and uncaring attitude part of your post, I will say that if you read your contract, that is what it says. No refunds that late in the cruise.

I assume you did not purchase trip insurance. This is a good example as to why you should have. I imagine they get a 100 calls a day from people wanting to back out of their cruise or some form a credit because they had a last minute problem and couldn't go on the cruise.

Except for the "rudeness" side of this, you could have expected the same response from any other cruiseline- the contract says "no refunds" after a given date. So their resolution is probably no different than any other cruise line would have given you.

Dave 04-30-2008 12:13 PM

Always get the insurance. There really isn't a good reason not to do so.

Rather than dwell on NCL and their customer service, I'd suggest that the cost of the cruise be included in your claims against the other driver.

I hope everyone is doing well and had no serious or lingering injuries.

Berick1234 04-30-2008 12:29 PM

Like Dave Said...Buy the's well worth it....NCL or any other cruise line would have said the same thing about a rebate...but then again, being rude to any customer isn't right either....Hoping everyone came out of the crash ok...and isn't that the main thing?....
So sorry you missed sailing on the Jewel, you would have like her...

Happy cruising in the future...

Bob E

Sandy 04-30-2008 02:42 PM

Hi gamecockks and welcome to Cruise Chat.

I'm afraid I agree with everyone else on this one. Thank goodness you and your party didn't suffer anything worse than you did from the horrible accident.

The first Customer Service person you spoke to should have told you that you won't get a future credit, instead of having you go through all that work. There is no doubt that any cruise line would have said the same thing. Had your travel agent or NCL (if you booked direct) offer you travel insurance and tell you why you should have it?

And although this is beside the point, could you really have guaranteed that you'd never, ever sail any other cruise line than NCL in the future, even if another line had better food, service, prices and itineraries?

I'm sorry you went through all that you did, and am happy that the accident wasn't more serious than it was.


Dave 04-30-2008 03:46 PM

I've been thinking about this episode and the NCL side is even more clear now. Why should they pay for something that was not their fault? If I was NCL, I'd rightly feel that the driver at fault for the accident bears the responsibility for the lost cruise.

I recently resolved things for an accident that almost killed my wife and son in 2006. My medical insurance paid the fare during my wife's long hospital stay but they required reimbursement when everything was settled - and they deserved it since my wife was not at fault so our insurer should not have to pay. This is no different than the case presented by the OP.

TrvlPro 05-01-2008 10:36 AM


We were involved in a head on collision that was not our fault after a pick-up truck crossed the median on I95 and struck us head on 100 miles from Miami, the morning of the date of departure and we all were hospitalized, some overnight.
First, I'm sorry for your tragedy and thankful everyone survived. That is far more important than the cruise. With that said, as I was reading your post I found the above sentence interesting. You point out that in the accident, you were not at fault. How does your tragic episode become NCLs fault? I agree with Dave that the driver of the truck is where the fault lies. None of us would ever even consider driving without proper insurance (I hope). But when it comes to traveling to foreign countries some of us neglect (and do so willingly, it's always offered) the one thing that would protect us against financial hardship during our vacation. Are you aware that some policies cover you from door to door? So any medical or other expenses you may have incurred even before you boarded the ship would have been covered. Even the evac helecopter flight, if needed, to rush you to the hospital from the crash scene. Cruiselines encourage insurance, not just with profit motive although I'm certain it is profitable or they wouldn't offer it, but also to prevent being faced with just this type of no win senario. You are writing a scathing letter about their service and callous disregard for your circumstances. You won't cruise with them again. You may, with your post, infleunce others not to cruise with them. What exactly did they do wrong. They offer insurance to protect you from such events and you declined to take it even though it is a very small price for the peace of mind and protection it offers. I guess I'm callous and uncaring for brining up the personal responsibility that we all must take responsibility for. NCLs policy is exactly what every cruiseline, airline, car rental company and any other form of travel has in place. A way to protect yourself but no back up plan to bail you out if you decline the coverage. Again, sorry for your accident, but the fault for your loss does not belong in the lap of the cruiseline.

Cheers, Neil

Jim C. 05-01-2008 11:08 AM

Well said Niel. unfortunately I think this is going to turn into another case of a "drive by poster". So we are replying for naught. However, is someone else reads this and then buys insurance, then at least we have helped somebody.

Ron Clark 05-02-2008 12:18 PM

Let me get this right.
A large family books a cruise and fails to show up due to an unfornuate accident. And you want compensation from NCL for a future cruise.

Was NCL at fault?
Did you purchase Travel Insurance that would have covered your lost fares?

Next time I highly suggest you buy Travel Insurance. This is why they exist.

NCL probably lost money because your family failed to show up. While they didn't have to feed your family, they still bought the food to feed them. Your family didn't spend any money at the casino, at the specialty restaurants, at the photo center, for shore excursions, for drinks, etc.

I'm sorry your family had an accident on the way to your cruise, but it wasn't NCL's fault.

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