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Lyndalf

Norwegian Cruise Incident

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My father felt sick while onboard a Norwegian cruise. He went to the ships doctor, who insisted my dad go to the hospital in Belize. My dad said he would prefer to go to our cabin and rest. The doctor again insisted that my dad must go to the hospital as he could have a heart attack. I asked if someone was going to come with us because we had never been to Belize before and had no idea how to get to the hospital. The doctor said that we would have someone with us and the hospital would be expecting us. We got on the ferry that was to take us to shore and suddenly we found ourselves alone. When we arrived in Belize there was no one there to meet us. We asked the person who was in charge of the ferry and he went to find the lady that he said worked for NCL. He came back 5 minutes later with Evette. She was mad because she said no one had contacted her about the situation. She called her immediate boss who also said they didnt know anything. She said she would call a driver. We waited 15 minutes in the rain for the driver. The whole time I was crying because I thought my dad would have a heart attack any minute. When we got to the hospital they had no idea who we were. However, the cardiologist gave my dad several tests, and determined that he did not have a heart condition. He actually found nothing wrong with him and approved him to return to the ship. When we got back to the ship I asked the nurse what the correct procedure for sending someone to the hospital in a foreign country is and she said that an ambulance was supposed to be there to take us to the hospital. I asked who she called and she couldnt give me a name. It turns out that my dad has myeloma. He has a suppressed immune system and his risk of infection is extremely high. My dad got a cold from being out in the rain. He was actually hospitalized because of it when he got back to Australia. The rest of our trip was ruined because he was so sick. Usually he is the life of the party, but he laid in bed the rest of the time. Because he was sick my mother and I stayed with him the whole time. Over 6,000 on a cruise and then a huge 2,000 bill from the ship doctor (they did refund a 400 of it), and my dad got sicker because of it. I would never have gone on a Norwegian cruise if I realized that they leave people with life threatening illnesses alone in foreign countries to find their own way to the hospital.

Edited by Findlaw_FN

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In future posts, please do not use formatting (e.g., italics) for the entire post.  Things like that are for emphasis and, when used for the entire post, make it unnecessarily difficult to read.

 

Beyond that, you didn't ask a question, so I'm not sure what the point of your post is.

 

However, since you live in Australia and the incidents described happened in Belize or in international waters, no one here is going to be able to do anything for you because these boards relate to issues of U.S. law only (I see you tagged this post as having something to do with Texas, but there's nothing in your post that indicates any connection to Texas).

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However, since you live in Australia and the incidents described happened in Belize or in international waters, no one here is going to be able to do anything for you because these boards relate to issues of U.S. law only (I see you tagged this post as having something to do with Texas, but there's nothing in your post that indicates any connection to Texas).

 

There is a connection to the U.S. however in that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, while incorporated in Bermuda, has its principal offices in Miami, Florida. It is thus potentially subject to suit in the U.S. for this.

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I live in Texas and my parents live in Australia. I am sorry about the italics. I cut and pasted from a word document and the italics happened during the pasting. I should have corrected it at that time, sorry. I guess my question is: do I have any kind of legal options? I was not considering any legal avenues, but as Norwegian has decided to ignore me, I am now considering pursuing something. I do feel like we were really wronged, and I would hate for anyone else to go through the same thing, as next time it could end very badly for someone.

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Since your father was the one with the injury, he is the one who can bring a legal action.  As far as preventing this from happening to anyone else, claims against entities rarely if ever do that.  Your father would be suing for money damages and nothing more, and being in Australia and sueing a Norwegain company, even with offices in Miami would be problematic.

 

Vote against them with your pocketbook and never use them again.

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There is a connection to the U.S. however in that [the cruise line], while incorporated in Bermuda, has its principal offices in Miami, Florida. It is thus potentially subject to suit in the U.S. for this.

 

Not being familiar with the principal place of business of the cruise line in question (or any other), I obviously had no way of knowing that.  While it is correct that the company is potentially subject to suit in the state of its PPOB, I'd be shocked if the contract with the passenger doesn't contain a forum selection provision (which may or may not be enforceable).

 

 

 

do I have any kind of legal options?

 

For what?  Nothing happened to you.  While you were understandably traumatized about your father's medical issues, any negligence by the cruise line was directed at him, and any damages were suffered by him, not you.  You had a lousy trip because your father got sick.  Also, whatever your father's medical condition was, it clearly wasn't the cruise line's fault, and the ship personnel have thousands of passengers to attend to and cannot reasonably be expected to assign personnel to you and you only.

 

You wrote that you "would never have gone on [the] cruise if [you] realized that they leave people with life threatening illnesses alone in foreign countries to find their own way to the hospital," but that's legally meaningless.  I guarantee you that there are a whole bunch of negative Yelp-like reviews on the Internet, and I'd be surprised if there aren't a few that relate to the cruise line's handling of medical issues.  Did you research this before you booked the trip?  Did you contact anyone before you booked the trip to ask how the company handles medical issues on the trip?

 

 

 

I would hate for anyone else to go through the same thing, as next time it could end very badly for someone.

 

Nothing you do will affect how the cruise line handles future medical issues.

 

 

 

it was my credit card they took $2,000 from. Not sure if this makes a difference. 

 

You can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer, in accordance with the terms that should be stated on the back side of your credit card statement.  However, you might want to review your cruise documentation to see if you agreed to be liable for this sort of thing when booked the tickets.

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Not being familiar with the principal place of business of the cruise line in question (or any other), I obviously had no way of knowing that.  While it is correct that the company is potentially subject to suit in the state of its PPOB, I'd be shocked if the contract with the passenger doesn't contain a forum selection provision (which may or may not be enforceable).?

 

It does of course have a such a provision. For claims other than personal injury or wrongful death, the contract calls for binding arbitration of any claims (other than those filed in small claims court) by the AAA with the arbitration hearing to be done in Miami, Florida. For wrongful death and personal injury claims suit must be brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida or, if that court does not have subject matter jurisdiction, then in state court in Miami. The substantive law that will apply is either the Maritime law of the U.S. or Florida law as applicable. There are also provisions for filing a claim with the company first and there are time limits for pursuing these claims in the contract, too.

 

You can see the entire guest contract here: https://www.ncl.com/csimages/75/492/Combined_Final_Land%20_Sea_TCs.pdf

 

Of course, this is the standard contract for cruises bought from U.S. ticket vendors. There might be a different contract that applies to tickets purchased outside the U.S.

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Not the same cruise line but have dealt with a family member who became ill on a cruise ship, in Belize. His too was actually because of yet to be diagnosed cancer. I also have a parent with myeloma so I am more familiar than I would like with that condition.

 

It sucks to get sick on the ship and have to navigate medical care in a foreign country. Thankfully, I skipped the trip to the hospital in Belize. It might have been nice if an ambulance was waiting, but cruise lines do not have control over medical services of other countries. The port where the tenders dock in Belize has tons of shops and each cruise line has a structure so it is not clear why you would have stood in the rain getting soaked for 15 minutes rather than wait in one of the numerous covered places. Either way, even with myeloma, rain does not cause illness. The cruise ship, or more specifically, the people on the cruise ship are much more likely culprits. Myeloma is also not something that is common, nor something which can be diagnosed quickly and easily. Certainly not using the equipment on the ship. Ship docs are fine for wrapping sprained ankles, dispensing Dramamine, and rehydrating the hung over. There are very limited drugs available and they do err on the side of caution in sending anyone with more than a minor ailment off-shore, because they do have limited means.

 

Hopefully your father is doing well now, or at least is under appropriate treatment.

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