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Lied To and cost me about $1000 in new airline ticket

Jan 13, 2020
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The problem started when we entrusted NCL to book my plane from MIA to SJU RT. I was very clear on the importance of nonstop & an upper tier airline. I live in Phx, I booked from Mia to SJU RT, since I was assured nonstop & an upper tier airline. They booked me from SJU to Hou to Mia on 12 hr flt, NOT acceptable. I spent hours calling for help. J Fort, would not call back (I suspect he was why this happened) after 1 week , I began phoning NCL & offered to get off the plane at Houston since I was 1/2 way to Phx but, noone would assist in resolving the problem this way. I bought my own tickets, they did put me on Frontier (not acceptable) I had to pay for a seat! NCL agent does not believe, but I have the receipts and want repayment for seat charges
I was sold non-existing services when I purchased a 179.00 priority pass to get on & off ship easier. No one on the ship new anything about it, After speaking to at least 5 GS (guest service) people, I was given a case number & told to call main office, as they would not give me a refund to correct the error
  • Prority pass is for tenders, this ship had no tenders
  • 3 days in a row told we would receive letter in our room telling us benefits, never got
  • Anyone could get on early & people boarded at 11, we followed your rules per email & ncl agent stating not to arrive to the cruise port before 1PM. 3 hrs at SJU, over $50 for lunch. we would have saved money & time & went directly to ship. This information was withheld & cost us time, money & our trust in you
  • We were misled into thinking we would have a separate line to get on & off ship
  • GS did not know about Priority & said free room service, that was not the case per Room service
  • To get off ship 1st, we had to wait in line with everyone else & pay to get cab. No one explained that upfront, if so we would not have purchased Priority pass
  • 4th day in called cruise director at x7900 an American & explained our situation & he promised to call back with explanation. He never did
  • Last day of cruise get with Nelson & he explained we got a service the was not applicable to our needs
Please view this letter in the manner intended. It is intended to be helpful & NOT some kind of rant; if it was my company, these are things I would want to know.
See all paperwork, not enough room to write all that we need to, some people tried to help, I will attach the full letter
Please look into why everything went wrong from the booking with J Fort to everything that followed. It is so convoluted it almost looks intentional. This is hopefully something helpful
NCL booked our flights from MIA to San Juan at 6:40 AM, port check in time was at 3PM. I was not given the opportunity to pick time, the computer did it. I bought priority to get on ship earlier & off quicker to make the flight that we had to pay for 2x’s
I just want my $179 refunded & the cost incurred for the other ticket, & put this behind us. I know this is not the kind of experience you strive for. I am not soured on your company. I hope this is some sort of “one off” experience. If I may be of assistance in the future please feel free to contact us
feesdesciption $ 210.00service fees $ 73.18soda rebuy 2nd time $ 134.00frontier seats $ 295.70swa flight $ 224.80swa flight $ 51.76food at airport $ 43.87uber from FLL $ 23.60uber to hotel $ 28.23uber to MIA $ 179.00priority access $ TOTAL LOST 1,264.14 NCL EPIC
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Was this your first cruise? I have also never heard of a priority pass with NCL. Can you point to where you learned about this?

Also, NCL doesn’t guarantee non stop flights. This is what their air program states:


Airline Procedures & Restrictions
The terms of the air transportation will be governed by the air carrier ticket contract and NCL's Passenger Ticket Contract. NCL reserves the right to choose the air carrier, routing and city airport from each gateway city and reserves the right to substitute commuter service and/or charter air service for scheduled air carriers without prior notice. All terms and conditions governing NCL's Air/Sea Program and the air transportation arranged by NCL will equally apply to such chartered air service. Flight schedules may not, in some cases, be the most direct, and connections, layovers and involuntary overnights en route may be necessary. The cost of such overnight arrangements (food, lodging, transfers and items of a personal nature) will be the passengers' responsibility. Please note that scheduled flights directly into Quebec City, Canada, are limited. In many cases, passengers will be flown into Montreal, Canada. The motorcoach transfer from Montreal to Quebec City takes approximately 3 hours. Some guests may be flown into Fort Lauderdale, FL, rather than Miami International Airport, for sailings embarking/debarking from Miami, FL. Flights may be substituted at any time prior to ticketing. Actual flight schedules, fare basis and applicable rules cannot be committed until airline tickets are issued. Gateways will not be available for sale beginning at 30 days prior to sailing. Air/Sea gateway cities may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. NCL will not be responsible for any expenses or other consequences resulting from inclement weather, strikes, flight cancellations, changes/delays in the ship's schedule or a change/delay in schedule or routing made by a passenger, travel agent or airline. If, due to any cause beyond NCL's control, NCL is unable to arrange air travel (including, for example, because of capacity controls placed upon us by airlines due to types of fares under which NCL books) or the air travel NCL arranges is unavailable or otherwise fails to materialize, NCL's sole liability will be limited to refunding the air add-on amount paid to NCL.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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If I understand your issue, you live in Phoenix, and you were taking a cruise from San Juan on NCL. You arranged for your air transportation to Miami, and you paid NCL to arrange for your round trip from San Juan to Miami. You were not fussy about staying in Miami after the cruise.

You were not happy that NCL arranged a flight leaving Miami at 6:40 a.m. on the day of the cruise to go to San Juan. The folks here advise flying into the departure port the day before the cruise, not later on the day of the cruise.

You were not happy that NCL booked you back to Miami through Houston. I wouldn't be happy either. Why didn't you just cancel and book your own arrangements. You could have flown from San Juan to Houston and then to Phoenix.

