After a disastrous cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) issued $2,500 in vouchers to Jaihar Murli and his family. But the certificates expired after a year, as they usually do.
Murli wants NCL to extend the time to use the vouchers, but it won’t. His story illustrates how even substantial “goodwill” vouchers have important restrictions that may not be obvious at first glance. It also shows how persistence can pay off, even though the final resolution may not be everything you want.
NCL won’t extend the vouchers because it already did so once before. When NCL issued the future cruise vouchers to Murli, it informed him in writing that the “cruise credits are valid for sailings within 12 months from the date of this letter, are non-transferable, and have no cash value.” But Murli thought that he only had to book the cruise before the expiration date, not that the cruise had to be completed before that date.
When Murli tried to book a cruise before the voucher expiration date, for a voyage that was sailing after the expiration date, NCL wouldn’t honor the vouchers.
“Hoping for a speedy and fair resolution,” Murli turned to our advocates for help.
As our advocates reviewed the email exchange between Murli and NCL, it became apparent that NCL had already waived its policy and extended the expiration date of the vouchers once. The vouchers were originally set to expire in September 2016, but upon Murli’s request, NCL adjusted its policy and granted an extension through September 2017.
Murli said that after the vouchers were extended the first time, he received a call from NCL Guest Relations “affirming that the credit could be used for a future sailing before it expired, and that the sailing could occur beyond September 2017.”
Unfortunately, Murli did not have anything in writing confirming the conversation, and he didn’t know the name of the agent he spoke with.
Murli could have posted a query to our help forums which are staffed by travel industry experts, and often read by company executives. Our forum advocates may have had helpful suggestions for him.
Murli tried to escalate his request and directly contact NCL executives. We list executive contact information for companies on our website company contacts. But NCL only responded to Murli’s emails through its customer relations department.
Our advocates contacted NCL on Murli’s behalf. NCL reiterated that the vouchers could be used for sailings booked and completed before expiration in mid-September 2017. NCL declined to extend the vouchers a second time. But as a gesture of goodwill, NCL offered Murli a $500 onboard credit for sailings beyond the expiration date.
Murli still has time to use the vouchers. His options are to find a way to use them before expiration, or to use the $500 on-board credit for a cruise beyond the expiration date. We hope he is able to take advantage of one of the options.