NCL Epic Cruise Failure Feb 9-16, 2019

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Apr 27, 2019
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Eastern Caribbean itinerary experienced severe engine issues day 2. We were told we wouldn't be able to proceed to first two stops, but we would go to Puerto Rico instead to have the ships' workers "assess the situation". Upon docking in Puerto Rico, collision with moorings made headlines news. Video available on youtube. It was only at this point (bad PR) that NCL offered passengers 50% credit towards future travel.
The next day we headed towards NCL private island in Bahamas but engine issues persisted. We were told we were no longer making a stop in the Bahamas as we needed to get back, but NCL would issue all passengers 100% credit. The ship was traveling very slowly. The following day passengers were informed that scheduled arrival would be MUCH later than planned (12 hours late). Recognizing that this would have a negative impact on some passengers, NCL would provide a $300 credit towards flight changes. Our airline (Air Transat) only had scheduled flights on Thurs, Fri and Sat. Due to late arrival, we were going to miss the Saturday flight. We had no choice but to
book new last-minute flights on another airline which cost more than $300/pp.
Upon returning from the cruise, we tried calling Guest Relations. No one ever answered the phone. Several email forms were submitted without attention. Through Elliott org we obtained names of senior people at NCL (V. Ewart and A.Morris). It worked, because our emails were answered immediately by a customer service coordinator ( D.Gonzalez) and then a customer service supervisor (T. Robertson). However, after all of this waiting and chasing people down, NCL refuses to refund us the total amount we were out of pocket as a result of their faulty engines. Would like some way to appeal this matter. Doesn't seem right that we would have to suck up any additional costs due to no fault of our own. Thoughts? Help please.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I'm assuming you didn't have travel insurance? How about the credit cards you paid for the trip with? Unfortunately I wouldn't think NCL will pay for the fact that you picked an airline whose next flight was 5 days away, but others may have a different idea. Did they at least give you the $300pp promised?
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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1) Did you book your flights on your own? Did you use a TA? Did you use NCL's air/sea program?
2) Has NCL issued you the 100% credit and $300/person credit already?
3) What are your out of pocket costs?

You may be surprised, but if you look at your contract, you will likely find language like this ""Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity. Carrier shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever by passenger, including but not limited to loss, compensation or refund, by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation.""

So, legally, NCL doesn't owe you anything. Yes, that is a one sided contract. No, it's not right, but that is the nature of the beast. The cruise credit and airfare credits are a gesture of goodwill. Had you booked your airfare on an airline with daily scheduled flights, the return flight wouldn't be as much of an issue. Hence question #1. Your case would be strengthened if you had used NCL's air/sea program.

I am doubtful that NCL will reimburse you much more than the $300/person already promised. As @Christina H asked, how far up the ladder have you gone?
 
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Apr 27, 2019
3
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43
1) Did you book your flights on your own? Did you use a TA? Did you use NCL's air/sea program?
2) Has NCL issued you the 100% credit and $300/person credit already?
3) What are your out of pocket costs?

You may be surprised, but if you look at your contract, you will likely find language like this ""Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity. Carrier shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever by passenger, including but not limited to loss, compensation or refund, by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation.""

So, legally, NCL doesn't owe you anything. Yes, that is a one sided contract. No, it's not right, but that is the nature of the beast. The cruise credit and airfare credits are a gesture of goodwill. Had you booked your airfare on an airline with daily scheduled flights, the return flight wouldn't be as much of an issue. Hence question #1. Your case would be strengthened if you had used NCL's air/sea program.

I am doubtful that NCL will reimburse you much more than the $300/person already promised. As @Christina H asked, how far up the ladder have you gone?

WOW, thanks for such quick responses!
Yes, clearly a one-sided program :(
OK, so I haven't checked with CC company about getting back the difference. Good idea.

Until two days ago, they hadn't moved on the $300 refund. Apparently, they are cutting a cheque now....
Understand about airline schedule not being there problem, however, pretty sure that any flight changes (last minute fare difference) to Toronto would have resulted in penalties greater than the amount provided.
Will look into air/sea program for the next cruise.
Thank you!
 
Apr 27, 2019
3
0
1
43
I'm assuming you didn't have travel insurance? How about the credit cards you paid for the trip with? Unfortunately I wouldn't think NCL will pay for the fact that you picked an airline whose next flight was 5 days away, but others may have a different idea. Did they at least give you the $300pp promised?
No payment yet, but they are working on it.
Going to check CC coverage. Thanks!
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Will look into air/sea program for the next cruise.
Thank you!
I don't want you to misinterpret my post. I'm not advocating the air/sea program, because issues can arise from using this also. A common issue is they may choose flights that have meets a minimum connect time (MCT) but is not practical, or they may have you fly into port the morning of the cruise which is also ill advised.

To protect yourself, you need to be informed, and aware of the pros and cons of your options as well as your personal risk tolerance. DIY travel is great, but has its disadvantages. On the other hand, not all travel agents are experienced.

For your future cruise, look at all your options and consider a cruise specialist.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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WOW, thanks for such quick responses!
Yes, clearly a one-sided program :(
OK, so I haven't checked with CC company about getting back the difference. Good idea.

Until two days ago, they hadn't moved on the $300 refund. Apparently, they are cutting a cheque now....
Understand about airline schedule not being there problem, however, pretty sure that any flight changes (last minute fare difference) to Toronto would have resulted in penalties greater than the amount provided.
Will look into air/sea program for the next cruise.
Thank you!
You can certainly look into the air/sea program for your next cruise, but I've never met anyone who was happy with air booked by the cruise line. Personally, I've had one good outcome and am awaiting the second on a cruise in November ... but I know exactly what I want and make it clear that anything else is not acceptable ... I make sure they know that I'll just cancel the whole trip. This all happens early on, of course.

I think Chris asked because it's important for your case to know who booked your air for this cruise. I'm not sure what the Canadian airlines charge for changing/cancelling a tix, but you should definitely know what those penalties are before you book.
 
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