Refusing to reimburse me for clothing items that were damaged during the luggage inspection process.

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Feb 24, 2020
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We went on a 7 night cruise last fall and when we first went to our room and took in our luggage, which the workers leave in the hallway after it goes through the check- in process, I opened my suitcase to find that all of my clothing items (which were mainly white or pastel colors) and shoes were covered in red wine. I did not pack any wine for the trip, nor did I have any toiletries or liquids at all in this suitcase (all of our toiletries/sunscreens were packed in a smaller suitcase). I immediately contacted Guest Relations and a manager (Jean C_ _ _ _) was sent to my room and took all of my clothing to the laundry department to try to get it cleaned. Although I felt she was rushing me to hand her the clothing items, I did my best to try to take pictures of the stained items so I would have record of them. Throughout the week, items were brought back to my room. Some of the items remained stained with red wine and had to be brought back to be laundered again. Unfortunaltey, some items they had no success getting cleaned despite many attempts. Other items did have the red stains removed but were left with the fabric very worn and pilled where the stains had been, probably from repeated scrubbing. Ms. C_ _ _ _ understood how upset I was, especially since I had several brand new items that I had purchased to wear for this trip and they were ruined. She had me fill out an irregularity report and assured me multiple times that I should contact Norwegian when I returned from my trip and that I would get reimbursed for the clothing items that remained stained. She helped me fill out the list of stained items that could not be cleaned and I estimated the total cost to be $350. Other NCL employees in Guest Relations were also very kind and felt badly about what had happened to my belongings and also assured me that I would be reimbursed. I contacted NCL multiple times when we returned via phone and email but was just repeatedly told that someone would get back to me but noone ever did. I decided to pursue this matter through the BBB and included a copy of the NCL Irregularity Report that was filled out and signed by Ms. Jean C_ _ _ _. The first resolution they offered me was for me to bring the clothing items to a dry cleaner and then send them the dry cleaning bill. I explained to them that the clothes had been repeatedly dry-cleaned on the ship and were completely ruined, which Ms. Coco could attest to, and that they were discarded and I just wanted to be reimbursed for their value. The second resolution they gave me was to give my husband, my daughter, and me each an onboard credit of $200 to be used within a year on our next cruise with NCL, which, honestly, is an absolutely ridiculous offer, in my opinion. Not to mention, the trip was extremely expensive and it is unlikely that we would take another week long cruise, even if our experience had been positive. When I informed NCL that this was unacceptable, my BBB case was subsequently closed since they would offer no other resolution. We spent a great deal of money on this trip. I feel that the wine was most likely spilled during the process of the cruise members inspecting the luggage. We went to our room approximately one hour after arriving on the ship and I find it unlikely that, in that one hour time frame, another guest had gone to the hallway near my room, brought my luggage into their room, opened it and spilled wine all over it, and then returned it to the hallway outside my room door. I did ask Ms. Coco if the ship had cameras installed in the luggage inspection area, which would clearly show what had happened, but she told me that there were no cameras. I realize that it has been ten months since we went on this cruise but it still bothers me to this day. I am just asking to be reimbursed the $350 towards the items that had to be discarded. I am not even asking to be reimbursed for the items with fabric that were left very worn and old looking. Many people have suggested to me that I should continue to pursue this matter via posting on multiple social media platforms. I don't typically engage in social media but my mother suggested that I should contact Christopher Elliott whose articles she frequently reads in the Hartford Courant. Therefore, I did and I am hopeful that this can finally get resolved.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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We have company contacts on our site for NCL.
Use them and follow the instructions to write exactly as detailed here:

 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Cruise lines typically do not inspect luggage the way you suggest. If luggage is thought to be suspect, then it is brought to the "naughty" room and you are asked to go there to open your bag for inspection. You are present for the inspection. I have been through this process, twice, both times from bringing an extension cord on board.

My best guess, and this is pure speculation, is that another passenger had a bottle of red wine in their suitcase, it broke, and it soaked through the suitcase under it.

