Norwegian Cruise Line Wins Worst Cruise Line in the World Award

Nicolas-1It's been a while since I awarded my "Worst Cruise Line in the World" award. Quite frankly, I became tired of giving it to Carnival and Royal Caribbean every month.  But a reader of Cruise Law News just sent me a story of little Nicolas Colucci, age 5, who underwent emergency surgery after doctors found a "a large cancerous tumor growing inside his liver." He is now undergoing chemotherapy. 

The Lil' Mama website explains that the Colucci family bought a family cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) that was scheduled for June 1, 2014. The family asked NCL to reschedule their cruise to another date. NCL refused.  NCL wouldn't bend their corporate policies regarding medical emergencies - not even for a child battling cancer. You can read about the dreadful story here.

This is not the first time that NCL has acted in such a heartless manner. 

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a man from Key Largo who purchased a NCL cruise on the Norwegian Sky leaving from Miami. But his brother died, and the funeral was in Georgia on the day the cruise ship sailed. So he notified NCL, asking for a credit on a future cruise. NCL said no. He asked for his cruise to be donated to charity (Make-A-Wish). NCL said no.

Now comes the sick part. NCL then re-sold the cabin to someone else. Yep. NCL got a double profit due to the death of a guest's brother. Really sick. 

NCL is active on Twitter @CruiseNorwegian, so I tweeted a reference to the article.

No response.

NCL's "Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Passenger Services," Andy Stuart, is also active on Twitter @nclandy. So I tweeted him "Double cruise profit for death? Say it aint so Andy!"

No response.

Nicolas-2NCL should have permitted a child with cancer and parents go on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. Or make a small donation in memory of their customer's brother. But to double sell the cabin under these circumstances?  It's cruel, greedy and outrageous.

Last year, I wrote again about NCL. A grandmother who drives disabled kids to school booked a cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel for her family and grandkids at the cost of over $4,000. Then Superstorm Sandy struck, submerging her home under four feet of water. The storm ravaged her home, leaving her with nothing. She asked NCL to reschedule or refund her cruise. NCL said no way.

She appealed to NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan but the cruise line and its CEO wouldn't make an exception. Absolutely no refund or rescheduling. Heartless.

Yesterday, I attended a hearing before Senator Jay Rockefeller entitled "Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers." Cruise passengers testified regarding all types of harsh conduct by cruise lines who hide behind the unreadable fine print in their one-sided, passenger tickets. At one point during the hearing, Senator Rockefeller exclaimed that he was "fed up" with the cruise lines and their "callousness."

NCL is all smiles when it sells a family a "cruise of a lifetime." But when death, disaster or a medical emergency strikes, it shows its true colors.

NCL may have a great marketing image, but it can be your worse enemy in a time of true need.

Have a thought? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page. And let NCL know what you think by contacting them below:

Kevin Sheehan NCLNCL Corporation Ltd.
7665 Corporate Center Drive
Miami, Florida 33126

Corporate: (305) 436-4000

Andrew Stuart
Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Passenger Services
astuart@ncl.com
(305) 436-4000 

Andrew Stuart's twitter account: @nclandy

Kevin Sheehan (photo right)
Chief Executive Officer
ksheehan@ncl.com
(305) 436-4000

NCL Twitter: @CruiseNorwegian

July 26 2014 Update: According to a FOX NEWS station today, a "CEO of a popular cruise line reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise. The CEO asked that his cruise line not be named because he said he was genuinely touched by their story and didn't want any publicity for his gesture."

So who was the CEO?  Which cruise line did the right thing?

Here's a clue:

Last year, NCL abandoned a grandmother (and her grandchildren) after she bought a NCL cruise when her home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  NCL CEO refused to reschedule his customer's cruise. But Royal Caribbean stepped up to the plate and gave the family a free cruise. Read the story: Norwegian Cruise Lines Abandons Sandy Victims, While Royal Caribbean Steps Up to the Plate!  

July 27 2014 Update: The story goes viral. First a  national Fox News station covers the story and then the U.K.'s Daily Mail (the largest online newspaper in the world) covers it. Bad Karma for NCL.

