Customer Service Misleading Boarding Information

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Oct 26, 2015
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#1
Mr. Christopher Elliott,
We are contacting you in regards to an incident on August 2, 2015. We arrived on time to Pier 88 in NY, to board the Norwegian Cruise Line ship called The Breakaway, reservation #289xxx. We proceed to check in our luggage and a NCL attendant requested our documents; we provided our passports and NY State driver licenses. Because week before our vacation we contacted NCL costumer services to inquire about the appropriated documents to board the ship. Cellular (XXX) XXX-2162. On the first call on 07/25/2015 at 9:13 am, I asked which, documents were needed to board the ship, considering that my wife had a Mexican passport and it was her first cruise; the costumer service stated that our passports and USA driver licenses were enough. On my wife request I had to call again; the second call on 07/25/2015 at 9:45 am, I mentioned that my wife’s Mexican passport did not have its married name, only said to whom she was married to. The phone representative confirmed again that it was not a problem that we only needed our passports and driver licenses. Because NCL representative gave us missed leading information that is why we did not brig my wife green card. We explained at the check in counter
The only person showing empathy was the first young lady that took our papers at first. But the rest of NCL employees were highly rude. They only took our passports and driver licenses asked us to step out of the line to keep booking the passengers. After 45minutes, we were hoping someone from NCL to talk to us with an apology or at least some rational way to solve the problem. NO ONE DID! On the contrary, the NCL costumer service that day on the phone with my husband, told us what happen was our fault and we could either go back home to get the green card or take an airplane to BERMUDA to catch up with the ship. We live very far away to came back on time; my husband mentioned if we can get credit to take the cruise next year, but costumer service in a cold way sad “the only way to take the cruise it was in a week”. Neither my husband nor I have the luxury to get vacations whenever we want!
We had to wait on the terminal from our luggage until 4:00pm. The boarding crew at any moment came with any words of remorse toward our horrible situation. On top of that, my husband tried to find some one regarding our luggage, but your representative spoke to us with a scolding tone towards us, like if we were two kids! Sated “Do you know anybody that can break into our apartment to get your wife green card?” We were shocked and offended. We could not believe NCL teach their employees to talk that way to their costumers. We had been saving and waiting for two years to celebrate our honeymoon. Our illusions to enjoy such a wonderful cruise got crushed with your employer’s racist comment to get someone to break into our apt. Was this employee suggesting we know criminals because were Latin??
We have been talking to many NCL costumer service representatives, but at the end the calls are transfer to another employee and the holding calls are long. Finally, our Citibank credit card helped us to get a dispute with NCL bank, but NCL at the end won and declined any mistake. The costumer service should tell me that he did not know the answer. We cannot believe NCL do not want to take responsibility and on top of that it does not care about their costumers.
We are very disappointed and looking to get someone help!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
1,999
3,413
113
#2
I'm sorry you had such an awful experience. The check in people were correct - your wife did need her green card. Norwegian messed up by not telling you that in the phone, and to my mind that is a mistake they should offer you a cruise credit for.

Go to http://elliott.org/company-contacts/norwegian-cruise-line-ncland write our primary contact, following the advice on the page. One contact at a time, a short polite request explaining you called and were told incorrect information regarding the need for a green card. Give each contact a week before moving on to the next as needed.

