So - Gem was unable to get back to New York City until today (it was scheduled to return on Oct 29. It is four days late.
Many of the people scheduled to go on the cruise are from New York and New Jersey - and other areas hard hit by Sandy, and so the last thing they want to do right now is leave their unprotected damaged homes behind and try to enjoy a cruise.
Now that Gem can get back to New York they have decided to offer a five-day cruise to Bermuda in place of the original 9-day cruise to the Caribbean. However, NCL originally decided only to offer a refund in the form of a cruise credit good for one year for the four missed days, but nothing more if you decided not to take the cruise at all.
For those guests who were originally scheduled to set sail on October 29, I hope that you decide to take a much needed vacation and join us tomorrow on the five-day Bermuda cruise. While I know this is not ideal and is not the vacation you had planned, I am confident that you will find this opportunity to get away on a cruise an escape from the stress caused by the storm. The officers and crew of Norwegian Gem look forward to welcoming you aboard and offering you all of the wonderful amenities, services, dining and comfortable accommodations that you would expect.
Rest assured that you will be fully credited for the four cruise days missed. In addition, if you chose to sail with us tomorrow, I would also like to extend a 25% future cruise credit (based on cruise fare paid, valid for one year) as a thank you for your patience and understanding.
I also recognize that many of you who have been impacted by the hurricane may prefer to forgo the five-day cruise and sail on a future date. Therefore, I would like to extend to you the option to cancel and provide you with a future cruise credit for the remaining five days, so that you can re-book with us on another date. This would be in addition to the pro-rated refund for the four missed cruise days. If you would like to take this option, please call our reservations team at 800-327-7030.
What do you think about this "change of heart?" Is it enough, or should NCL be a little more compassionate? Remember that travel insurance is always an option whenever you book a cruise. The cruise lines have no legal obligation to take responsibility for "acts of God."
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.