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Jason

Norwegian Cruise Line ship leaves couple stranded in Cuba after departing early

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Kevin Rohrer's and his girlfriend's vacation ended abruptly in Havana, Cuba after their cruise ship left without them on a recent four-night Norwegian Cruise Line sailing in the Caribbean.

According to News.com.au, the American couple returned to the dock more than an hour ahead of what they thought was the Norwegian Sky's 5 p.m. departure time only to find the ship was already gone.

"It was a frightening situation. We were devastated," Rohrer said in his complaint to the cruise company. "We exchanged money and we took a taxi to the airport. American Airlines told us they wouldn’t take a credit card and quoted us 472 pesos ($465). We didn’t have that much money."

The couple managed to book a flight home and Rohrer has since contacted consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy.

Nonetheless, the couple appears to be out of luck as Norwegian Cruise Line made multiple notes of the departure time change well in advance of the cruise. What's more, the company's terms and conditions point out that "shipboard time may differ from the port of call" and that it's the "guest’s responsibility to pay all expenses incurred to rejoin the ship" in the event they are left behind.

In a statement to Michelle Couch-Friedman of Elliott Advocacy, Norwegian Cruise Line said it notified guests of the time change and circulated it on their e-documents more than a month before the Havana stop. "Additionally, the day before calling into Havana, the Cruise Director announced the new time repeatedly throughout the day and additional signage was placed on the gangway for all those disembarking to see," the cruise line stated.

The hard-learned lesson is one that all travelers should take note of. "In the end, it’s the traveler’s responsibility to know when to be back on-board that ship. If you miss your cruise home, unfortunately, there’s no one to turn to for a refund or reimbursement," said Couch-Friedman.

By Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com


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How unfortunate and sad for the couple. Cuba is on the same clock as the East Coast port of departure, so that wasn’t the issue. I have to side with the cruise line here. If they did indeed give multiple notices on board about the schedule change, then the couple should have known this. However, it’s very possible they never got the notice that the cruise line says they sent out a month before. Its not unusual for important notices to get lost in cyber space or never sent. 

Funny, I just mentioned to someone how American credit cards are not accepted in Cuba - including the airport, too, I guess.

I’m curious as to whether a lot of other people missed the ship, as well. If so, then the cruise line definitely has a communication issue.

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Jan - I guess it was just this particular couple.  I too side with the cruise line. I am always stymied how people don't know what time to be back onboard the ship.  It is posted at the exit if all other communication fails, read people, read!!!!  Sorry that's an expensive lesson for this couple to learn from.

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3 hours ago, zebra said:

Jan - I guess it was just this particular couple.  I too side with the cruise line. I am always stymied how people don't know what time to be back onboard the ship.  It is posted at the exit if all other communication fails, read people, read!!!!  Sorry that's an expensive lesson for this couple to learn from.

Exactly, Jackie! Getting back to the ship before it sails is a pretty important feature of cruising - you might think they'd double and triple check the all-aboard time. 

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Very sad for the couple, and feel bad for them, but have to agree with you Jan and Jackie.  When the ship gives you all that information on when to be back, you have to pay attention.  The cruise line says it put out all that information...hmmm!

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I concur - I side with the cruise line.  You have to pay attention to all notices...AND - we always double check the return time right as we leave the ship.  I have never NOT seen the "all aboard" time posted near the gangway or by the tender pickup point. 

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14 hours ago, Fakaza2018 said:

I’m curious as to whether a lot of other people missed the ship, as well. If so, then the cruise line definitely has a communication issue.

I"m thinking we would have heard about that by now...no?

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12 hours ago, AndiD said:

I"m thinking we would have heard about that by now...no?

No - no news about this than what was reported. My guess is that they were simply a couple caught up in the excitement and not paying attention to all-aboard time.

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I agree too bad for the couple but as no one else made this same mistake apparently then I do wonder how they missed all the notices for the updated departure time. 

 

Live and learn I guess. 

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