You were not happy that NCL booked you on Frontier. I wouldn't be happy either. If the airline was important to you, you could have booked your own arrangements.

You were not happy with the priority pass. I understand that. According to the terms, there is a separate priority pass check in. Was that not there in the terminal? I've had problems like these on cruises and spent far too much time trying to get the cruise line to do as it promised. I get it.

I appreciate that your post has bullet points but it would benefit from editing.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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So, you have two separate issues with your recent cruise: the flight arrangements and the Priority access pass that you felt was misrepresented.
Concerning the flight arrangements, Neil has pointed out the clauses governing NCL's air policy. Also, many airlines now charge for pre-assigned seats. Your offer to get off in Houston would never be accepted. Passengers must fly the entire route, or face being re-ticketed at a higher cost.

I am not understanding why you accepted this routing at all. Were you working with an NCL rep directly, or did you book with a travel agent? In my office, we get a quote of routing and price from the cruise line, and the client decides whether to accept it, or have us find better routings and make independent arrangements.

Who or what is J Fort that you twice mention? Is that your NCL rep?

Also, did you pay NCL for the air routing SJU-HOU-MIA and then also pay for tickets on your own? You say you want reimbursement for Southwest and Frontier tickets. Can you clarify which airline NCL put you on, and how much you paid them, plus which airline you paid and flew?

Concerning the Priority Access, it appears that this is a new program, and that fact combined with your mis-naming it the Priority Pass, may have been the reason the cruise staff was confused. The program was tested on the Sky and the Breakaway and it appears you were on the Epic. I think it is terrible that there was so much confusion, and that you did not get many, if any of the benefits. I think you are correct in asking for a refund of the $179.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I believe the Pass is Called “Priority Access” the cost is $179 for a 6 - 9 day cruise. I just got off a NCL Cruise and my kids had this as a promo given by our Travel Agent. It worked fine though I’m not sure I would have paid for it. For Tendering it was very handy.

https://www.ncl.com/priority-access-faq
Now that I knew about. But it is much more than tendering (which it says “where applicable”). Didn’t you receive the rest of the included items? You should be happy there were no places you needed to tender - it’s a pain in the neck to have to tender.


What’s included in the program?
A - Priority Access Pass package includes the following amenities:

  • Priority Check-In and Boarding
  • Tender Priority When Applicable (Off the Ship)
  • Priority Debarkation (Homeport)
  • Daily Complimentary Standard Room Service Breakfast
  • $50 Spa Discount per person (Port Days Only)
  • Complimentary Canapés (Second Day of Cruise)

  • Knowing all this, it seems more like you didn’t understand what you actually were getting and how this all works. Which is why I asked if this was your first cruise.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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This is a real shame, I can empathize, and I think you deserve some attention from NCL. I've never encountered any cruise pax who let the cruise line book air who wasn't furious by the time they boarded the ship. If the pax or travel agent is not right on top of every detail, the cruise line will book horrendous itineraries. They're famous for it. For the first time ever, I had Viking and Avalon book air for me on two recent cruises and it was a very positive experience, totally unexpected. The first was Viking; I knew exactly what I wanted, and the agent must have picked up on this. She listened carefully, she was extraordinarily skilled and booked exactly what I asked for. After a fairly brief conversation, I had flights, seat assignments and instructions on exactly how to pay for it all. Later, Avalon booked Air France flights on Delta which, again, was exactly what I wanted. However, I'd not be letting just any cruise line arrange the air, I'd be concerned that most mid-range lines would not have the personnel to do a good job.

The Priority Access Pass looks like a marginally-acceptable expense. Before purchasing it, a pax should look at the schedule to find out how many ports will use tenders. If NCL did not allow you priority in boarding and disembarking, I'd register my displeasure strongly. I don't think that NCL charges a fee for room service breakfast, just lunch, dinner and other times of the day, so that might be brought up as well.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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Did you pay the full price of the plane tickets or did you use NCL's free or reduced airfare promo? If you choose the promo the T&Cs clearly state you have no control over the flights chosen besides the day of the flight.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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We never used cruise line booking of our air arrangements. Last year, we booked a Galapagos cruise, and Celebrity was running a very good deal with Copa (Panama), and for a small upcharge we could fly first class from LAX to Quito via a change in Panama City. (This is first class on a 737-8, so let's not get too excited.) (Coach from LAX to Quito was free in this promotion. The only Coach Mrs. SoCal knows is her purse, and I have apparently convinced her that Southwest is all first class service.) Flying via Panama is the fastest way LAX to Quito. Other airlines require a change in Houston or Miami.

Then Celebrity had trouble with its license because of some local lobsters, and cruises were cancelled. Then once that got resolved, Celebrity had trouble with its licensing, and cruises got cancelled. Then just before we were to depart LA the ship ran aground and cruises, including ours, were cancelled. (Still cancelled. The ship is in Curacao dry dock. ) Because we had booked air through Celebrity, the air fare was cancelled and part of our full refund. For folks who made independent air arrangements, Celebrity paid a maximum $400 p/p towards cancellation/change fees. So the one time we used the cruise line to book airfare, it paid off.

As to the priority pass, it is not just a question of whether there are any tender ports. If you are in a tender port and book a ship tour, you are guaranteed to get off the ship in time to make your tour, as long as you show up at the assembly point on board timely. You need not pay anything extra. Thus, the priority for the tender is only valuable if you want to independently visit the port and you want to be off the ship as early as possible.

Priority debarkation can be arranged by anyone by reporting that you have an early flight home.