My first cruise

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Dec 3, 2017
My wife and I left out of New Orleans on the Norwegian Pearl the 19 of November 2017 on an eight day cruise to see the Mayan ruins in Cozumel Mexico, Costa Maya Mexico and visit Roatan, Honduras, and Harvest Caye, Belize. The first four days of the cruise went quite well, then I contracted a bacterial contagious pneumonia on the ship. The next day I was treated on board at the doctors office at the cost of $2800 that was taken out of my checking account without regards of my current insurance policy or any other form of payment I offered. The next day my wife contracted a contagious bacterial pneumonia also, so now we’re both sick can’t enjoy the trip can’t go on the excursions that were already paid for, it was horrible, not to mention it overdrew the account I was using as a credit line for the ship and put my payroll for my company in jeopardy. We departed the ship on 26 November 2017 the 27th of November 2017 my wife and I were both in the doctors office we both still had a contagious bacterial pneumonia. I am posting this so that if anyone has any advice on How to get a full refund of my cruise price plus doctor expenses on and off The cruise I would really appreciate any advice I could get. The other thing about the cruise that really bothered me was my travel agent sold me what was called an all inclusive trip but that did not include the bowling alley, the little airline drinks in the refrigerator in the room cost extra, the $14 a day per person service charges, all the specialty restaurants, all the drinks I could drink (even though I Purchased the drink package) Their all inclusive package is a hoax/fraud. Because, ALL doesn’t mean ALL.
Thank you,
Eric White

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Did you buy Travel insurance? Your regular health insurance doesn’t cover you outside the US. You need to take those bills and submit them to your travel insurance company as a claim.

The cruise line doesn’t refund your cruise payment because you got sick on the ship. That’s what you need insurance for. And insurance would usually only reimburse you for lost days if you had to get off the ship early and fly home.

It sounds like you used a debit card on the ship - you should never use a debit card when traveling becUse something like this CAN overdraw your account. That also is not the cruise lines issue- it’s yours because you didn’t use a credit card.
Likes: Ginny123
Sep 19, 2015
Anytime one is with a large group of people there is a risk of catching an airborne disease. And it is so frustrating and upsetting to get sick while traveling.

I do not know of any regular health insurance that covers medical costs on a ship. That is what travel insurance is for. Was none purchased?

It is very unlikely that the cruise line will refund the cost of the cruise and there is likely to be no chance of getting a goodwill gesture if that is what is requested. It is simply too much.

One can write to the cruise line and ask for some consideration-- but not blame them or request full refund.

I would not mention the overdraft and payroll issue -- the first question that came to mind is why is a personal trip causing problems for a business payroll? Are they not separate accounts?
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Carol Phillips

Staff Member
Dec 28, 2014
Coastal South Carolina
I would say your travel agent failed if they did not tell you what was not included in your cruise fare. Different cruise lines have various promotions throughout the year where some items ARE included for a brief booking period, but in general, these are NOT included:

Shopping, tipping, casino gambling, beverages from a bar or in-room mini bar, shore excursions, parking, and specialty restaurants/activities onboard. Also, of course, any onshore expenses are on you.

NCL has several beverage packages from which to choose, and even the Ultimate Beverage Package does not include all drinks at all times. Drinks over $15 are covered only up to the $15 (you pay the difference), full bottles of wine are not covered, room service drinks, certain Super Premium brands ... you get the idea. There is ample information available as to what IS included and your travel agent should have supplied this to you without asking. Doesn't sound like s/he did.

As to the medical issue, I hope you both are feeling better. As my colleagues have mentioned, travel insurance is an invaluable investment and would have greatly assisted in this case.

Since you had no insurance (again, the agent should have mentioned it!) you can certainly contact NCL and make your request for reimbursement of your related expenses. On the top of this page you'll see COMPANY CONTACTS and you can find NCL's contact information there.

One last thought: where did you see that the cruise was "all inclusive"? Did the agent SAY it or was there something in writing? That makes a difference.