July 29 2014 Update:  The public relations fall-out continues.  Opposing Views ran a story. TravelPulse also covered the story.  Gawker wasn't too subtle with its headline Cruise Line Screws Over Family of 5-Year-Old With Cancer. PRNews wrote Norwegian Cruise Line Drowning in Bad PR. Huff Post Parents Parents Outraged Cruise Line Won't Reschedule Their Trip In Light Of Son's Cancer Diagnosis. Anti-Jared wrote a letter to the NCL CEO.  

All of this reminds me of one of my favorite sayings - "Karma is a bitch only when you are."

 l to the NCL CEO.

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Comments (49) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
RSMMathews - July 24, 2014 12:48 PM

NCL is the worst cruise line in the world according to literally dozens of reviews of the Breakaway alone at www.cruisecritic.com. From the food to the service to the astonishing lack of deck space and pool area to the attitude of the crew, you just cannot believe how badly they fare. The fact that they are heartless too comes as no surprise.

Sam - July 24, 2014 4:00 PM

Great article! Thanks for taking the time to shine a bit more light on this situation and NCL. It means a lot to the Colucci family (and The Lil' Mamas!) that we have you in our corner.

George Heimur - July 24, 2014 5:01 PM

Ncl should refund the money or give them $4000 credit for a future cruise. I have been on 54 cruises in my life. If I hear that they have not been made whole, my days of booking with NCL is over forever. The collucis have suffered enough. God bless them and their son.

George Heimur - July 24, 2014 5:02 PM

Ncl should refund the money or give them $4000 credit for a future cruise. I have been on 54 cruises in my life. If I hear that they have not been made whole, my days of booking with NCL is over forever. The collucis have suffered enough. God bless them and their son.

Vincent Wong - July 24, 2014 5:11 PM

Before you read this please understand that I have deep sympathy for Nicholas and I hope he recovers well and shows the cancer who is boss.

I do not believe this is not a very fair post or judgement on NCL. The cruise line website / Cruise Line Agent / Travel Agent the people used have advised the parents / cruisers that they should buy travel insurance. It is a policy of NCL that requires them to offer travel insurance. The reason why NCL would not refund is because the parents / cruiser had to have declined travel insurance.

The fact that they declined to purchase travel insurance (which is entirely up to the person) they are taking a risk. In your post you are arguing that because someone becomes ill or passes the travel supplier [NCL] should feel remorse and reimburse the cost of the cruise. That does not seem fair as the cruise line did not cause the death or illness.

What you are expecting the cruise line to do is similar to purchasing a house with no home owners insurance and expecting the person who sold you the house to reimburse you because your home was damaged by a windstorm [natural cause] after you have stated you do not want insurance.

I am sure that Norwegian has deep sympathy and feels horrible that young Nicolas Colucci is suffering, as do I and I hope that Nicolas is able to beat cancer and show it how strong he really is because I know he will come up above it in the end. However, in my personal opinion I do not believe NCL is the worst cruise line or in the wrong here.

Get better soon Nicolas Colucci all of our hearts and prayers are with you!

Susan A. Lipton - July 24, 2014 5:17 PM

Stand firm! My son was diagnost with nueroblastoma at 3. I was told go home you have 2 or 3 weeks. With the grace of God he lived 3 1/2 years. Whenever insurance is offered I check YES! I Used to pray that I should get it not myFranklin. Well have my wish happened, I have had cancer 3 times. I don't mean a mole. I have gone through chemo and radiation. I want to book a cruise and if you bend to one I would expect the same treatment. Why should I take the insurance? Norwegian Cruise Line has been the best and I have been on many over the years. My husband is not well and I wouldn't trust going on any other line. Last night my neighbor just had surgery and her husband has asked me to resarch which cruise only with NCL.
I am sorry but this will be a learning experience from experience

John Goldsmith - July 24, 2014 5:27 PM

I can see why the feelings are present regarding NCL. If I was the boss, this would be a no-brainer. Just remember that regardless of what they offer, any corporation is in business to make money, and any rules and fine print are designed to do just that.
Any exceptions will create a precedent that in reality can be abused. Corporations, Any Corporations won't allow that.

mike corbo - July 24, 2014 5:40 PM

Has anyone ever heard of cruise insurance and reading the terms and conditions of that cruise you just paid thousands for?