You may have coverage under the credit card you used for the cruise.

You may have coverage under trip insurance.

You may have coverage under your homeowners policy.

See Neil's post, above, for instructions on pursuing a claim with Norwegian.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Cruise lines typically do not inspect luggage the way you suggest. If luggage is thought to be suspect, then it is brought to the "naughty" room and you are asked to go there to open your bag for inspection. You are present for the inspection. I have been through this process, twice, both times from bringing an extension cord on board.

My best guess, and this is pure speculation, is that another passenger had a bottle of red wine in their suitcase, it broke, and it soaked through the suitcase under it.

You may have coverage under the credit card you used for the cruise.

You may have coverage under trip insurance.

You may have coverage under your homeowners policy.

See Neil's post, above, for instructions on pursuing a claim with Norwegian.
Possibly I am incorrect in how they inspect. I just know from my own expereince that I had an electrical item removed from my luggage on two separate cruises and I was not asked to be present for the inspection. Instead a note was just given to me with my luggage to inform me that an item was taken out and I could retrieve it at the end of the trip. In addition, my suitcase on this cruise was a hard shell case most likely making it impossible for that quanitity of wine to get through it, and there were no stained or wet areas anywhere on the outside of the suitcase , only on the inside, which is why I am most certain that the suitcase had been opened. It just seemed very unlikely to me that a passenger had taken it out of the hallway and brought it into their room because we were all on the ship for such a short period of time and I didn't hear or see anyone by our room when we were there but of course it is still possible. In any case, I did read through Neil's post for instructions on pursuing a claim and I'll see if I have any luck. Thank you!
 
Apr 8, 2019
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Did you add NCL Booksafe Travel Insurance at the time of your booking? We always do since it is relatively inexpensive and provides up to $1,500 for lost, stolen or damaged luggage and personal property brought with you on your cruise vacation, and up to $750 if your checked luggage is delayed by a Common Carrier for 24 hours or longer. Note that benefits provided are less any amount paid or payable from any coverage provided by a Common Carrier and/or insurance specifically insuring the lost, stolen or damaged item(s). Claims are filed easily with no hassle.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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I don't believe we were informed of that particular insurance. We did purchase the NCL Travel Protection but I thought that it would only pertain to the canceling of a cruise reservation. However, I will look further into the plan that we did purchase just to be certain is does not apply to personal belongings. Thank you.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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You're going to be facing an uphill battle to get reimbursed from NCL (even ignoring your assumption that the damage was deliberate by a NCL employee). Also, NCL employees don't handle the bags until they are on the ship, before that it's port personnel.

Here's one part of the ticket contract that limits their liability. You'll likely have more luck through the other means people mentioned.

(b) The Guest and Carrier agree and stipulate that the aggregate value of all the Guest's baggage and any other property lawfully brought on board by the Guest, which shall include but not be limited to photographic equipment, jewelry, watches, cell phones, clothing and cash, does not exceed U.S. $100.00 and any liability of the Carrier or the vessel for any cause whatsoever with respect to said baggage and other property regardless of whether carried in baggage or by a Guest shall not exceed such sum unless the Guest shall specify its true value, in writing, and pay to the Carrier before embarkation 5% of the excess of such value, in which case the Carrier's liability, if any, shall be limited to the actual damage sustained up to, but not exceeding such specified value. In no event shall Carrier be liable for normal wear or tear of the Guest's property or baggage

Also, in my time on cruise critic I've seen others post about their luggage being damaged but another passenger's bottle of wine breaking.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
I don't believe we were informed of that particular insurance. We did purchase the NCL Travel Protection but I thought that it would only pertain to the canceling of a cruise reservation. However, I will look further into the plan that we did purchase just to be certain is does not apply to personal belongings. Thank you.
It does.

“Your baggage and personal effects are covered. BookSafe provides coverage for loss, theft, damage or delay of your luggage and personal belongings brought with you on the cruise.”

Contact the insurance company.
 
