This is the Last You Will Ever Hear About NOT Stranded / NOT Abandoned Norwegian Cruise Lines Guests in Africa and a Lesson Learned.

10
1081
a road going through a dry landscape

As an Amazon Affiliate, we may earn a commission on eligible purchases made through our referrals. Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

When it comes to cruising news organizations love to find things to highlight how bad the industry is and many times to truly stretch the truth as far as they can get away with it in reporting an event.

To bring you up to speed, in case you missed this, the media has been all a flutter reporting that NCL or Norwegian Cruise Lines stranded or abandoned several guests on a tiny African island and sailed away without them. The truth is that neither event happened and the guests were 100% at fault for being late getting back to the ship that was using life boats as tenders to the tiny island and the guests were late because they had booked a non-ship sponsored tour that did not get them to the dock by the 3 PM last tender time (they were over an hour late btw).

The guests were seasoned cruisers so they knew the risk when they chose to book outside of the ship and then, as time went on, seemed to blame NCL for not waiting for them and focusing on customer service as being poor. They even, for a time, implied they may not get back on the ship at another port and continue the cruise.

a sunset over the ocean

NCL pointed out they were doing everything they could to get them back onboard and were in contact and assisting them to do just that at the next scheduled port. The guests had to pay for their travel bookings to get to the next port but NCL was doing what they could to help with visa’s and so on.

Then the situation got worse.

The weather at the next port, that the guests had at that point made it to, was so bad that the ship could not dock and had to skip the port altogether.

Ruh roh!

The result was the guests now had to again travel to the next scheduled port to try to catch up with the ship again. Here is where NCL went above and beyond to help these poor folks. Notice a statement from Norwegian:

Despite the series of unfortunate events outside of our control, we will be reimbursing these eight guests for their travel costs from Banjur, Gambia to Dakar, Senegal” – Norwegian Cruise Lines

So, to be clear, NCL had no obligation to pay for the passengers travels to make it to Senegal but they are going above and beyond to help out these loyal guests! Most impressive.

Cruisehive confirmed that the guests are in fact back on board and my guess is they are going to be VERY careful to pay attention to the “all aboard time” at the rest of their stops until the Dawn makes it the final stop of Barcelona Spain on April 10th.

The takeaway from all of this!

a blue and yellow ticket with black text

Every cruise I have ever been on goes to great lengths to inform you when you MUST be back onboard the ship. They make PA accountants. They have signs as you walk off the ship. They print the times in the daily planner delivered to your room the night before. Point being it is hard NOT to be well aware when this critical time is. If you are getting off the ship on your own you simply must live by this time because if not, as we have seen from the above, you may be on your own and it may take a LONG TIME to catch back up with the ship at considerable expense. Would these guests be “more than happy” to cover all these costs or lost income? I think we all know the answer.

The other points that have not been covered by the media is the reason NCL simply did not wait for the guests to get to the ship even if it meant floating around for a while to wait for them. Had NCL done this they may have incurred all kinds of possible costs like:

  • Additional fees to be in port (or near the port).
  • Additional gas costs to increase speed to the next port.
  • Crew scheduling issues due to the delay.
  • The casino delayed opening as they must be in international waters
  • Gift shops and more delayed opening costing them revenue

I could go on and on but the simple fact of the matter is a delay of several hours could have an oversized burden on the sailing and who knows how many thousands of dollars NCL may have lost for such a delay that was entirely the passengers fault.

Bottom line is if you choose to book adventures outside the ship – that you are free to do – you are the one responsible to get back on time and the cruise line has zero responsibility to wait on you if you are late as you knew the rules. – René

Follow Frequent Floaters on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our magazine on Flipboard. You can subscribe to our once-a-day e-mail blast here! <-LINK 
Frequent Floaters partner offer!
CardMatch™
Offers may not be available to all users.

Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe you are correct on some of the points you made about this situation, yet, the bad publicity and negative attention to NCL will surpass any of the costs of waiting and allowing them to get back in the ship. In my humble opinion, the captain was wrong and now he/she needs to own their poor decision.

    • @Common – They had put away all the life boats and it was not safe to have them board from other boats. Had they had to re-drop life boats to tender in it would have taken even longer. The only “bad publicity” was from the press not call the guests out from taking the risk they did and not making it back in time.

  2. You really would cruise with NCL when they disregard passengers’ plight?

    A customer service failure this flagrant is hard to find.

    Don’t look for me on their passenger manifest. This century. The next doesn’t look good either.

    • @Chris – Yes I would and just booked 22 days onboard. They in NO WAY “disregarded passengers’ plight” as they helped them get to the ship after THEY missed the boat and even paid when things got ugly for transport. You need to review the post as NCL was amazing and did not have to be.

  3. Love how you failed to mention that the COAST GUARD volunteered to take these poor stranded passengers out to the ship while it was still in port waters, to re-imbark the ship at sea level (no climbing), yet the entitled, authoritarian, Carnival Cruise Captain refused to do so. You also failed to note that if a tour hired by Carnival is late to port, they will ALWAYS stay behind until the passengers arrive.

    Carnival Cruises is the Spirit Air of cruise lines ! [expletive’s removed]

    • @DaveFromBoca – You may want to read the post again (or twice). This was not a Carnival ship but NCL. Next, the African “coast guard” is nothing like an NCL tender ship and not safe. Next, again see post, they were not on a ship sponsored excursion so the were on their own. You are correct that if you get on any cruise sponsored tour the ship will wait for you yes but that was not the case for these folks!

  4. The delayed pax were in the wrong. Period. How rude for those who didn’t follow the rules to complain. Everyone knows, things happen. That’s why pax are warned over and over again to be back in time. Because if you’re not back, the ship isn’t going to wait. Why should everyone else be inconvenienced due to delayed pax?

  5. I always schedule non-ship shore excursions (Viator, Venture Ashore, etc.) because they’re usually better and less expensive and I ALWAYS make double sure the tour will be back at the ship no less than an hour before the ship/last tender is scheduled to leave. I have never had a problem, but I also know that if I miss the ship it’s my problem.

  6. The bottom line to this story is straightforward and simple. Cruise passengers are solely responsible for getting themselves back to the ship in a timely manner when the ship is docked in a port. Blaming the Captain or the cruise line for a passenger’s poor decision does not remove responsibility from the cruiser. At the heart of this story, it’s really the old “misery loves company” meme, which is deployed when you’ve made a bad decision and you attempt to drag others into your self-inflicted misery.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.