Claire Langlois - July 24, 2014 6:21 PM

As a member of the Lil'Mamas community and someone who has spoken to Tara during this horrible injustice as well as rallied around this family with the 2000 other Lil'Mamas members, I want to express my gratitude for helping us all share their story. Your article was well written, and a great insight into NCL's horrible business practices! I and my over 800 social media friends will NEVER give our business to this disgusting company! As for the Colucci family, we will all continue to support, encourage and spread the word about how they have been treated. But most importantly we will send our love & prayers for Nicolas's speedy recovery. Kudos to you for joining our cause!

Jim Walker - July 24, 2014 6:30 PM

Mr. Wong:

Your analogy to the sale of a house makes no sense. A better analogy is the aviation industry. All major airlines will gladly reschedule your flight if there is a emergency medical or a death involved. No insurance is necessary with American airlines or Delta. But cruise lines on the other hand are just plain greedy. They will sell the cabin a second time for a double profit. The cruise line also sell insurance and want to punish consumers who don't buy it. It an unconscionable practice.

Steve Mencik - July 24, 2014 10:10 PM

I'm sure that the family was offered the chance to purchase travel insurance but did not. In other words they gambled and lost. Do the casinos give you back you money when you lose?

Anybody that travels, cruise or other, should purchase travel insurance. It generally is less than 10% of the cost of your trip and gives you the peace of mind that you won't lose everything if something happens.

A good lawyer would understand this and not fault the cruise line.

Carla - July 24, 2014 11:00 PM

Sorry, I'm siding with Norwegian on this one. Every time I've booked travel in my life, I've been offered travel insurance. Flights, cruises, sometimes even hotels have offered me a chance to get a refund should an emergency happen. Most of the time I decline the insurance, but by doing so I understand I will not be reimbursed in case of emergency. It is the choice of the traveller. If companies will reimburse even without insurance, then there would be no point to insurance and no one would ever buy it.

John Heyer - July 25, 2014 8:47 AM

Get real Jim, NCL is a publicly traded for-profit company - they are not the Red Cross.

With about 40,000 passengers cruising NCL ships at any given time, there are no doubt numerous personal tragedies and heartbreaking stories each and every week - witness the frequent medivacs from ships underway.

When we cruise our choices and consequences regarding trip insurance are quite clear - buy insurance or assume the entire risk.

Jim Walker - July 25, 2014 10:22 AM

Cruise lines can always do the right thing. You need to bend the rules when your customers' kids have cancer. Not only is it humane, but it's ultimately in the best interests of their reputation, business, and shareholders.

tinikini - July 25, 2014 5:04 PM

Totally agree, Jim. It is called customer service and doing the right thing. This story is now on the internet reaching millions of people. One bad story like this and you lose thousands of customers. It is always better to take care of these things immediately and not let the word get out that you suck at customer service. Not rebook the cabin and double your money. There simply just is no compassion for or from people anymore!!!! Geeeeeeez!!!!!!!!

Marilyn Shue - July 25, 2014 6:21 PM

I also have to agree with NCL regarding all three cases especially the 5 year old. Call me cold-blooded; when I'm traveling by myself on a cruise, I don't need the insurance because I know I'm definitely traveling come broken leg or not. If I'm traveling with others, like family members or spouse, I'm definitely buying insurance because 1)they're not as reliable as me and 2)anything can happen to them.

Another thing, you can buy insurance after the fact by calling them and telling them to tack it on and get full refund for the trip. Yes, you're out of $100-500.00 but at least you get rest of the fare back. If I'm not mistaken , if you're asking for change of date from the original, you have to do before the final payment which is 90 days. If not, you get penalize with lost of deposit afterwards and charge additional fees.

It's sad what happen to them, but that's risk one takes when booking any type of travel and not reading the fine print. I wish the all the best.

