• Report: #185276

Complaint Review: Norwegian Cruise Line

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  • Submitted: Thu, April 06, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, August 31, 2010

  • Reported By:Spring Texas
Norwegian Cruise Line
7665 Corporate Center Dr. Miami, Florida U.S.A.
  • Phone: 866-625-1164
  • Web:
  • Category: Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line ripoff Hidden fees, port cancellations Miami Florida

*General Comment: NCL is a Cruise Line ???

*Consumer Comment: Norwegian Cruise Lines' Changing Itineraries

*Consumer Suggestion: Port ReOpenings Not Uncommon

*UPDATE Employee: people-This is NORWEGIAN...DO NOT CRUISE

*Consumer Comment: Check your facts

*Author of original report: Gets your fact straight!

*Author of original report: Gets your fact straight!

*Author of original report: Gets your fact straight!

*Consumer Suggestion: Honest Sam...

*Consumer Suggestion: Notes from a travel agent...

*Consumer Comment: Some corrections...

*Consumer Comment: Some corrections...

*Consumer Comment: Some corrections...

*Author of original report: update

*Consumer Comment: Welcome back....

*Consumer Comment: Welcome back....

*Consumer Comment: Welcome back....

*Consumer Comment: Welcome back....

*Author of original report: Doorknob

*Consumer Comment: Wow ... like talking to a doorknob!

*Consumer Suggestion: Paid More

*Consumer Comment: So......................

*Consumer Suggestion: Nonsense

*Consumer Comment: Danial.......

*Consumer Comment: Talk about entitlement!

*Consumer Comment: Obviously..........

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We booked a cruise on Norwegian (rip-off) Cruise Line on March 8th, 2006 for a departure our of Houston on April 8th, 2006. On April 5th we received an email from the cruise line that one of the ports was cancelled and that if I wanted to cancel the reservation I need to contact them by 3:00pm central the next day to avoid any penalties.

When I contacted the and asked if they were going to adjust the cost of the cruise to reflect the port cancellation I was told no. They said let's could cancel the cruise. Let's get real! Less than 3 days before the cruise leaves. Keep in mind we had both already schedule time off of work, made arrangements to take care of the kids/dog, etc. etc.

Keep in mind also as of today 04/06/2006. They still show on the literary all the ports. Bait and Switch

Danial
Spring, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/06/2006 12:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Norwegian-Cruise-Line/Miami-Florida-33126/Norwegian-Cruise-Line-ripoff-Hidden-fees-port-cancellations-Miami-Florida-185276. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

NCL is a Cruise Line ???

AUTHOR: Bob - (United States of America)

Just returned from a NCL cruise the week of 22-Aug-2010 on the Dawn. The overall experience was poor. The food was bland and the menu selections limited to less than 10 main course options . Tried to remedy the poor food by going to the premium restaurants including Cagney's steak house which is just a small improvement over the standard restaurants. Cagney's is nothing close to any decent steak house, more like a low grade chain food steakhouse. The cruise was a constantly commercial trying to sell gold necklaces by the inch or so called artwork. Staterooms are efficient and clean, cabin stewards do a good job maintaining rooms but not friendly as they seems to struggle with the English language. The pool is the size of a pool found in a backyard, no way does it come close for the amount of guests on the ship. Drinks at the pool -- waiters were very pushy. Even my 16 year old needed to decline drink offers at the pool numerous times. Bermuda is a great island but unfortunately our last day in Bermuda was cut short day due to mechanical difficulties the compensation $50.00 per stateroom.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Norwegian Cruise Lines' Changing Itineraries

AUTHOR: Traceymarg - (U.S.A.)

My husband and I were first time cruisers on Norwegian in November 2005. Overall, we were happy with the trip...if nothing else just to get away for a week. However, I was disappointed with the quality of the food on board. My in-laws sailed with another cruise line a year before and stated the food was incredible. Oh, well, like I said, at least it was a week away from the rat race.

I have researched Norwegian Cruise Lines complaints, and the most complaints I have heard was the sudden drop of Acapulco from the itinerary, with a lesser known part of Mexico substituted. Engine problems, port problems, etc. were the excuse of the cruise line. It is pure speculation on my part, but I would venture to guess that it costs more to dock in Acapulco than the lesser known parts of Mexico, and the cruise line does not want the extra expense. So unwitting passengers think they will be going to Acapulco and get a cheap substitute instead. However, in NCL's defense, they clearly state on their website and on your ticket information the itinerary may change.

My suggestion to anyone considering a cruise just to go to a certain port is to book a resort in that city and not rely on a cruise line to get you there. For the most part, you will only get to spend a few hours there anyway, and then you have to board the ship again.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Port ReOpenings Not Uncommon

AUTHOR: Kim - (U.S.A.)

I want to start by saying I am not siding with or against NCL. I have cruised NCL and many other cruise lines. NCL is NOT a top rated cruise company (if you are looking for that try Celebrity). However, they are a good company with great deals from time to time.

I sailed NCL not long after the storms damaged Grand Cayman. I knew the port was closed because of research on the area. When I contacted NCL prior to booking the cruise, they said they had not received notice about when the Grand Cayman port would reopen so they could not committ to that stop. If the port remained closed, refunds would be an option.

All I had to do was call NCL to find out that a port was not available when I booked my cruise. A week before the cruise, I called NCL and was advised that the decision had not been made as of yet. In my case, the port reopened 2 days before my cruise took place.

This is part of the reason they do not post port closures/cancelations in booking information. They do not always know when a port will be reopenned. One of the other reasons is that Cruise Itenaries are published well in advance of actual cruise dates. I have been looking at cruises in September 2007. Once they are published, that is the information the cruise line must use. That is why they have the clause about port closures.

If you legitimaly feel like NCL could have and/or should have done more, I recommend writing a letter to the cruise company. A friend of mine received an upgrade on her next cruise when she wrote to one with a legitimate complaint.

As for the fees, when I booked with NCL, all fees (including the $10/day) were disclosed in my booking documents. I personally like the $10/day because then I don't have to worry about tipping at the end of the cruise (unless I had outstanding service, which I did on NCL). There is nothing like being on a cruise and realizing you don't have cash for tipping your service people. If you would rather be in control of the tips, look to other cruise lines that offer a more traditional cruise style.

Bottom line is, NCL is not responsible for the port closures, they do not know when ports will reopen, and they state all their fees in writing. If the port reopens, you get to go. As soon as it is confirmed that the port will NOT be open, they notify passengers. Unfortunately, this is often a day-to-day decision.

And, since it is up to the Port, most ports (especially Mexican ports) tend to wait until the last minute to contact cruiselines about extensions to projected port opening dates. So if you want to blame someone for the late notice, blame Cancun. Yes the date on the letter said December 2005.

However, that same letter was passed out from the time the storm closed the port until it reopened. BTW - my friend sailed NCL in March and was advised at the time of booking that a port had been closed due to damage so it is not always last minute. If it is confirmed that a port will definately be closed at the time of sailing, NCL advised travelers of that information up front.

NCL (and any other cruise line) will do what it can to sail to the ports when they can. They make money by sailing to those ports. They don't want to skip a port any more than you do. That is why the wait until last minute. If there is any hope of making in to port, they will hold off on deciding to cancel it. Maybe that's wrong but, afterall, it's all about making money...
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#4 UPDATE Employee

people-This is NORWEGIAN...DO NOT CRUISE

AUTHOR: Jeffrey - (U.S.A.)

I worked 4 1/2 years for NCl taking those complaint calls ( and the "MAJORITY" of service calls are complaints against NCL.So to all of you idiots out there who sided with NCL.
FACTS ARE:
- NCL HAS "ZERO" REGARD FOR ITS eMPLOYEES, LET ALONE CUSTOMERS...
tHE "tIPPING CHARGES $10 PER PERSON PER DAY LABELED AS "SERVICE FEES" DUE TO law suits against the cruise line are automatically charged (added) at the end of your cruise- (When we sell you this cruise- you are NOT advised of these significant charges)...
NCL strategically waits for the "last minute to offer a refund if you cancel due to major changes in itinnerary.... this is because they KNOW, that you cannot affordably cancel due to air flights purchased- all monies you paid top go on a vacation( baby sitters-dog kennels/sitters, etc.. and you simply can no longer change your vacation from work...
So to ANYONE out there who sided with Norwegian you go ahead and read all this...
take my advice ( I KNOW)
DO NOT CRUISE ON NCL.
They are NOT one of the higher cruise lines... only 1 of the cheaper ones,,, and you get a SUB-PAR vacation cruise...EVERYTIME!!!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Check your facts

AUTHOR: Honest Sam - (U.S.A.)

Do a search on the "Cruise Line Angencies of Alaska" (i'd post a link but I'd probably violate some rule!)

