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American Couple Misses Cruise Ship, Gets Stuck in Cuba

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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.

The cautionary tale serves as yet another reason why you should always work with a travel agent.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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Cruises

Passengers Being Evacuated as Zaandam, Rotterdam Finally Dock

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For the first time in almost a month, passengers aboard an illness-stricken Holland America ship put their feet on dry land this morning.

The Zaandam, with four dead aboard, nine confirmed coronavirus cases and 200 more that are sick, finally docked in Fort Lauderdale overnight after an arduous, frustrating journey in which the boat was turned away from a half-dozen ports on its South American itinerary.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finally relented and allowed the Zaandam – as well as its sister ship, the Rotterdam, which took on some of the Zaandam’s healthy passengers – to dock at Port Everglades late Thursday night.

According to the Associated Press, 14 critically ill people were removed from the Zaandam first and taken to Florida hospitals, followed by Florida residents and other passengers. Buses were taking people healthy enough to travel directly to the airport and directly to chartered flights, avoiding the terminal.

“This is a humanitarian situation, and the County Commission’s top priority is protecting our 1.9 million residents while providing a contained disembarkation option for people on board who need to get safely home,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said in a statement late Thursday.

Holland America initially said 45 people who were mildly ill would stay onboard the Zaandam until they recovered, but the docking plan released later Thursday indicated that 26 passengers and 50 crew members were ill. Two of the four dead had COVID-19.

Carnival Corp., which owns the Holland America Line, said the Coral Princess – its last ship carrying passengers to a U.S. port since the pandemic was declared – will arrive on Saturday with more than 1,000 passengers who have been isolating in their cabins, including 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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