BAK1061
Contributor Level: Captain

In the news

This just hit the news, now, before I give my thoughts, what are yours ?  Kindly go to FoxNews and watch the video. Type in key words, boy with cancer/ cruise.  Curious what you all think of this. Please let us know how many cruises you have been on when answering. It may be of importance. 

Thanks

 

 

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26106563/boy-cancer-cruise

 

 

 

here is the story:

 

 

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -
A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their 5-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer.

Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway on June 1, 2014. On May 19, he ended up having to have surgery on his liver, gallbladder, diaphragm and lymph nodes after doctors found out he had a large cancerous tumor.

"No 5-year-old should have to go through this," dad Philip Colucci said. "This is heartbreaking as a parent. It's a horrible experience for him."

Unfortunately, the family did not buy travel insurance for their cruise and wanted to rebook at a later date. But, because they contacted Norwegian so close to the departure date, the cruise line says there is nothing it can do to help.

"It's not like our son got the flu or a cold and we couldn't go," mom Tara Colucci said. "This is a major situation."

Now, a group of Facebook moms that Tara Colucci is part of is trying to publicly shame Norwegian Cruise Line. They say the cruise line is insensitive and unreasonable.

"I just never imagined especially a company as big as Norwegian that they would be so heartless, basically," Tara Colucci said.

Norwegian has issued a statement to Fox 5 News saying: "Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Colucci family and we wish Nicholas a speedy recovery."

But it goes on to warn: "We strongly encourage all of our guests to purchase travel protection insurance when booking a cruise so that they will be covered if a situation such as this arises. Our overall policy states that any cancellations made within 14 days or less of the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation fee."

The statement concludes: "After reviewing the request of the Colucci family, we spoke with the family and explained that while we could not make an exception to our policy, we would assist them when they were ready to re-book their cruise."

Nicolas is now in the middle of chemotherapy. He had been looking forward to the trip and had even made a calendar counting down the days until the trip. He still asks daily when they can "go on the big boat."

UPDATE: Fox 5 has learned that the CEO of a popular cruise line reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise. The CEO asked that his cruise line not be named because he said he was genuinely touched by their story and didn't want any publicity for his gesture.

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6 Answers

BAK1061
Contributor Level: Captain

No one has anything to say about this ?     This is a huge story !

SimonCommunity
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

It's a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with Nicolas and his family. No one should have to go through medical issues like this, especially a 5 year old.

However, I'm inclined to say that Norwegian Cruise Line is in the right to enforce the terms and conditions that the family agreed to when they purchased the cruise. It's not fair to enforce the rules for one family but make an exception for another, even if they have a truly heart-wrenching story and make a public appeal in the media.

Yes, the penalties for a close-in cancelation can be steep (that applies to virtually all travel arrangements, not just cruises), and that's why travel insurance is almost always a smart purchase to protect a significant vacation investment. You never know what's going to happen, and an insurance policy is simple, low-cost peace of mind.

I'm happy that it appears another cruise line is going to take care of the family, but I hold no ill will to Norwegian in this case and actually respect them for standing their ground despite the public pressure to do otherwise.

Maybe not a popular opinion, but that's how I see it. These thoughts are mine and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else.

 

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

While I have to agree that the rules are rules especially when it comes to companies refund policy. If the cruise line had a policy, or procedure in place when issues like this come up  they should use them. If they don't, they should come up with one.

If nothing else, it would help in the ugly PR battle that is sure to come.

Bg tip here...Buy adequate insurance.

Thanks

 

JusMe
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I can understand that companies have policies that have to be enforced across the board no matter what for legal reasons. If you let one slide by others will then take you to court for not letting them slide. We are a very litigious society.

 

That being said, a company as large as NCL does have to look at PR issues. A smart alternative would have been to enforce the policy and after checking the medical reports donate a cruise to the family. The policy would be intact and they would have some good PR.

 

Unfortunately my family has had to use travel insurance a few times through the decades and each time they were great at paying with little more then a doctors note for every thing from the flu to unexpected surgery. Some travel insurance even lets you buy it rite up till the time of the trip. When you buy it make sure to get enough to also covers your nonrefundable flights and hotel reservations. It also covers you when on a trip for medical bills, lost luggage and more.

 

When you go on your trip take a copy of the travel insurance policy with you.

BAK1061
Contributor Level: Captain

First of all, prayers to the child. May he recover quickly and take his long awaited cruise.

 

Now..........this is now about a family that didn't take out the insurance, then needed it, and felt their circumstances for cancelling  were worse than anyone else's, and an exception should be made for them.    Every company has a cancelation  policy that is strictly enforced.   NCL did say they would assist them in booking another cruise when the time came.  To me, this means,  they were going to give the family a better cabin then they booked, possibly a suite.  NCL has great CS, and Kevin Sheehan has an amazing reputation in the industry.   FoxNews did a terrible job reporting (no surprise there),  but for this family to come out, and bash NCL for not breaking their policy ( again, which every cruise line has in place ) was wrong too.    If NCL had returned their money immediately, would the other line still be on the hook for a free cruise ?   I'll bet NCL would still have offered a cruise when the family was able.

A lot of us have had to cancel cruises.  Most of us take the insurance.  But we've seen this story over and over........" I didn't take the insurance but......my whatever died, I was in a terrible car accident, I slipped on the ice putting our luggage in the car, and blew out my knee "........( that last one actually happened to a friend of ours)

 

There was no reason for this to make the news.  Once again, someone complains on social media how poorly they were treated, and the " WE'LL GET THIS TAKEN CARE OF "  crowd starts up.       Hey, no kid should have to go through what this one is going through, but who is really to blame here ?  NCL ?   or the parents for not taking the insurance?

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I wonder if at this and other corporations, there is empowerment from employees to make a decision and have the corporation stand behind them when they do?

At work I am empowered to make certain decisions based on customer service needs, I have been called to explain the decision and that is the end of it. Whether I was right or wrong to make that particular decision at the time is always discussed, but when it was made it was correct, and customer satisfaction for my business is paramount in all decisions.

Just askin.....

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