Cruise ship news: 7 awful things that could happen to passengers now!

If you’re planning to board a cruise ship soon, the recent news reports on the industry are probably causing concern. From vessels being refused docking privileges to passengers being confined to their cabins, cruising during this pandemic is iffy.

But many die-hard cruisers are undeterred and intend to sail no matter the outcome. So if you’re one of those cruise fans, here’s what could be in your cruising future.

Why did Norwegian Cruise Line treat these two couples so differently?

Patrick Doyle and his wife recently boarded a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, vaccinated and COVID negative. They intended to celebrate Christmas with a tropical cruise sailing on NCL’s Dawn. Unfortunately, within three days of embarkation, Lee Doyle became very ill. In the medical center onboard the vessel, she received a diagnosis of influenza. Her husband, who was feeling fine, tested positive for COVID, and their holiday adventure suddenly took an awful turn.

Within hours, Norwegian crew members dressed in hazmat suits relocated the Doyles from their regular cabin to the medical floor. There, NCL personnel informed the stunned couple of how they would be spending the rest of the cruise. They would be required to quarantine not only from the rest of the passengers – but from each other, as well.

The couple says their days in quarantine were filled with boredom, loneliness, and poor communication from Norwegian Cruise Line. It was a decidedly very unmerry Christmas.

Norwegian Cruise Line made us stay inside our cabin for four days! Is this legal?

Norwegian Cruise Line just forced a triple-vaccinated husband and wife to stay inside their cabin without reprieve for four days. And when the ship finally returned to New York, two burly NCL crew members inexplicably continued to prevent the couple’s escape. How is this possible? That’s what the bewildered COVID-negative duo wants to know.

Kelly Cotto and her husband had never taken a cruise before last week’s bizarre experience. But after what they endured aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem, they likely never will again.

Now, finally released from their involuntary confinement, the Cottos want answers from Norwegian Cruise Line – and a refund. The couple is asking us to find out why NCL forced them inside their cabin for nearly the entire cruise.

But with the cruise line staying tight-lipped about NCL’s written COVID protocol, that might be a tall order. (Jump to: Jan 7 update)

My Carnival cruise ended at the pier! Why was I denied boarding?

Stephen Delisle is a seasoned traveler with a proven track record of successfully navigating the globe – even during the pandemic. But Carnival Cruise Line recently put an end to that success streak. His family planned to celebrate Thanksgiving aboard Carnival’s newest ship, the Mardi Gras. Unfortunately, they never made it past the pier on the day of embarkation. That’s where Delisle was summarily denied boarding the cruise by the boat’s medical personnel.

Delisle says the crew members made an awful mistake when they refused to let him board the Mardi Gras. That error caused his family to miss their much-anticipated Carnival cruise.

To add insult to injury, Carnival firmly rejected Delisle’s refund request for the missed cruise. Now he’s asking us for help. He wants the Elliott Advocacy team to properly investigate and prove this was the cruise line’s mistake, not his.

Can we do it?

Rocky Mountaineer canceled our tour of Canada and refused to refund our $6,339. Help!

Rocky Mountaineer canceled Kay Nelson’s rail tour through Canada last year. Then the tour operator gave itself permission to refuse her refund request and give her an expiring voucher instead. What’s happening here?

Question

I need your help getting a refund of $6,339 for a Canadian rail tour from Rocky Mountaineer. Our package included airport, train, and hotel transfers, with nights in Calgary, Banff, and Vancouver.

Rocky Mountaineer canceled the trip, scheduled for May 2020, which we booked in February 2020. The company offered a 110 percent nonrefundable credit to use against a new booking that can be applied to the 2021 season and would have had to have been used by the end of November.

I would prefer Rocky Mountaineer give me a full refund rather than credit for a trip we may not ever take.

Rocky Mountaineer has refused our direct request for a refund. I filed a chargeback through my credit card, but Visa sided with the tour operator. Is there anything you can do? — Kay Nelson, Chapel Hill, N.C.

If Air Canada sent you an extra $4,282 refund, would you just keep it?

