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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2003, 02:32 PM
mags mags is offline
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Default WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

My husband and I were booked on our first cruise for Mexico on NCL departing from NYC on February 17, 2003 - the day of the blizzard. We could not get out to make the cruise, not even to the next port of call, Key West, the next day - all airports closed, Greyhound and Amtrak too. It was impossible. We booked our air through NCL too. They have said that there is no refund/no rescheduling. We did not purchase travel insurance, but we felt like this was a pretty rare occurrence and that some exceptions could and should be made - has anyone had this happen to them or does anyone have any advice to give us? We are far from rich and this cruise was a really big deal to us, financially and emotionally (though maybe that sounds overly dramatic) but it was our five year wedding anniversary present to ourselves. Relevant feedback would be most welcome. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2003, 02:47 PM
Thomas Thomas is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

My advice is to keep calling up the food chain until you either get someone who will give you some reimbursement or compensation in the form of a discounted cruise in the future. Unfortunately for you, they are not obligated to do anything and have probably instructed all of their customer service reps to deny any compensatory benefits. I can imagine the thousands of customers who have suffered similar fates in the last couple of weeks. Not only in NYC but all the departure piers where passengers were unable to fly to because of being snowbound in their home cities.

Travel insurance would've covered this, but that is hindsight. Sorry!

Regards,
Thomas
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  #3  
Old February 25th, 2003, 03:34 PM
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Mgram Mgram is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Sorry to hear about this. What Thomas said is good advice.....nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I can't stress strongly enough that NO ONE should fail to buy travel insurance. There are soooo many things that can come up .... in the longrun, it is money well spent.

Good luck and keep us posted. I really feel bad that your anniversary trip was ruined......hopefully sometime in the near future SHIP will happen for you, instead of what did!!!!!!

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  #4  
Old February 25th, 2003, 04:47 PM
carol carol is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I always arrive at the port the day before sailing, and I live in Fl. so no air involved!
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  #5  
Old February 25th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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MaryLou MaryLou is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I know this isn't what you want to hear...but that is why there is cruise insurance. I'm very sorry for you missing your frist cruise, I am sure it is heartbreaking. I guess it won't hurt to continue to contact the cruiseline...I'm just not sure if they will do anything for you. If you paid for it by credit card, some credit card companies have coverage for this...check that out also.
Good luck.

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  #6  
Old February 25th, 2003, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

When it became obvious that you wouldn't be able to get out of NYC did you call NCL, since you'd purchased air through them? If so... what was their reply?
Their air dept. should have been assisting you in making alternate travel plans to meet the ship.

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Kuki

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  #7  
Old February 25th, 2003, 06:31 PM
PapaBill PapaBill is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

You have at least the arguement that you were on their airfare going for you. Advice above is good, keep calling, writing and emailing. Did you use a TA ?, If so, get them involved. You can't lose any more than you have.
You don't need to hear this, but , for others who may read this thread two very important pieces of advice have been echoed above.
First, never book a cruise without booking travel insurance. I had reason to use the ships infirmary on my last cruise and collected $85 that my own medical insurance would not pay. You would be collecting a virtual; 100% refund with good travel insurance.
Second , travel 24 to 48 hours early (most important in winter). This gives you the wiggle room to get where you need to go in most cases. Stay in a local hotel and treat your day early as a day in another port. In this case if you had travelled Saturday or Sunday morning you would have been there.
Good luck with your efforts, keep us posted.
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  #8  
Old February 25th, 2003, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I agree with the above....but I want to add that it was also not the cruise line's fault that you did not make it to the port. If you read the cruise contract (in your cruise documents) or the brochures, you would have known that if you did not make it you would lose what you paid. Is it right - I'm not sure, but like the others said keep on plugging up the food chain at the cruise line.....definitely find out the Vice President of Customer Services (or similar title) and write them a letter and copy it to the President of NCL. You never know what will happen.....but don't expect a total refund, it was Mother Nature's fault, not the cruise lines.

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  #9  
Old February 25th, 2003, 09:45 PM
ErnieMCC ErnieMCC is offline
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Default Re: Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Here we go, yet again. I sympathize with the poster's plight... BUT...Not anyone in my family nor myself, ever books a cruise without purchasing insurance. If I live to be 100, I'll never understand someone spending several thousand dollars on a cruise vacation and not purchasing insurance for it. I always urge insurance to anyone even contemplating a cruise and this case is a classic example of why.

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  #10  
Old February 26th, 2003, 12:13 PM
Jason Jason is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

OK, this is where I get lambasted by the majority of you.
When we first started cruising, 1980 or so, insurance was not even available. In the 90ís we had been offered insurance by a TA. I explained that we had taken 10 or so cruises, without it even being available, without any lossís. He stated that, if you are of reasonably good health, it is not designed for you. It was originally designed for the elder and sickly population. Over the years travel insurance has grown into a wider spectrum of circumstances.
After over 30 cruises and never missing one, I figure at an average of about $200 per policy per cruise, Iíve saved $6,000.00. The way I look at it, if I miss a $3,000 cruise Iím still way ahead.
Alright, I have on my armor underwear, so let me have it!!

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  #11  
Old February 26th, 2003, 12:38 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

If I cruise in the winter I always go day before and spend the night, usually in South Beach, then jump on the ship the next day.
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  #12  
Old February 26th, 2003, 01:03 PM
Thomas Thomas is offline
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Default Re: Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

O.K. Jason you asked for it!

I hope you don't go into the casino with the same betting strategy. If you do the casino ought to be paying for your entire trip! What would you have done if you got sick on the 2nd cruise and didn't make it? You'd be saying, "Darn, from now on I'm buying insurance." Right? And if you didn't buy the insurance what would you have said if you missed the 4th cruise? "Darn, I've missed two cruises out of 4. From now on I'm buying insurance." Right?

Now with your philosophy are you willing to say; 1) I've never missed a cruise in 30 opportunities so therefore my chances of missing the next one are less than 1:30 or, 2) I've not missed a cruise in 30 opportunities so therefore my chances of missing the next one are kinda high because the odds are adding up?

If you know the casino dealer has close to a 50-50 chance of winning the hand what are your odds of winning the next one after he has won 4 in a row? They are still 50-50.

Regards,
Thomas
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  #13  
Old February 26th, 2003, 02:41 PM
BUDDY BUDDY is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

My husband and I are taking our 27th cruise in a week and I can tell you now we do things differently than we did when we took our first cruise in 1985. For many, many cruises we traveled to Miami or wherever, the very same day until one year something happened. We live in the midwest and we were going to Miami and we always cruise in the wintertime. We were suppose to fly to St. Louis and then Miami, but the St. Louis Airport was iced over. No flights going in or out. They sent us to Minnesota of all places and then on to Miami. I could tell we weren't going to make the ship in time and I tried calling ahead and couldn't get through on the ships phone line. When we got to Miami a representative of RCCL was waiting there to meet us and said I'm sorry you missed you ship by half an hour. I've found out later that if it's a lot of passengers missing the ship they will wait for you because we've encountered this many times; but if it's just two people, they will not wait for you. We were lucky it was RCCL because they took care of us but I've known this to happen to people traveling on Carnival and NCL and they didn't get the same type of support we got from Royal Caribbean. They told us we could either catch up with the ship at the next port of call, or go on another shorter RCCL ship. It was New Years Eve and we wanted to spend it on a ship and we opted for the shorter 3 day cruise instead of the 10 day cruise we had planned for our 25th wedding anniversary. RCCL put us up in a hotel for the night and gave us money to eat with. Now we always leave a day early and we always buy insurance. When we first started cruising we didn't know this, but learned the hard way. For many years we made the cruise on the first day but all it took was one time to miss your ship and believe me it wasn't a good feeling, and now we always go a day early. HAPPY CRUISING......PS We also got our money back for the difference between a 3 day cruise and and a 10 day cruise. I think that's why we've done 16 RCCL cruises to date......
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  #14  
Old February 26th, 2003, 02:49 PM
Jason Jason is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Thomas,
OK, I canít disagree with your thinking. I can only go with the thinking of the insurance company. They make money because the majority of people make it fine on their vacation. If not, they would be out of business.
As far as the casino goes if the black jack dealer won 4 straight with face cards and Iím holding face cards my odds have Quadrupled that his hole card is not. Iíll take those odds all dayÖ.

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  #15  
Old February 26th, 2003, 04:25 PM
hcat
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Even now, having bought the insurance & going a day ahead, I am nervous. We just went through the blizzard in NY. But even if it snows again next week when we are to depart from our small local airport (limited flights), I would hope we could get down to Key West on the first sea day. This is the first time we booked our own air. Hope it wasn't a mistake! We are optimistic & counting down--can't wait for sunny & warm days! Sorry you guys got snowed out--waiting so long to go, spedning money on the cruise, clothes & air-what a major disappointment even if no one's fault. I wold hope the line gives you something--even if just discount on another try!
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  #16  
Old February 26th, 2003, 04:38 PM
pamda pamda is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Mags ...