Take a look at the cruise line schedule for Sitka. Now compare that to another port, say Ketchikan or Juneau. You'll see the other ports handle at least twice as many ships. Sitka MAY be the fastest growing port (I have no idea if it is or not) but that's only because the other major ports have been at capacity for some time.

Anyways I digress. Most cruise lines have in the carriage contract that they can change/cancel ports at any time for any reason WITHOUT any compensation. No cruise line is going to make a habit of just cancelling ports for no reason, that would be a PR nightmare. I'm still surprised they offered to let you cancel with no penalty.
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#6 Author of original report

Gets your fact straight!

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

You still don't get. So let me break it down in terms even a travel agent can understand. When you sell something to a customer and knowingly misrepresent the product or service this is fraud. The cruise line sold me a product that at the time knew the port was closed. What Norwegian should have done is sold the cruise MINUS this port to begin with. The cruise contract is irrelevant when the cruise line misrepresents the cruise to begin with.

In addition, when was the last time you sold a cruise that the customer just want to sit on a boat in the middle of the ocean? I did not buy a cruise, I bought transportation to and from these ports.

Also, Nicole Why are you still talking? The point of this complaint is that this guy is complaining that a port was canceled because of a hurricane..but Im sure that Norweigan should be held responsible for that right?

Wrong: This guy is complaining because the cruise line knowingly misrepresented the cruise to its customers. (and I and now the Texas Attorney Generals office have the documentation from the cruise line to prove it)

Last but not least fee's. If it is part of the cruise cost just add it into the purchase price from the get go.
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#7 Author of original report

Gets your fact straight!

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

You still don't get. So let me break it down in terms even a travel agent can understand. When you sell something to a customer and knowingly misrepresent the product or service this is fraud. The cruise line sold me a product that at the time knew the port was closed. What Norwegian should have done is sold the cruise MINUS this port to begin with. The cruise contract is irrelevant when the cruise line misrepresents the cruise to begin with.

In addition, when was the last time you sold a cruise that the customer just want to sit on a boat in the middle of the ocean? I did not buy a cruise, I bought transportation to and from these ports.

Also, Nicole Why are you still talking? The point of this complaint is that this guy is complaining that a port was canceled because of a hurricane..but Im sure that Norweigan should be held responsible for that right?

Wrong: This guy is complaining because the cruise line knowingly misrepresented the cruise to its customers. (and I and now the Texas Attorney Generals office have the documentation from the cruise line to prove it)

Last but not least fee's. If it is part of the cruise cost just add it into the purchase price from the get go.
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#8 Author of original report

Gets your fact straight!

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

You still don't get. So let me break it down in terms even a travel agent can understand. When you sell something to a customer and knowingly misrepresent the product or service this is fraud. The cruise line sold me a product that at the time knew the port was closed. What Norwegian should have done is sold the cruise MINUS this port to begin with. The cruise contract is irrelevant when the cruise line misrepresents the cruise to begin with.

In addition, when was the last time you sold a cruise that the customer just want to sit on a boat in the middle of the ocean? I did not buy a cruise, I bought transportation to and from these ports.

Also, Nicole Why are you still talking? The point of this complaint is that this guy is complaining that a port was canceled because of a hurricane..but Im sure that Norweigan should be held responsible for that right?

Wrong: This guy is complaining because the cruise line knowingly misrepresented the cruise to its customers. (and I and now the Texas Attorney Generals office have the documentation from the cruise line to prove it)

Last but not least fee's. If it is part of the cruise cost just add it into the purchase price from the get go.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Honest Sam...

AUTHOR: Nicole - (U.S.A.)

Wow...so Sitka isn't the number one port of call? Is that why we have an increase of 50,000 visitors this year over all other ports? Is that way we are recieiving 47 additional ships in? Right...Nearly every cruise ship that comes into Alaska comes to Sitka, very few avoid us and usually its due to weather, not tendering, but that isn't the point. The point of this complaint is that this guy is complaining that a port was canceled because of a hurricane..but Im sure that Norweigan should be held responsible for that right?
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Notes from a travel agent...

AUTHOR: S.m. - (U.S.A.)

The cruise line can cancel any port for any reason. Thank your lucky stars you still got on the cruise.

The only part you missed was Cancun. You still got the service you paid for. You got a CRUISE.

NCL is not a top-of-the-line name, but it's definitely not carnival or royal caribbean.
They have great customer service and just because you feel the need to whine about how your "vacation was ruined because you couldn't go to cancun" doesn't mean that you are entitled to anything.