Morris Kuzio - July 26, 2014 10:24 AM

OMG...
Buy the %$#@*&^ trip insurance..and have some peace of mind...
We always buy insurance and even thought it costs $100-$200, it can really save your behind if "stuff happens".

Elizabeth - July 26, 2014 5:01 PM

Kevin Sheehan told me to my face that I was probably "on the wrong cruise line" when I encountered him on the inaugural cruise on the Breakaway, I expressed that my initial imprrssion was less than blown away, I was not rude or belligerant I was a full fare passanger who encountered him in one of the venues and he was just plain rude so it doesnt surprise me. NOTE: I realize my story is trivial in comparison I am just using it to illustrate the point that they don't get a damn about anyone.

Jim Walker - July 26, 2014 10:48 PM

"The CEO of a popular cruise line reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise. The CEO asked that his cruise line not be named because he said he was genuinely touched by their story and didn't want any publicity for his gesture."

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26106563/boy-cancer-cruise

joe pagoda - July 27, 2014 1:41 PM

Too bad our federal government doesn't have the same view of those thousands of illegal immigrant kids who get to break our laws because "they are children". I am voting for NCL to run our immigration program since they seem to believe a rule is a rule. For everyone.

Pat - July 27, 2014 2:55 PM

I just had my niece who has suffered brain cancer choose your cruise line as I thought in case of emergency she would be better protected. I am SICK about this & I pray to God she stays healthy enough to make her "dream trip" & know that not only will I NEVER refer your line again or USE your line again but I will repost this on Facebook daily!!!!

Dean - July 27, 2014 2:56 PM

Buy insurance my @#$. These folks missed their cruise because their child got cancer. Make what ever argument you want about insurance but it won't cut the mustard with most of main stream America. I see it for what it is, a heartless act of greed. Now they will get the public backlash they deserve. Look at the good publicity they missed "Cruise line reschedules trip for cancer struck child". They could have used it as a teaching moment for why they should fleece people for insurance. Someone needs to get ahold of Dave Carroll the guy that wrote "United breaks guitars" and see if he will do a video on Norwegian Cruise lines. United chose the wrong path in dealing with Mr Carroll and his damaged guitar and they paid a heavy price in bad publicity. I guess it was also Mr. Carroll's fault for not buying insurance.

DC - July 27, 2014 3:33 PM

Would it be less heartless to require all customers to buy travel insurance?

Anthony - July 27, 2014 5:37 PM

Claire Langlois - July 24, 2014 6:21 PM
As a member of the Lil'Mamas community and someone who has spoken to Tara during this horrible injustice as well as rallied around this family with the 2000 other Lil'Mamas members, I want to express my gratitude for helping us all share their story. Your article was well written, and a great insight into NCL's horrible business practices! I and my over 800 social media friends will NEVER give our business to this disgusting company! As for the Colucci family, we will all continue to support, encourage and spread the word about how they have been treated. But most importantly we will send our love & prayers for Nicolas's speedy recovery. Kudos to you for joining our cause!

What because ncl stuck by their policies your family gambaled and lost this is exactly why you prepare yourself in case people get sick or die before your vacation. By trying to destroy ncl over something that your family failed to do is wrong and you wonder why they refuse to do anything for them. I hope he gets better but your reputation and way of going about business is horrible.

John - July 27, 2014 6:13 PM

NCL CEO is paid 1.5 million a year. Way too much! Will never cruise on their line again.

Jack H - July 27, 2014 6:17 PM

Rumor on Facebook says that the line offering the free cruise is Celebrity, which is owned by Royal Caribbean.

The argument against NCL being generous to this family is basically "If NCL is nice to them, NCL will have to be nice to everyone, and that's not fair."

Aside from that being a non-sequitur, no one said life would be fair. But the real question is "Why not be generous with everyone?"

One of the most successful airlines is Southwest, the only airline to turn a profit in some years. And their policy is to give a credit for rescheduled flights. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that considerate airline is the profitable one.

Are there any cruise lines that allow rescheduling?

