Family, cruise line: heart-wrenching story

News item: The Colucci family books a cruise. A dozen days before departure, 5-year-old Nicolas Colucci is found to have liver cancer and needs surgery. Family did not sign up for travel insurance and asks the cruise line (Norwegian) about re-scheduling the cruise. Norwegian says no.

This is a tough one. This is also extremely polarizing. And it’s all over the Internet.

One faction of the public, upon hearing this story, condemns the cruise line for being insensitive, for lacking compassion and for not bending its rules.

One faction of the public is just as adamant that when you don’t buy travel insurance, this is what can happen. Tomorrow is a gift. How does a cruise line separate exceptions?

As a result of the online controversy, Norwegian contacted the family, assigned a personal contact to stay in touch with the family and revealed that “one of our travel partners” offered to make sure the family went on its cruise, without divulging any details. Norwegian also contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which specializes in granting wishes for hundreds of children.

As a result of the online controversy, another cruise line — rumored to be Celebrity — offered the Coluccis a free cruise. Would Celebrity have circumvented its own travel insurance policy if this had happened to a family on a Celebrity cruise? No one knows.

In the end, there are no winners here.

Norwegian is between a rock and a hard place. It’s not about the money…it’s about the precedent being set by covering a cruise not covered by insurance, and about being fair to all the passengers who do buy insurance.

The family may lose its cruise but, far more importantly, is faced with helping a five-year-old recover from cancer. The hope of rescheduling the cruise was going to be part of inspiring little Nicolas in his recovery.

Sometimes life isn’t fair…for anybody.

What do you think?

Today at portsandbows.com: Princess for chocoholics

Carnival Fascination
5 nights
August 25, 2014
Jacksonville (return): NassauCocoCay
Inside: $199
Cost per day: $39
www.carnival.com

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One Response
  1. George says:

    How many people buy insurance just for this reason? Why should NCL or any cruise line pay for their cruise because they cheaped out and didn’t buy insurance. Insurance for the family probably cost only about $300 for the family.
    I feel for the family but at the same time they should of known or read the cruise contract about cancelling their cruise.
    This could open a door where an older couple doesn’t buy insurance , then needs to cancel because of surgery . Will they get the same treatment or is NCL doing this because the boy has cancer??

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