Unfortunately cruise companies have their terms of carriage so that even a mistake on their part in this regard they'll not be liable for...but that doesn't mean you can't ask.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#3
Claudia, unfortunately, you are responsible to ensure that you have the proper documents when traveling and are supposed to call the embassies of the countries you travel to to get the information. NCL is not responsible for advising one way or the other on whether your documents are proper or not. But this is on their website and information to find this is printed on the last page of your cruise confirmations on how to find what you need to travel with:
Non-U.S. Citizens
Alien Residents of the United States holding an Alien Registration Card (ARC or "Green Card") (Form I-551) may travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda (see Visa Restrictions on Bermuda) and the Caribbean with just their valid ARC and Proof of Identity. However, it is recommended that these guests also carry their passports from their country of citizenship if available. In some instances, ARC holders may still be required to have sailing permits and/or visas to enter countries Norwegian Cruise Line visits in these areas. Please note that travel anywhere else in the world requires a valid passport from the country you are a citizen of and subsequently subjects you to any documentation, visa and health requirements of all countries visited.
In addition, on your boarding pass that you print to take with you, it also states this (I am leaving on an NCL cruise Friday and have it right in front of me):
For the appropriate requirements based on your itinerary and nationality, please contact your travel professional, local immigration office or www.ncl.com/traveldocs. It's your responsibility to obtain any required visas or other necessary documentation prior to sailing.
When I go to that link, it gives me the above information. Had you done that you would have seen the green card was needed. Is there any reason why you didn't fly to meet the ship vs. losing everything?
We have contacts at NCL posted on the top of the page:
http://elliott.org/company-contacts/norwegian-cruise-line-ncl/
Write to the customer service address and advise what happened. You can try to request a credit for a future sailing, but I cannot promise you that you will get anything since the documents state the requirements. Give them a week to respond, then move to the first executive listed. Give them a week to reply and continue weekly until you exhaust all avenues.
Good luck.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,230
1,681
113
Coastal South Carolina
#4
Mr. Christopher Elliott,
We are contacting you in regards to an incident on August 2, 2015. We arrived on time to Pier 88 in NY, to board the Norwegian Cruise Line ship called The Breakaway, reservation #28939848. We proceed to check in our luggage and a NCL attendant requested our documents; we provided our passports and NY State driver licenses. Because week before our vacation we contacted NCL costumer services to inquire about the appropriated documents to board the ship. Cellular (XXX) XXX-2162. On the first call on 07/25/2015 at 9:13 am, I asked which, documents were needed to board the ship, considering that my wife had a Mexican passport and it was her first cruise; the costumer service stated that our passports and USA driver licenses were enough. On my wife request I had to call again; the second call on 07/25/2015 at 9:45 am, I mentioned that my wife’s Mexican passport did not have its married name, only said to whom she was married to. The phone representative confirmed again that it was not a problem that we only needed our passports and driver licenses. Because NCL representative gave us missed leading information that is why we did not brig my wife green card. We explained at the check in counter
The only person showing empathy was the first young lady that took our papers at first. But the rest of NCL employees were highly rude. They only took our passports and driver licenses asked us to step out of the line to keep booking the passengers. After 45minutes, we were hoping someone from NCL to talk to us with an apology or at least some rational way to solve the problem. NO ONE DID! On the contrary, the NCL costumer service that day on the phone with my husband, told us what happen was our fault and we could either go back home to get the green card or take an airplane to BERMUDA to catch up with the ship. We live very far away to came back on time; my husband mentioned if we can get credit to take the cruise next year, but costumer service in a cold way sad “the only way to take the cruise it was in a week”. Neither my husband nor I have the luxury to get vacations whenever we want!
We had to wait on the terminal from our luggage until 4:00pm. The boarding crew at any moment came with any words of remorse toward our horrible situation. On top of that, my husband tried to find some one regarding our luggage, but your representative spoke to us with a scolding tone towards us, like if we were two kids! Sated “Do you know anybody that can break into our apartment to get your wife green card?” We were shocked and offended. We could not believe NCL teach their employees to talk that way to their costumers. We had been saving and waiting for two years to celebrate our honeymoon. Our illusions to enjoy such a wonderful cruise got crushed with your employer’s racist comment to get someone to break into our apt. Was this employee suggesting we know criminals because were Latin??
We have been talking to many NCL costumer service representatives, but at the end the calls are transfer to another employee and the holding calls are long. Finally, our Citibank credit card helped us to get a dispute with NCL bank, but NCL at the end won and declined any mistake. The costumer service should tell me that he did not know the answer. We cannot believe NCL do not want to take responsibility and on top of that it does not care about their costumers.
We are very disappointed and looking to get someone help!
@Claudia - I am so sorry that your long-awaited honeymoon ended like this.

We have had several people on this Forum with similar situations: they were misinformed as to what documentation was required for the cruise and were not permitted to sail.

My colleague @technomage1 gave you sound advice above, suggesting that you write to NCL to request reconsideration of your case. Please retire your phone and keep communications in writing from this point on, because this gives you a paper trail for followup purposes.

Let me make a couple of comments: I am hoping that the representative who suggested that someone enter your apartment to get the green card was trying to be helpful. Perhaps he saw your New York drivers license and since the ship was sailing from NY, thought it would be possible to get the green card before sailing. (I say this because a few months ago I had clients who forgot their passports at home in Illinois, and realized it when they landed in Florida. They called a neighbor who actually did break into their apartment, get the passports and get them FedEx'd to the passengers.) I would hope that the staffer was actually trying to make a helpful suggestion.

The other comment has two points for future reference. Did you book through a travel agent? They would have been able to advise the correct requirements for documentation. It is, though, ultimately the passenger's responsibility to determine the travel documents needed for a particular trip.

NCL's Website, under "Required Cruise Travel Documents", reads:
"Non-U.S. Citizens

Alien Residents of the United States holding an Alien Registration Card (ARC or "Green Card") (Form I-551) may travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda (see Visa Restrictions on Bermuda) and the Caribbean with just their valid ARC and Proof of Identity. However, it is recommended that these guests also carry their passports from their country of citizenship if available. In some instances, ARC holders may still be required to have sailing permits and/or visas to enter countries Norwegian Cruise Line visits in these areas. Please note that travel anywhere else in the world requires a valid passport from the country you are a citizen of and subsequently subjects you to any documentation, visa and health requirements of all countries visited."
Please DO write to NCL .... it's possible they may understand your situation and offer compensation of some sort. Be sure to mention that their (NCL's) Customer Service told you twice on the phone that the passport and drivers license were sufficient.

Please let us know what transpires...
 
Aug 28, 2015
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New York
#5
bermuda is 1.5 hour flight from New York. Why didn't you just get a hotel room for the night and have someone overnight you your greencard, then meet the cruise as planned. You would only lose 1 day and your flight to Bermuda is nominal compared to the price of the cruise
 
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Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#6
For future, store your greencard in your passport and bring it with you when you travel. Why make a bunch of calls just to find out whether you needed to bring this tiny slip of paper. You will have more success in your communications with NCL if you took responsibility for your error. I assume you didn't have a greencard and that is why you didn't bring it and called them to verify documents, right?
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,393
6,452
113
San Francisco
#7
I am so sorry your cruise was ruined. I wish that all travel providers would STOP providing information on documentation. So often they are wrong and the passenger ends up the loser. It would be so simple for travel providers to put a notice on their website that you should check with the proper authority to get your questions answered with true information. If you call, they should tell you they can't answer your question.
Because the cruise line told you twice that the green card wasn't necessary, it's possible that they might issue a future credit on a cruise. Do you have the time of the call and the person you spoke with? Even though this kind of thing is your responsibility, they should not have given you advice at all, but referred you to the proper place to determine the status.
I'm sure you were greatly upset and waited a long time for your luggage, but the person who suggested that someone break into your apartment was not guilty of racism, but of poor taste. I'm sure he was trying to cheer you up.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,982
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
I am so sorry your cruise was ruined. I wish that all travel providers would STOP providing information on documentation. So often they are wrong and the passenger ends up the loser. It would be so simple for travel providers to put a notice on their website that you should check with the proper authority to get your questions answered with true information.
.
They actually do have it on the website and the cruise documents you print clearly state it and also the website to go to and check.
bermuda is 1.5 hour flight from New York. Why didn't you just get a hotel room for the night and have someone overnight you your greencard, then meet the cruise as planned. You would only lose 1 day and your flight to Bermuda is nominal compared to the price of the cruise
They actually would have had to stay two nights in Bermuda or wait a day to fly from NY because it takes 2 days for the ship to get to Bermuda from NY. They could have simply gone home and made their flight from 2 days out to arrive the same day the ship arrived in Bermuda.
 
Oct 26, 2015
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#9
They actually do have it on the website and the cruise documents you print clearly state it and also the website to go to and check.

They actually would have had to stay two nights in Bermuda or wait a day to fly from NY because it takes 2 days for the ship to get to Bermuda from NY. They could have simply gone home and made their flight from 2 days out to arrive the same day the ship arrived in Bermuda.
Thank you for your answer!
But to buy airline tickets and hotel at last moment it is very expensive for us!
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#10
It is unfortunate that NCL did not provided you with the correct information. Did the agent know that she had a green card and was not just on a tourist visa. I also find it hard to imagine that a green card holder would leave the U.S. without proof to allow them back in.

There are so many different requirements based on citizenship and visa status, the cruise lines or airlines are not equipped to adequately advise the conditions. This is why they put the onus on you to verify your documentation requirements. I'm on a NCL cruise in a few weeks, and the cruise documents you print out to take with you even reminds you about your responsibility to have the necessary travel documentation prior to sailing.

Please do as the other advocate have advised, just be aware the cruise lines and airlines are taking a pretty hard line on accepted responsibility for this and you probably won't get the compensation you are looking for.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#11
Thank you for your answer!
But to buy airline tickets and hotel at last moment it is very expensive for us!
I understand, but how much did it cost you in what you paid for the cruise?
I still encourage you to use our contacts to try to appeal to NCL. The answer is likely to remain no but you never know, you might find someone sympathetic and get a positive result. Good luck.
 
#12
I'm very sorry to hear that you were misinformed by NCL.

Something to keep in mind that I found on the USCIS web site: "A green card is issued to all permanent residents as proof that they are authorized to live and work in the United States. If you are a permanent resident age 18 or older, you are required to have a valid green card in your possession at all times."

Don't leave home without it!
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#13
Thank you for your answer!
But to buy airline tickets and hotel at last moment it is very expensive for us!
You said you lived in New York. Why not have someone send it or drive home and get it? Unless you live in Buffalo, which may be the case. Do they accept copies or does it have to be the original?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,982
12,231
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
You said you lived in New York. Why not have someone send it or drive home and get it? Unless you live in Buffalo, which may be the case. Do they accept copies or does it have to be the original?
Original and even if they lived in NY they may not have been able to get home and back in time to make the ship. If they lived in NYC, different story depending on what time they arrived.
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
1,040
1,762
113
KSNA
#15
I'm sorry you missed your cruise. Airlines, cruise lines, etc are not responsible for their passengers to have the correct travel documents as others have commented. That said, I agree their agents should be trained to advise the customer it's their responsibility and nothing more. That would be consistent with the warnings on their websites and printed materials. FYI if a passenger is denied entry to a foreign country due to travel document problems the carrier must return them to the original point at the carrier's expense. Hence the careful documentation check before boarding a ship or plane.