Jack H - July 27, 2014 6:21 PM

So the lesson here is that if you're in the no-refund period, can't go, and don't have insurance, you shouldn't cancel, you should just be a no-show? If you don't cancel they can't resell your cabin.

Sarah - July 27, 2014 6:32 PM

I am a NCL Latitudes platinum member. My husband and I had a cruise planned for January 2013. He passed away November 2012. We had purchased insurance and I got all of my money refunded with the exception of the insurance. I am sympathetic to this family, but they had the option of purchasing insurance. If I had not, would I be right in expecting them to refund my money or to only refund half because my husband is not able to go? I would never have expected that if I had not purchased the insurance. The reason that insurance is offered is that unfortunately sometimes life changes suddenly.

Sarah - July 27, 2014 7:17 PM

Just wondering how you know that the room was sold to someone else? I have tried to find out what room a family member is in and could not get any information at all. Privacy issues mean that you should not be able to find that out.

don - July 27, 2014 10:20 PM

I will never sail with ncl again .They are ruthless, arrogant, and stupid to be this blind to fairness.It appears they enjoy kicking people when they are down They WILL reap what they sow.

Robert Alfonso - July 27, 2014 11:38 PM

This happen to a friend, wife got cancer, could not go. It sucks. That said anyone who spends thousands on a cruise should but trip insurance. I always always do. It would not be fair to me and everyone else if some people got a repreive while the rest of us pay for insurance. I agree about the flag of convienence and the low wages and the tips going to subsidize other low wage jobs on the ship, all dispicable but I agree that there can be no exceptions to the refund rules.

Rob

DD - July 28, 2014 8:56 AM

We are frequent cruisers, and, yes, we always purchase insurance, and, yes, they should have purchased insurance if they were able to afford it. But isn't this a bit of an unusual situation?
Norwegian, bye bye.

Robert - July 28, 2014 8:57 AM

I can't believe that anyone would side with Norwegian. Travel insurance is another cruise line rip-off and shouldn't be necessary. The cruise line should be responsible for any mishaps on its ships and should have a heart when it comes to emergency situations, because they almost always rebook the room and make double by not refunding the person with the emergency. My wife and I cruised on Norwegian once for our 25th anniversary and that was enough. They screwed up our room arrangement and did nothing to compensate us. Their customer service is the worst of any business I ever dealt with. I would never, ever recommend cruising with Norwegian to anyone.

Susan - July 28, 2014 10:07 AM

As bad as I feel for this child, the parents should have purchased travel insurance (not only for cancellation coverage, but for all of the other benefits offered with insurance). The parents made a choice not to purchase insurance, and risk their vacation investment by doing so. Did they expect their child to get cancer? Of course not. But we also don't expect parents or grandparents to die the day before vacation, or to being deathly ill, interrupting vacation plans. That is the purpose of insurance.

And let's look at this from a legal stand point, if they relented and refunded them without insurance (or gave them a future credit), wouldn't some LAWYER then claim they've set a precedent and that they'd have to do it for all future passengers without insurance that cancel due to a cancer diagnosis or other major illness / death in the family?????

JoAnn Thompson - July 28, 2014 10:12 AM

My heart goes out to the young boy and his family. If NCL (or any other cruise line) broke the rules for one, they would have to break the rules for all. If they broke the rules for the Colucci family then another family would be complaining that they didn't break the rules for them. Everyone believes their tragedy to be the worst of all and everyone believes they should be the exception to the rule.

This is exactly why the cruise lines and other insurance companies offer travel insurance. Insurance is the method by which we protect ourselves from the unexpected. Considering you are purchasing a cruise for some time in the future, and the future is never guaranteed, you should protect yourself with the purchase of insurance. It is a small price to pay for financial security if you don't have the where-with-all to loose the total amount of the cruise.

It's very easy to realize that you should have protected yourself in hindsight. To tell the cruise line that you didn't expect to become I'll, or you didn't expect your son to become ill, so you didn't buy insurance, really doesn't cut it.

As for the cruise line reselling the cabin. Why not? They are in business to profit - pure and simple. I think they would be foolish not to resell the cabin if the opportunity presented itself. You really don't think they should shrine the room, do?