Scoring an Air Canada refund during the pandemic has been nearly impossible. The airline has consistently ignored the Department of Transportation’s refund rules for most of the past 20 months. Instead, the carrier has been automatically issuing flight credits — even when it owes passengers cash refunds.

Which makes this story particularly improbable…but true.

Renette Frank was one of the lucky ones who actually received her Air Canada refund last year. So imagine her surprise when the airline recently sent her another $4,282. Even more surprising: When she tried to return the extra money, the airline made that impossible, too.

Now she’s asking the Elliott Advocacy team to help facilitate the return of the duplicate Air Canada refund.

This case is from our “Weird and Silly” files for Thanksgiving. Readers often ask why company mistakes never lean in favor of the customer. But the truth is, we do receive these types of cases from time to time. And, unbelievably, these consumers have hit the same frustrating hurdles as we’ve seen in our standard cases. Here Air Canada made a mistake and sent Frank a refund that it had already given her. So why is the airline making it so difficult to return the cash? Should she just keep it??

United Airlines stranded us in Morocco! How will we get home now?

It’s ok for United Airlines to fly a family to Morocco, cancel their return flight, and leave them stranded there. Right?

Wrong. But the airline seems to think so.

Ahmed Benidamou purchased economical, round-trip tickets from Tulsa to Casablanca directly through the airline’s website. He, his wife, and two small children flew to Africa as scheduled. But then, United Airlines suddenly canceled their flight home and offered no alternatives, leaving the family stranded there.

Now, still stuck in Morocco with no affordable way home, the troubled father is asking for our help. He’s hoping that we’ll convince United Airlines to try a little harder to get his stranded family back to Oklahoma.

Benidamou’s experience is yet another example of just how far customer service has fallen during the pandemic. United Airlines has a vast network of partner airlines spanning the globe, in addition to its own giant fleet. But United repeatedly rejected the bewildered family’s plea for help and simply abandoned them.

Can we find out what is going on here and help get the Benidamous home by Thanksgiving?

This cruise ship passenger arrived just in time — to be denied boarding!

Could a cruise ship passenger be denied boarding even if they have all of the required documents for sailing?

Lee Bolland says he knows the answer to that question is “Yes” because it happened to him. In September, he and his wife planned to cruise through the Mediterranean on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic. The couple flew to Spain to begin their adventure, and all was going well — until it suddenly wasn’t. At the port, NCL employees shockingly denied Bolland boarding and abandoned the couple there.

Now Bolland wants our team to show NCL the evidence that proves it mistakenly denied him boarding the cruise.

And he wants his money back.

But did NCL mistakenly deny boarding of the cruise to Bolland, or does the mistake lie elsewhere? That’s the question for today.

Our anniversary trip was ruined because we couldn’t find a COVID test!

During the pandemic, your anniversary trip can be ruined easier than ever. Willie Williams found this out in a most unpleasant way.

Last month, Williams and his wife were eagerly looking forward to celebrating their anniversary on a sunny beach in Jamaica. A few days before departure, they were patiently waiting for Rite Aid to provide the results of their pre-trip COVID test. But all their anniversary dreams were ruined when those test results came too late for them to board the plane.

Instead of celebrating their anniversary in the tropics, they spent it staring at a $3,500 nonrefundable invoice from Vacations To Go.

Now the couple is pleading with the Elliott Advocacy to pull their anniversary plans out of the ruins. But is that something we can do? (Originally published Oct. 2021)

Don’t bother booking a cruise if you’re not fully vaccinated. Here’s why

Well, that didn’t take long. The first wave of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers who’ve been denied boarding their cruise ships has washed ashore.

As the cruise industry begins to return to the waterways, mass confusion about the requirements for cruising has ensued. One of the first casualties of this chaos was Joshua Maxwell and his fiancee. They showed up at the dock earlier this month, planning to set sail on Celebrity Cruises’ Equinox. Unfortunately, they weren’t fully vaccinated, and the cruise line rejected the couple and sent them home.

The twist? Maxwell says vaccination requirements confused cruise line employees, too. As a result, he says the duo were allowed to board the ship and settle into their cabin before being forcibly removed by security hours later.

So what’s going on here?

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