My child was denied boarding our cruise! Can NCL refuse my refund request?

Anakarina Alvarez has a highly unusual story to tell — one that includes lots of confusing twists and turns. She says her family had been eagerly looking forward to a tropical vacation aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Gem. Unfortunately, those plans ended abruptly at embarkation when the cruise line denied boarding to her 11-year-old child. To add insult to injury, NCL refused the family’s $4,000 refund request, too.

Alvarez says NCL made a big mistake when it denied boarding their family’s dream cruise to her fully-vaccinated daughter. Now she wants our team to force the cruise line to admit its error and issue a refund and compensation.

But wait a minute!

The cruise line maintains it made no mistake — Alvarez’s daughter was not denied boarding in error. NCL requires all passengers to be fully vaccinated. And since children under 12 aren’t currently approved for any COVID vaccine, this 11-year-old couldn’t have been fully vaccinated.

Case closed. Or is it?

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?

Can the cruise line cancel my trip and keep my money?!

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the travel industry — that’s for sure. But in these unusual times, can a cruise line really cancel your trip and also refuse your refund request?

Of course, the answer to that question is “no.” But Elizabeth Ramirez says that’s exactly what NCL did to her — canceled her cruise and kept all her money.

Now Ramirez is asking the Elliott Advocacy team to investigate and retrieve $7,300 from Norwegian Cruise Line.

This case is a strong reminder of the importance of keeping detailed records of all your refund requests. It’s especially true during this pandemic when thousands of other travelers are making similar requests — all at the same time. Unfortunately, Ramirez’s tale also shows that sometimes even when a consumer does everything right, things can go all wrong. (Reprint)

How do I get a refund for this canceled boat tour?

Gerald Stanton canceled a planned boat tour of the Panama Canal after suffering a terrible accident last fall.

That day trip through the canal was scheduled for January of this year — before the coronavirus crisis began. So why is the operator of this excursion blaming the eight-month refund delay on the pandemic?

That’s the $252 question that faces the Elliott Advocacy team today. (Reprint)

Forced off the cruise with no vouchers included! What went wrong?

Just days before the coronavirus shut the entire cruise industry down, John Buchan and his husband boarded MSC’s Grandiosa. They were looking forward to a relaxing voyage through the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, things started going wrong immediately when they opened their cabin door and found a naked couple already inside. But within hours, that shock was overshadowed by another unpleasant surprise. That’s when MSC summarily canceled their cruise and forced the couple off the ship before it even set sail.

A thief stole my passport and I missed my cruise! Won’t my insurance cover this?

If a thief clobbers you and steals your passport, causing you to miss your cruise, shouldn’t insurance cover your loss?

Margarita Re believes so.

Before the coronavirus shut down the entire cruise industry, Re was in Italy about to enjoy a Mediterranean voyage. She says a thief assaulted her as she prepared to board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas in Venice. He stole her passport and cash — leaving her with no identification to take the trip. So why won’t her travel insurance cover the missed cruise?

Help! I’m being limited to 15 booze drinks per day on my cruise

If you buy an unlimited alcoholic beverage package from your cruise line, can it change the terms later? That’s what Joan Barrett wants to know.

Barrett says that she was enticed to book a Princess cruise by the lure of an unlimited alcoholic beverage package. But later, Princess Cruises changed the terms to “just” 15 cocktails per day. And those changes are unacceptable to Barrett. (Reprint)

Can you get a refund instead of cruise credits for your canceled voyage?

A boatload of disgruntled cruise passengers has contacted the Elliott Advocacy team during the pandemic. Their question? How to get a refund instead of future credits after a cruise line canceled their voyage — more than once.

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not what most want to hear. But the tide has recently started to turn, and there is some good news on the horizon. (Updated April 24)

What happened to the earrings I bought on my cruise last year?!

The beautiful earrings that Robin White bought onboard her Caribbean cruise last year are missing. She’s been trying to find the lost gems for nearly a year, but the coronavirus pandemic has thwarted her efforts. Now Starboard Cruise Services claims a third party delivered the jewelry to her home last March.

So shouldn’t the company be able to provide proof of delivery of the $1,600 earrings?

White thinks so, and she wants the Elliott Advocacy team to get that proof, the earrings or her money back.

Can we do it? (Surprise update)

Latest