News You Can Use

Jesse helps Seattle couple get cruise refund after being denied


Steve and Nancy Malott wanted to take a quick overnight cruise to Vancouver.

While waiting in line to get on the ship, they were handed a flyer about a Norovirus event that occurred on the boat.  The problem with that is, Steve is on a kidney transplant list and is immunocompromised.

“It doesn’t make any sense if you are stepping into the line of fire to do that, especially if you know it’s completely the wrong thing to do,” said Steve.

The Seattle couple cancelled their trip and when they asked for the $400 they spent on the trip, the cruise line, Holland America, said no.

The couple then called their doctor who wrote a letter that stated it would be, “highly unsafe” for Steve to be in a setting where there is an infectious event.

The letter also said, “please process for a full refund of the Malott’s trip.”

“If we decided on lark not to go then that’s another story, but they have a liability and a responsibility as a common carrier to take care of their passengers and that includes before they aboard the ship,” said Steve.

So Nancy decided to send the doctors note to Holland America headquarters in Seattle.

“They said you know, we’ll give you a $71 credit towards the future, I said that’s not what we asked, we would like a refund, we’re done,” said Nancy.

Yep Nancy was frustrated, and at this point, who wouldn’t be!

The Breakdown

What Nancy received was a future cruise credit of $71 per person.

However, the fees and costs for cancelling the cruise – $116 per person.  That’s more than their refund!

So I decided to call the cruise line.

Holland America Response:

“As a token of goodwill Holland America Line will provide Mr. and Mrs. Malott with a full refund of their cruise fare. We will also ensure that all shore side and office support staff receive additional communication on procedures to address concerns on the pier in these circumstances.”

Bottom Line

Travel insurance will help in these situations, but in many cases you have to cancel 24 hours in advance. Your best bet is visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The CDC has a page where you can check for outbreaks on cruise ships.




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter