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Old January 17th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Default NCL Ship left without us at Samana Dominican Republic Port

I have some advice for everyone who goes on NCL and gets off the boat in Samana Dominican Republic----- go on an offical tour sponsored by the cruiseline!

Here is my story:

Getting off the tender at Samana Dominican Republic, we were instantly approached by many desparate looking taxi drivers and unoffical tour guides who wanted to show my wife and I-- the local attractions. Because we were approached by so many potential guides, we quickly accepted the lowest cost offer and headed out.

The scenery was beautiful. I had never seen so many beautiful palm trees. The whole area was so green and tropical. The tour was great and we got a great chance to see how the typical local subsistence farmer lived. The desparation and poverty was so depressing. But I had to accept it there was nothing I could do about it. At least they lived in warm tropical sunshine.

We were on our way back to the port maybe an hour out and we heard a loud noise. The back right tire had gone out. Trouble was there was no spare and we were out in the middle of no where. Our driver started to walk to the closest village for help, leaving us to sit next to the taxi.

Anyway, by the time we got to the port it was dark and the ship had left. We only had $25 and one credit card with us. We saw no sign of anyone from NCL and the shops were closed for the evening. We had to take the taxi (with the repaired tire) to a local hotel. It was very expensive.

The next day we made arrangements by phone to fly home. Trouble was our passport was in a safe in the ship and our clothes and bags were sitting in our cabin on the way to Saint Thomas.

Things got very expensive at that point. We had to get a large cash advance on our credit card to pay for general expenses and a very long cab ride to the nearest Airport which was almost 100 miles away. (The new Samana International Airport had not opened as of that date)

Once we got to the Airport, they told us we could not fly out because we had no passport. (It was on the ship). We had to go to the US Embassy to get a temporary passport. That took a full day. Finally we got a flight back to America but at a last minute full fare of over $600. No seats were avilable to our next port of call for a reasonable price. We had to pay to get our bags left on the ship delivered to us. Travel insurance was of no help in this case.

Other than not going on a private tour, what should we have done differently?
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Old January 17th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Can I make a suggestion - sell your story to a production compnay. A scary story but you had me gripped. there could be money in your unfortunate cicumstances!!

Glad to hear you got home safely.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Gee on *edited for content* it was friends of your this happened too...maybe you should keep track of the stories you tell
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Well I think that I certainly would have been hoofing it to the nearest village myself, not sitting in a cab waiting for someone to rescue me. But regardless things like this can and do happen. It is important to give yourself extra time to get back to the ship and not cut it too closely, I don't fault the Cruise Line. It's not their fault the cab had a blow out.

I have been on that ride from Samana to the nearest airport before and it is exciting to say the least, especially at night.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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The insurance company we use would have compensated us for all of the additional expense.
I will PM the info to anyone who wants it.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Rinker, seriously? Please do!
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:39 PM
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I think it hardly fare that you title this story "NCL Ship left without us at Samana Dominican Republic Port"
Every other cruise line would have done the same thing.
Everyone knows that you take a chance when you go on your own.
It is unfortunate but you won't be the last ones to go through this.
I have witnessed people in a bar in Cozumel argue that they had another hour even though they were told that the ship was leaving at "Ship Time" not Mexico time. (there is an hour difference)
I guess they learned the hard way.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Rinker, seriously? Please do!
My pleasure.
Info has been sent.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Thanks!!!!
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Old January 17th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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insurance is always the answer, that being said, I think I would have located the American Embassy or some government agency. We never missed the ship but came close one time. Yes, you are correct, be very careful about booking tours privately. I am not saying it can't work or be a better deal, just make certain you only book privately if you are allowing many hours leiway and are with a certifiied tour company.

Of course you know this now.

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Old January 19th, 2008, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
insurance is always the answer, that being said, I think I would have located the American Embassy or some government agency. We never missed the ship but came close one time. Yes, you are correct, be very careful about booking tours privately. I am not saying it can't work or be a better deal, just make certain you only book privately if you are allowing many hours leiway and are with a certifiied tour company.

Of course you know this now.

Nita
Nita, I know you always try to be helpful, but you MUST recognize this poster !!! They didn't even bother to change their screen name
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Old January 20th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
insurance is always the answer, that being said, I think I would have located the American Embassy or some government agency. We never missed the ship but came close one time. Yes, you are correct, be very careful about booking tours privately. I am not saying it can't work or be a better deal, just make certain you only book privately if you are allowing many hours leiway and are with a certifiied tour company.

Of course you know this now.

Nita
Nita, I know you always try to be helpful, but you MUST recognize this poster !!! They didn't even bother to change their screen name
Appears that this is definitely a 'story'.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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I don't know about NCL ships but the Carnival ships have "Capers" where a number is listed for anyone who thinks they may miss the ship can call and possibly make arrangements.
Maybe in this port the OP didn't have cell service, or just didn't think to try to call the cruiseline.

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Old January 21st, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Is it just me, or does this seem like a NCL Employee trying to drum-up more business for the tours dept.?
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frwalters
Is it just me, or does this seem like a NCL Employee trying to drum-up more business for the tours dept.?
your first post here is this?

Captain
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Yep, it sure is. I've been on 33 cruises so far in my ilfe, not to mention that I can smell *edited* a mile away.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 11:31 AM
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Do you kiss your mom with that mouth?
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Old January 27th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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oh wow. im going to semana on the NCL Dawn in 33 days. thanks for the advice!! I was going to go whale watching.
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