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Feb 24, 2020
6
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You're going to be facing an uphill battle to get reimbursed from NCL (even ignoring your assumption that the damage was deliberate by a NCL employee). Also, NCL employees don't handle the bags until they are on the ship, before that it's port personnel.

Here's one part of the ticket contract that limits their liability. You'll likely have more luck through the other means people mentioned.

(b) The Guest and Carrier agree and stipulate that the aggregate value of all the Guest's baggage and any other property lawfully brought on board by the Guest, which shall include but not be limited to photographic equipment, jewelry, watches, cell phones, clothing and cash, does not exceed U.S. $100.00 and any liability of the Carrier or the vessel for any cause whatsoever with respect to said baggage and other property regardless of whether carried in baggage or by a Guest shall not exceed such sum unless the Guest shall specify its true value, in writing, and pay to the Carrier before embarkation 5% of the excess of such value, in which case the Carrier's liability, if any, shall be limited to the actual damage sustained up to, but not exceeding such specified value. In no event shall Carrier be liable for normal wear or tear of the Guest's property or baggage

Also, in my time on cruise critic I've seen others post about their luggage being damaged but another passenger's bottle of wine breaking.
Yes it looks as though it may be an uphill battle indeed. It was just so frustrating to arrive on a cruise ship so excited for our vacation only to open up my suitcase and see red wine all over the beautiful items I had packed specifically for this trip. It is even more frustrating that several of the employees I dealt with assured me that NCL would definitely compensate me for the permanently damaged items. I did just look through my records to figure out the name of the travel protection plan I purchased and it was Booksafe which is what Neil mentioned in his post and advised me to contact the insurance company, which is my next step. Thank you so much to everyone as I really want to get this resolved!
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Have you used our company contacts at NCL and written to the executives- one at a time? I would try this first.
Our OP should be contacting the insurance company ASAP. Per OP, this event occurred 10 months ago. The NCL insurance plan may have a contractual provision as to a deadline for filing a claim. Even if OP is past the deadline, the claim should be filed, because in some states those deadlines are more legally flexible than the policy may let on.

OP can pursue NCL contacts at the same time. If NCL said it would provide reimbursement, it ought to do so.
 
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Feb 24, 2020
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Yes I wrote to the Primary Contact that was listed under Executives so I'll see if I hear back from her too. If I don't hear from her by next week then I will write to the Chief Executive. Thank you!
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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The first logical step is to file an insurance claim. Because the damage happened so long ago and you have now discarded the evidence, it might be in vain. Travellers should know that agents of cruiselines, airlines, limo services, and others who deal with the public will tell a customer almost anything to defuse the situation and not cause a fuss. They prefer that you take care of these things after the trip is over. And that, of course, is very difficult. I don't see NCL reimbursing you for your ruined clothes because there's no indication that they're liable. Unless your suitcase was prone to popping open and did so just as someone dropped a bottle of red wine, it will be difficult to assign blame. If the insurance company denies the claim, you'll need to start a letter-writing campaign to see if you can convince them to make an exception to their rules. Come back to us and we can help.

mmmmmm
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Hello, I just wanted to inform everyone that I finally heard back from NCL this morning after submitting a claim to Booksafe Travel Insurance, which was suggested by "4nap" and Neil, since we did purchase their travel protection insurance. They notified me that they will be sending me a check for the $350 to cover the cost of my damaged clothing items. I am beyond pleased to have gotten this resolved and thank you all for your support and suggestions!!!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,730
10,525
113
San Francisco
Hello, I just wanted to inform everyone that I finally heard back from NCL this morning after submitting a claim to Booksafe Travel Insurance, which was suggested by "4nap" and Neil, since we did purchase their travel protection insurance. They notified me that they will be sending me a check for the $350 to cover the cost of my damaged clothing items. I am beyond pleased to have gotten this resolved and thank you all for your support and suggestions!!!
Never have I been so happy to be wrong, Jstoki! Good work and I'm so glad we were able to help. Three cheers!
 
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