Family Cancels Cruise Over Coronavirus Fears, Claims They Can’t Get Refund

Norwegian Cruise Lines Says Family Didn't Get Travel Protection Insurance
February 4, 2020 Updated: February 6, 2020
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A Hawaii family claimed they will lose $32,000 after they canceled a cruise trip that stops in Hong Kong amid escalating fears over coronavirus.

“We definitely wanted to go on this Asian cruise. It was always a lifetime thing we wanted to go on a beautiful cruise,” Pua Morrison told KHON2, adding that the trip was booked in February of last year, which was long before coronavirus was discovered.

Morrison said that because the virus is spreading rapidly across China, triggering mass quarantines and lockdowns, she had to cancel the trip with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

“[Norwegian Cruise] is saying, ‘we understand the situation’ and ‘safety is our number one issue’ and ‘we would never put any of our passengers in harms way. But the bottom line is if you cancel you lose all your money,’” Morrison said. “We had excursions booked, we’ve updated the trip packages. This was a family vacation so we were going for the gusto,” she added.

She said that her family doesn’t want to go on a cruise and risk contracting the contagious illness.

“Rather than put myself through all that headache and most of all the risk of getting this virus, I just want to be able to cancel my cruise and get my refund. That’s all I ask. And I don’t think that’s a lot to ask with what’s going on. And it’s getting worse every day,” Morrison said, adding that she would be happy to attend a cruise on a later date. “I just want to be safe and I don’t want to go in the direction of the virus.”

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Norwegian Cruise Lines said that it is “because of the very nature of unexpected situations that we strongly recommend that guests obtain travel protection insurance.”

“Please know that the guests did not purchase the travel protection plan that allows for cancellation. The guests purchased travel protection that covers them only in the case of a medical emergency. We understand and apologize for the frustration these guests are experiencing. However, as mentioned, we have these policies in place for situations exactly like these,” said the Norwegian Cruise Lines spokesperson.

According to KHON, Norwegian Cruise Lines also said none of their itineraries have changed in light of the virus outbreak.

This week, the Japanese government placed the Diamond Princess cruise under quarantine after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus. More than 3,500 people are on the vessel.

“While on the ship, he did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms or illness,” according to a news release from the cruise operator, reported USA Today. “The hospital reports that he is in stable condition and the family members traveling with him remain symptom-free.”