Betty - July 28, 2014 12:11 PM

BOYCOTT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES!

After reading this article...there is NO way I would risk booking a cruise with your company!

And if Nickelodeon doesn't pull out of your programs...I will BOYCOTT them too!

I understand business is business...but WHO ever THINKS about a child getting CANCER when they book a ♡dream vacation♡ months in advance?

There IS such a thing as *EXCEPTIONS* to the policies...and THIS should definitely BE one!

I pray this comes back to HAUNT you in a BIG way! MAYBE you will learn to choose COMPASSION over policies and profits!

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/27/cruise-line-refuses-to-re-book-family-vacation-after-5-year-old-diagnosed-with/?intcmp=trending

S McPherson - July 28, 2014 4:25 PM

Sorry, Jim, I beg to differ with you. This is not NCL's issue here. Families suffer tragedies every day and if the cruise lines had to bear the responsibility of rescheduling cruises they would in effect become the insurers. That is not their purpose and it is not reasonable to place the burden on them. This is part of the reason why travel insurance exists and is offered. If a family like this one could not afford to purchase travel insurance, which costs only a small fraction of the price they paid for their cruise, then they are the ones that should have been prepared to lose their cruise in the event something prevented them from traveling. The simple fact is that this family is now asking to have the rules bent for them when they made the irresponsible choice NOT to purchase travel insurance. Why should they have the rules bent for them when there are lots of other families out there that suffer tragedies and either don't get the rules bent for them or actually buy travel insurance in the first place? I feel sorry for this family for their son's illness but I also shame them for making NCL out to be the bad guys here. You, as a professional, Jim, should be able to see what this family is doing is not right.

Lisa Youngblood - July 28, 2014 6:30 PM

I am going on a cruise in the spring and I will NEVER go on Norwegian. They are classless, and have no heart. They deserve to be put out of business.

Jennifer - July 28, 2014 10:14 PM

You are incredible ignorant. While this is very tragic, any cruise line would
Come back with this same answer. Buy travel insurance!! Everyone has a story or reason for canceling. They have to draw the line somewhere... Rules are not meant to be broken! I've been on over 16 cruises including every cruise line, and NCL is as great as any of them! You can't judge until you've cruised them yourself!

Rick O - July 28, 2014 10:32 PM

As a business owner, I have to agree with NCL's decision. Today, the passenger was diagnosed with cancer, and they would like to break the rules that are there for everyone to read and follow. The next time, it will be an auto accident, and the next time irritable bowel symdrome. And the time after that, someone will say "well if you made an exception for irritable bowel symdrome, you can make an exception for a migraine. Where does it end.

But I think NCL could have done something to make the optics a little better with the general public, and with families like ours, who have taken vacations on NCL each of the last couple years. A quiet certificate for 50% off their next trip! or upgrading them to a small suite would do wonders for the marketing folks. And it would quell the nastiness on sites like this where every large business is a reprobate or troglodyte. And they certainly are not.

Gavin - July 29, 2014 12:25 AM

As a platinum cruiser with Norwegian, I must side with them on this one. My wife and I are 3 star with Holland America, and Platinum with Norwegian, so very experienced with policy. I'm sorry, but that is why insurance is offered. If something were to occur that caused ME to have an issue and I DIDNT have insurance, I would NOT expect a reimbursement, NO MATTER the circumstances... It is right in the contract.

Jim Walker - July 29, 2014 2:42 PM

Gavin: Of course it's in the contract. Cruise lines have nothing but limitations, exclusions, and disclaimers to protect them in the one-sided contract. That doesn't make it fair or right. So NCL wins in a court of law, and gets massacred in the court of public opinion.

Jay - July 29, 2014 5:53 PM

As bad as I feel for the family, I don't blame NCL at all. Rules are rules. Buy the travel insurance or take a gamble. My bigger question is why does everyone have to run to the media about it. So now it is I feel like I was unfairly treated because of their well established and printed rules and I should go to the media hoping for special treatment.

My prayers are with the little boy, but I think the family is wrong in how they handled this.