No good advice from here. It's one of those "shoulda, coulda, woulda, oughta" kind of deals.

As some have said, arriving a day or more early to the departure port is its own kind of insurance. Particularly in winter.

As they say in the insurance industry, "going naked" (without insurance for whatever peril) is at your own risk and you need to know what you can afford to lose.

As an example, we have a very high deductible on our car insurance (lower rates) and are comfortable self-insuring for minor problems.

My guess is that the fine print does not guarantee that the cruise line, even if you purchased air from them, will get you on the ship if there are unforseen circumstances such as the blizzard of the new millennium or something as simple as a mechanical difficulty with an airplane causing you to miss an essential connection.

Jason's point is well-taken about missing a cruise. What he doesn't take into account is medical emergencies. Our travel insurance policy is for an entire year, covering travel and medical -- it cost a whole $275 per person. A medical evacuation can cost thousands of dollars. Ernie can quote the stats much better than I can. But think in terms of $20,000 for a serious med-evac. Or what is politely called "repatriation of remains" in case of the worst.

I'm going to get a little bit preachy here, but would you trust in the Lord that your house will never burn down or tree won't fall on your roof? Your mortgage lender would not allow you to "go naked" on that. Own the house free and clear? Your choice. Will you take it? If you have an old beater of a car, you may not want to pay for collision insurance but you darned well better have liability insurance (it's required, I think, in all states.).

Sure, the insurance companies make money and they have actuaries working on statistics all the time.

If you never need to use your insurance, it may seem like pouring money down a rat hole ... but come the day when something bad/serious happens and you are "naked" it will not be the best day you ever had.

I am, truly, sorry that you missed your long-planned trip and am feeling slightly guilty that Queeg and I were already soaking up Belezian sun when the storm hit.

On the cruise we just returned from, there was a gentleman who, all of a sudden, wasn't quite well. He spent the night in the hospital and was released next day to fly home. No insurance. His wife told me that the little overnight incident cost them almost $2,000.

On another cruise, this one to Australia and New Zealand, a lady developed pneumonia. She was kept in hospital for three days, her husband had to stay in a hotel. No insurance.

Bottom line, the cost of the cruise is feathers in the wind compared to what might happen.

If there is any comfort, your circumstances bring home the importance of insurance to others. Don't leave home without it.

I hope that all who read this thread will take note.
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  #17  
Old February 26th, 2003, 06:38 PM
AR
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Default Re: Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Jason:

That's fine, as long as you're not here on the board complaining when you DO miss one!

AR
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  #18  
Old February 27th, 2003, 08:54 AM
Jason Jason is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Pamda & AR,
Like I told Thomas, I canít disagree and rest assured I would not be without insurance on my autos and properties. I was just expressing my personal view, and the view of TAís when this insurance first became available. It has evolved into a very a desirable commodity. Iím very fortunate to have health insurance, through employer, that pays 100% without restrictions during travel.
Like I said in the other posts, if I miss one, Iím still ahead a few thousand and I canít gripe. If I miss 2, Iím even, and I still wouldnít gripe. If I miss 3, AR, I promise Iíll go to another board to gripe.

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  #19  
Old February 27th, 2003, 12:31 PM
pamda pamda is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Jason ...

Does that all-encompassing insurance operate in third-world countries? And does it cover medical evacuation?
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  #20  
Old February 27th, 2003, 01:53 PM
Jason Jason is offline
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Default Re: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Pamda,
I am covered or reimbursed medically 100% no matter where I am. According to my human resources manager transportation may also be included (given the circumstances). She also stated that ďMOSTĒ health care policies do include these benefits in an ďEMERGENCYĒ situation. So check with your own provider to verify coverage.
I do realize that the expenses of transportation and expenses created by our spouse ďMAYĒ not be covered. I also would not recover the lost vacation cost.
Again, I would never tell anyone NOT to get the vacation insurance, I was just offering my experience when this coverage first became available. This is a personal decision that would have to be made by the individual traveling. Maybe I am justifying, in my own mind, the reason why I donít buy the insurance. This is definitely not the first time Iíve been called thrifty (CHEAP). The way I look at it, by not purchasing the insurance, we saved enough to buy a few more cruises. If this is not a gamble you are willing to take, than, that is your prerogative.

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