@Claudia unfortunately NCL is correct, so you're definitely asking for a favor. Also a green card must be in your possession at all times so your documents were already incomplete when you left your home for the cruise. I'm not scolding, but NCL may use this as a point.



Follow the steps and contacts given on this site. Your message to Chris must be cut down by at least 1/2. Keep all emotion and comments (such as rude employees, suggestions of racism, etc) completely out of your letter. Don't include the long waits to work on your documentation problem and to get your luggage back. They aren't relevant and are actually reasonable waiting times. Be clear what outcome you want. Credit towards a future cruise is reasonable....NCL will probably not do a cash refund.


At the end of your letter it's totally OK to recommend that their agents be trained to NOT provide any documentation advice. If you need help editing your letter before sending it to NCL, we can help with that.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#16
I used to think greencards were really big and inconvenient bc of all the cases that come through about not bringing them. Then I googled it and saw its a tiny piece of paper. The LW may not have one and that could be the issue here. That wouldn't preclude a New York driver's license I don't think.
 
Oct 26, 2015
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#17
Claudia, unfortunately, you are responsible to ensure that you have the proper documents when traveling and are supposed to call the embassies of the countries you travel to to get the information. NCL is not responsible for advising one way or the other on whether your documents are proper or not. But this is on their website and information to find this is printed on the last page of your cruise confirmations on how to find what you need to travel with:
Non-U.S. Citizens
Alien Residents of the United States holding an Alien Registration Card (ARC or "Green Card") (Form I-551) may travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda (see Visa Restrictions on Bermuda) and the Caribbean with just their valid ARC and Proof of Identity. However, it is recommended that these guests also carry their passports from their country of citizenship if available. In some instances, ARC holders may still be required to have sailing permits and/or visas to enter countries Norwegian Cruise Line visits in these areas. Please note that travel anywhere else in the world requires a valid passport from the country you are a citizen of and subsequently subjects you to any documentation, visa and health requirements of all countries visited.
In addition, on your boarding pass that you print to take with you, it also states this (I am leaving on an NCL cruise Friday and have it right in front of me):
For the appropriate requirements based on your itinerary and nationality, please contact your travel professional, local immigration office or www.ncl.com/traveldocs. It's your responsibility to obtain any required visas or other necessary documentation prior to sailing.
When I go to that link, it gives me the above information. Had you done that you would have seen the green card was needed. Is there any reason why you didn't fly to meet the ship vs. losing everything?
We have contacts at NCL posted on the top of the page:
http://elliott.org/company-contacts/norwegian-cruise-line-ncl/
Write to the customer service address and advise what happened. You can try to request a credit for a future sailing, but I cannot promise you that you will get anything since the documents state the requirements. Give them a week to respond, then move to the first executive listed. Give them a week to reply and continue weekly until you exhaust all avenues.
Good luck.
Thank you for your answer! We asked the representative on the phone. I was very interested on that trip because that was my dream trip. Since I was 16 years old I want to experience a cruise. My husband was born in this country and he planned this trip as our honeymoon.
the person on the phone was so interested on saying that said the first thing that came to his mind to make the money. We would mind the ask someone else or look on line to get the information. Also, the person that what going to "help us" had a very negative body and verbal language" He said he did not care to know the story and put a hand on front of our, like stop let me talk, then in a very up set way talk to us. I was crying, after that I cried even more! and the week vacation that I had I had to deal on the phone with people from costumer service from NCL and my bank. Never the less, I am still fighting this dispute. All this is been like a nightmare!
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
1,040
1,762
113
KSNA
#19
One perspective is NCL did you a favor. If you exited the US without your green card, you would have an "interesting" experience trying to re-enter the US. My attorney friend (not an immigration specialist) said that ICE would probably detain you pending proof you're a LPR (legal permanent resident). He also said that the green card must be with you at all times (even going to the store). I'm in no way an expert on our complicated immigration laws...and individual status and situations are different of course.
 
Likes: jsn55
Aug 29, 2015
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#20
@Claudia
Your only solution is to write to the contacts at NCL, ones at a time, one week apart, requesting that they give you a credit for a future cruise due to the misunderstanding. A credit card dispute is not the proper method here, because NCL did have the room available, but you did not have the proper documentation required to leave and re-enter the country when you attempted to check in.

My guess is that the representative on the phone did not understand that you had a non-US passport. They do state, however, the rules on their website.