CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Dawn by Sau Hou Chang Bermuda May 20, 2006

To all cruisemates, You have read so many complaints about the services of cruise line, but none of them is similar to mine. Can you imagine an ďinternationalĒ cruise line would have no idea which customer does not need a visa to go boarding? I would like to share my unpleasant experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) so that you know how ignorant and irresponsible they are.

I was in New York to join the 7-night Bahamas trip (going to Bermuda and Bahamas) at Norwegian Dawn on May 20 but I was denied aboard because of the ignorance and incompetence of NCL. When I showed my Macao passport to the cruise staff, she expressed doubt whether I needed a visa to go to Bermuda. The cruise staff contacted another staff in white uniform who told me that Chinese passport holders needed a visa. I explained to her that my Macao passport was not the same thing as a regular Chinese passport and that I had investigated and ascertained that I did not need any visa to go to Bermuda. In fact, after booking the cruise, I received instructions from, to which I booked the cruise, to inform myself from the CIBT web site about possible visa requirements. I received an e-mail from CIBT on May 15 that I, a Macao passport holder, did not need a visa to go to Bermuda. In addition, I checked the Bermuda immigration regulations provided by NCL web site and learnt that Macao is not one of the countries requiring Bermuda entry visas. No matter how I explained to the cruise staff, I was denied boarding the Norwegian Dawn.

On June 2, I wrote a letter and enclosed the CIBT visa information to the NCL to explain the incident and request for refund and appropriate compensation. On June 24, I received a letter from the NCL who put all the blame on me. I was told that it was my responsibility to check my documentation and guests denied boarding are not entitled to a refund. I wonder if the NCL did investigate the incident before they gave me such a disrespectful response. In fact, I wrote to the Governor to Bermuda about my visa status and got a response from the Deputy Governorís Office on June 22 that I donít need a visa to enter Bermuda. If NCL took customerís letter seriously, they would have checked my visa status before putting the blame on their customers.

I suspect that it is a trick of NCL who are pissing me off so that I will give up. How many time and effort must a consumer take to get back their compensation because of the mistakes of a company? Why NCL does not take the responsibility to admit the mistakes they did? I will not give up my file because I believe there is consumer rights and justice in the United States! Iíve just sent a letter to the NCL on June 27 to express my dissatisfaction with their irresponsible response to my request. I hope they will take proper action to investigate their mistakes and give me a satisfied response.

Thanks so much for sharing my story with all those who are concern about consumer rights and justice in the United States!

Sau Hou Chang

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