Retirees battle for full refund from Norwegian Cruise Lines amid coronavirus uncertainty

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Retirees battle for full refund from Norwegian Cruise Lines
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It was supposed to be a dream retirement cruise- but now it's a battle for a refund.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of retirees are battling a cruise line for a full refund. They say they can't get on a cruise ship during the pandemic.

It was supposed to be a dream retirement cruise- but now it's a battle for a refund.

It was going to be a once in a lifetime cruise to Alaska for one group of retirees, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

RELATED: Cruise cut short after passenger tests positive for COVID-19

Now they say they're in a battle with the cruise line for a full refund because they say they'll never feel safe rebooking the cruise.

"It had a huge impact on people of a certain age group and underlying medical conditions," said Loretta Lewis.

Lewis and the group of retirees said they have health conditions and because of COVID-19, they don't want to commit to rebooking their Alaskan cruise.

It was supposed to set sail in June,on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

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"I don't know why anyone would expect me to put myself in that jeopardy," said Maria Fowler.

"We don't want to come home with a disease that we spread to our loved ones," Dorothy Moore said.

When the pandemic hit, the women said they were each offered 50% refunds which would be about $1,300 dollars each.

They declined that option and said they're now being told they can only get a cruise credit and that they must rebook the trip in 2021, for travel through 2022.

"It's not something that the World Health Organization or the CDC recommends people over 65, and we are all over 65, and we all have all those underlying health conditions," said Patricia Hanes.

In a letter from NCL, they were also told they could get 20% off on another, future cruise.

RELATED: Another cruise ship stalled over coronavirus case

"To take a cruise of this nature, with so many unknowns right now, I just would not be comfortable. It would not be an enjoyable vacation," said Martha Holmes.

NCL says its new temporary, "Peace of Mind " policy allows guests to cancel all 2020 cruises 48 hours before the vacation start date to get a "100% future cruise credit to be used for all sailings that embark through Dec. 31, 2022." Adding that the women who turned to the I-Team used that policy "...on April 4, 2020, prior tothe suspension of our voyages, they received a 100% future cruise credit per the terms of the Peaceof Mind policy."

"In May, the cruise line officially canceled our cruise. So we were like okay, well we'd like to have our money back and not the future cruise credit because it's still too dangerous to take a cruise. But they insisted that we opted for the future cruise credit so that's what they are sticking with," she said.

The women also said their travel insurance will not cover the costs.

Norwegian Cruise Line's website said new safety precautions are in place for cruises, like social distancing , health screenings and enhanced sanitation measures.