After a day exploring Cuba’s vibrant capital Havana, Kevin Rohrer and his girlfriend returned to the dock to board their cruise ship and proceed their four-night journey.
They knew the ship, the Norwegian Sky, would depart Havana at 5 p.m. and made certain to reach on the dock by 3:30 p.m.
However after they bought to the dock they have been met with a stomach-sinking sight: the ship was gone. It had weighed anchor and left with out them.
“It was a daunting scenario. We have been devastated,” Rohrer mentioned in his criticism to the cruise firm, Norwegian Cruise Line.
“We exchanged cash and we took a taxi to the airport. American Airways advised us they wouldn’t take a bank card and quoted us 472 pesos ($466). We didn’t have that a lot cash.”
The American couple managed to purchase two seats on a flight dwelling however have been devastated their cruise journey had ended prematurely, that Norwegian Cruise Line had apparently stranded them in another country, and so they didn’t even perceive why — the itinerary clearly mentioned the ship would depart Havana at 5 p.m.
Regardless of their outrage they weren’t going to be compensated for the difficulty, as found by Michelle Sofa-Friedman from shopper rights group Elliott Advocacy, who Rohrer contacted for assist.
Rohrer advised Elliott Advocacy they later came upon Norwegian Cruise Strains had modified the scheduled departure time at Havana from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. and mentioned the corporate “made no effort to tell vacationers of this variation.”
He despatched Sofa-Friedman a duplicate of the cruise itinerary, which they booked by way of a 3rd get together. It mentioned the Norwegian Sky would depart Havana at 5 p.m.
Nonetheless, Rohrer had a second doc from Norwegian with him on the day he and his girlfriend missed their ship. It was a publication despatched to their cabin, saying passengers in Havana must be “all aboard (the ship at) 1:30 p.m.”
It appeared the corporate has tweaked the itinerary and notified passengers within the day by day publication.
Rohrer advised Elliott Advocacy he hadn’t had an opportunity to learn the publication earlier than turning into stranded.
The day earlier than calling into Havana, the Cruise Director introduced the brand new time repeatedly all through the day and extra signage was positioned on the gangway…
“I supplied that determine exhibiting the time of ‘all aboard’ information flyer that was despatched to our cabin whereas we ate breakfast on the boat the third day (second day for Cuba),” he mentioned.
“However I didn’t get to learn it on the time of discovery (we had a good schedule with the Cuban Tour Advocacy). I had folded that flyer and put it in my pocket throughout our disembarkment from the ship. I learn that flyer whereas ready for a flight out of Cuba.”
In its response to Rohrer’s criticism, Norwegian directed him to its phrases and situations, which learn, “In all ports of name, additionally it is the visitor’s accountability to be again on-board the ship no later than one (1) hour previous to the ship’s scheduled departure time. Please remember that shipboard time might differ from the port of name and it’s the visitor’s accountability to observe the shipboard time. Within the occasion a visitor misses the ship, it will likely be the visitor’s accountability to pay all bills incurred to rejoin the ship.”
In an announcement to Sofa-Friedman, Norwegian mentioned greater than a month earlier than the Havana cease, the corporate notified friends of the time change and circulated it on their e-documents.
“Moreover, the day earlier than calling into Havana, the Cruise Director introduced the brand new time repeatedly all through the day and extra signage was positioned on the gangway for all these disembarking to see,” the corporate mentioned.
Rohrer maintains he didn’t hear of any change to the schedule.
However Sofa-Friedman mentioned in any case, Norwegian Cruise Line’s contract of carriage made it clear while you booked a cruise, there was by no means a assure the itinerary would keep the identical.
Different cruise corporations have comparable disclaimers of their contracts of carriage.
“Within the occasion of strikes, lockouts, stoppages of labor, riots, climate situations, mechanical difficulties or another cause in any way, Norwegian Cruise Line has the fitting to cancel, advance, postpone or substitute any scheduled crusing or itinerary with out prior discover,” Norwegian’s phrases and situations learn.
“Norwegian Cruise Line shall not be chargeable for failure to stick to printed arrival and departure instances for any of its ports of name.”
Sofa-Friedman mentioned it was important all passengers remained conscious the cruise schedule may probably change.
“That is particularly vital when you’ve got booked your personal shore tour,” she mentioned.
“It could value a little bit extra money to e book the tour by way of the cruise line, however you will be sure that the boat gained’t sail away with out you throughout your journey.
“In the long run, it’s the traveler’s accountability to know when to be again on-board that ship. In the event you miss your cruise dwelling, sadly, there’s nobody to show to for a refund or reimbursement.”
Rohrer is known to have been involved with a lawyer over the incident.
This text initially appeared on information.com.au.