Carrie Livingston

Staff Member
Jan 6, 2015
St Louis
I travel on NCL frequently and my mother actually got sick on one of their ships a couple of years ago. She did not purchase insurance and so had a doctor's bill in addition to the normal costs. It appears from reading your post that you had insurance. Have you submitted the bill to them for coverage?

You are not going to get your full cruise price back and I don't believe that they will refund any monies to you but they might offer you a goodwill gesture for the time you were sick. Realistically though, you were on the ship, albeit sick, so you used your stateroom, ate food, and apparently had beverages so it almost seems to be double dipping to be asking for something. It's not NCL's fault that you got sick.

With respect to payment, it appears you used a debit card and your personal account is backed up with a business account. I would suggest in the future using a credit card to secure your account. You can change payment types at any time onboard the ship at guest services. I would imagine that for the medical charges, the bill was charged to make sure there was enough to cover.

The daily service charge is the gratuities for the service staff, both front of the house and behind the scenes. I don't recall what the exact amount is per pax per day but that is a standard charge on most cruises. NCL sometimes offers to cover those as a perk.

All of their ships have multiple options for both included dining and specialties which incur an extra cost. The daily explains what restaurants are included and which ones have an upcharge.

With respect to the beverage plan, @Neil is correct in that it includes drinks up to $15 and then you pay the difference plus an 18% service charge on the drink. If you are close enough to port, you may also pay sales tax as that is required to be charged in US territorial waters. NCL has never covered mini bar charges that I am aware of and if you had a question as to whether it was covered you could have asked your steward or checked your folio on the tv to find out what your charges were and realized they weren't covered.

The bowling alley is a feature that NCL has put on a couple of their ships and there is an additional upcharge. I believe it's $5/game which doesn't seem unreasonable.

I am sorry that you were sick on the cruise however I'm not sure that it's really anyone's fault.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I have to believe that being sick while travelling has got to be one of the worst experiences in life. I am so sorry you both got sick.

Your post raises a great many subjects, but I'm fixated on the $2800 medical bill. Can the cruise line charge you that large amount without your knowledge or approval? It seems arbitrary to just put it on your bill without even discussing it with you to see if you'd rather pay the charge with a different card or in another manner.

Once you get this question answered, you can ask for a voucher towards a future cruise. NCL doesn't 'owe you' but might extend this as a courtesy. I wouldn't even think of asking for a full refund or complaining about so many aspects of the cruise that you should have been briefed on before you sailed. I hope you both are feeling good again and good luck!

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
I also think your travel agent needed to tell you what "all inclusive" meant. A cruise includes your food, cabin and the only free drinks they give you are iced tea , coffee or tea or lemonade depending on the cruise line - everything else you have to pay for. It sounds like your agent didn't tell you anything that a first time cruiser needs to know.

Did she offer to sell you travel insurance? If she didn't - you could go back to the agent and try to due them for not offering it. If they did and you bought a travel insurance policy, you need to file a claim for the medical expenses.
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
Neil is correct about the all-inclusive meaning. A good agent will tell you what is "included" and what is extra. In our travels with NCL, we learned to check out the ship details for our cruise and make notes.

There are many advantages to this. You will readily see which restaurants are 24x7, which are "buffet", which are made-to-order, and which are an extra charge. Add to that the service desk, theater(s), game rooms and other locations. We had questions after checking these for our first cruise, so we circled back with our agent to be sure we understood.

Also, beyond coffee, tea, milk, and juice, assume all beverages cost extra. On all our cruises, we could buy a soda package. Alcohol and bottled water will have their own rules too ...
Mar 17, 2015
I would question the 2,800 bill, this seems a bit unreasonable, but maybe it is not??

Also, just to reiterate what most everyone else has said, please do not mix your personal and business accounts. Especially when dealing with payroll. You are asking for tons of trouble doing that.

So sorry you became sick on your trip. Hope you are both doing better now.