Stir Fry - July 29, 2014 10:00 PM

I really don't understand why people continue to do business with this company.

Marie - July 30, 2014 2:26 PM

From Norwegian Cruise Lines facebook page:
Many of you have heard about the recent story regarding one of our guests and the tragic circumstances surrounding his family’s upcoming cruise. In light of recent discussions, we would like to take the time to share some background with you.

After learning of the circumstances regarding the cancellation of the Colucci family’s cruise, we wanted to make sure that Nicolas would be able to take cruise that he was so very much looking forward to.

While we knew getting Nicolas well again was the family’s top priority, we offered to work closely with the family when Nicolas was ready to travel to ensure that they took their vacation and we provided a personal contact at Norwegian for the family to stay in touch with. Separately, one of our travel partners reached out to Mrs. Colucci and offered their help in making sure the family took the cruise they had planned.

We contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that we work closely with to grant the wishes of hundreds of children each year who want to take a cruise. If the family chooses to participate in the Make-A-Wish program, we will make sure that they receive the cruise they were looking forward to.

We are touched by many similar situations and do our very best to work with our guests to offer support wherever possible. As a company that provides vacation experiences for more than 1.3 million people each year, we understand that situations such as this occur. In all instances, we balance these requests with the need to treat fairly those guests who have elected to purchase travel protection insurance. In an effort to provide guests with peace of mind, we offer travel protection and we strongly encourage our guests to take advantage of this safeguard to cover unforeseen circumstances.

We continue to wish the very best for the Colucci family and hope that Nicolas gets well soon. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jim Walker - July 30, 2014 10:03 PM

Marie: With the world watching, NCL acts like it cares. But when Mom called and told the cruise line about her son's cancer, it could have cared less.

CRUISE SHIP INSIDE STORIES BY CREW - August 3, 2014 4:46 PM

NCL should take a look at these types of very special circumstances, and care from the very beginning. There are never two chances to make a first impression, and by not attending to the family's huge issue from the very beginning with the CARE they should have shown, the empathy, they messed up. It is understandable that a company selling cruises to so many has a strict policy to follow, it would be impossible to choose who to refund and who not to of the people who haven't purchased insurance. Now ....what is insurance really? A price the cruise line puts over the fact you might not sail and therefore your reservation will now not be used. ... Not totally accurate. It is insurance for you, if you can't sail you get refunded (other than the price of insurance...cling!), but it is insurance for themselves, over the price they sold you that cabin for, nothing more, nothing less. Cause if you don't sail, the cruise line will sell it last minute to someone else, most likely for less than you originally paid for it. Maybe. That's what the insurance is for. Or do you think that this family's cabins went unused all cruise long? Would bet they didn't. Most likely they were sold or people who had already booked, were contacted and offered to upgrade for an extra cost last minute before sailing....or sold onboard for an upgrade fare.... In Marie's comments about reaching out to the Coluccis is does not say how the company plans on helping the family sail when the little boy gets better. They've already paid for their cruise....does her communication mean that NCL will open doors and can they just board without paying any extra?

Kay Koelker - August 4, 2014 7:41 AM

I would say skip the sickening cruises filling greedhead pockets and enjoy and wonderful time in a real destination meeting and interacting with real people and letting them have the $$$ you would spend on nasty cruises.
Cruise ships are the dirtiest, nastiest kind of vacationing.

Michael T - September 10, 2014 5:20 PM

I stumbled onto this site while searching for the email address for NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan. I wanted to let him know that the cruise I just went on to Bermuda on the Breakaway was a fabulous trip and it more than met my expectations. It appears that a family had the unfortunate case where they had to cancel a trip due to illness. I do truly feel for the family, but I also suffered an illness when I first booked my trip in the Spring. I was admitted into a hospital the day before embarkation. Because I purchased the travel insurance that NCL recommend for a relatively small fee, I was able to get 100% of my money back. I used that money to reschedule another trip. In the past, I would always decline the extra charge for the insurance but I'm glad I took it in this instance and highly recommend to anyone spending a lot of their money on any trip.

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