"Hidden Fees"? Are you talking about port fees or premium beverage fees? And god forbid you tip the maid? Get real! It's all in the terms of service, and you either read them, and know what you're paying for, or you breeze past it and just sign with the "Nothing bad will happen to me" attitude. And then you get shocked when you realize that the $529 cruise is really $900.

You got exactly what you paid for. A CRUISE.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Some corrections...

AUTHOR: Honest Sam - (U.S.A.)

Just some corrections from a post above...

Sitka is NOT the number one port of call in Alaska. For one thing ships have to tender into Sitka decreasing it's popularity. Many cruise lines such as Princess will swap Sitka and Skagway from week to week on their itineraries.

Norwegian is in NO WAY considered a higher end cruise line, on the contrary it's known as one of the lower end ones. Of the mass market cruise lines Holland America and Celebrity are usually considered toward the "higher end" (sometimes Princess as well. If you really want to go high end you're talking Crystal, Seabourn, Raddison and the like. Find some cruise boards around the web and see for yourself.

Anyways sh** happens and ports get cancelled occasionally. Read your cruise contract, they are able to cancel or substitute any port for any reason at any time. Weather problems, civil unrest, congested port, etc etc etc are all reasons a port could be cancelled. I'm actually surprised they gave you the option to cancel with no penalty, that's very rare.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Some corrections...

AUTHOR: Honest Sam - (U.S.A.)

Just some corrections from a post above...

Sitka is NOT the number one port of call in Alaska. For one thing ships have to tender into Sitka decreasing it's popularity. Many cruise lines such as Princess will swap Sitka and Skagway from week to week on their itineraries.

Norwegian is in NO WAY considered a higher end cruise line, on the contrary it's known as one of the lower end ones. Of the mass market cruise lines Holland America and Celebrity are usually considered toward the "higher end" (sometimes Princess as well. If you really want to go high end you're talking Crystal, Seabourn, Raddison and the like. Find some cruise boards around the web and see for yourself.

Anyways sh** happens and ports get cancelled occasionally. Read your cruise contract, they are able to cancel or substitute any port for any reason at any time. Weather problems, civil unrest, congested port, etc etc etc are all reasons a port could be cancelled. I'm actually surprised they gave you the option to cancel with no penalty, that's very rare.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Some corrections...

AUTHOR: Honest Sam - (U.S.A.)

Just some corrections from a post above...

Sitka is NOT the number one port of call in Alaska. For one thing ships have to tender into Sitka decreasing it's popularity. Many cruise lines such as Princess will swap Sitka and Skagway from week to week on their itineraries.

Norwegian is in NO WAY considered a higher end cruise line, on the contrary it's known as one of the lower end ones. Of the mass market cruise lines Holland America and Celebrity are usually considered toward the "higher end" (sometimes Princess as well. If you really want to go high end you're talking Crystal, Seabourn, Raddison and the like. Find some cruise boards around the web and see for yourself.

Anyways sh** happens and ports get cancelled occasionally. Read your cruise contract, they are able to cancel or substitute any port for any reason at any time. Weather problems, civil unrest, congested port, etc etc etc are all reasons a port could be cancelled. I'm actually surprised they gave you the option to cancel with no penalty, that's very rare.
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#14 Author of original report

update

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

I stand by my original statement. While boarding the ship we were handed a notice from some Norwegian VP that Cancun was canceled. Only catch is that is was dated in December 2005. I also heard complaint after complaint from passengers regarding Norwegian's notification of the cancellation. I was also told by several crewmembers that this had been a recurring complaint from passengers. No matter at this point! I have filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney Generals Office that Norwegian is in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Welcome back....

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Danial Welcome back, How did you like the cruise, and please give us your HONEST opinion.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Welcome back....

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Danial Welcome back, How did you like the cruise, and please give us your HONEST opinion.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Welcome back....

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Danial Welcome back, How did you like the cruise, and please give us your HONEST opinion.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Welcome back....

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Danial Welcome back, How did you like the cruise, and please give us your HONEST opinion.
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#19 Author of original report

Doorknob

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

We are going on the cruise. More cost is associated with this trip than just the cruise. To my friend in Alaska, making the comment about people who lost everything in Cancun and only thinking of myself. I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas, housed Katrina and Rita victims in my house, had family members loose everything in Beaumont, and helped clean up in both Texas and Louisiana. Please keep those comments to yourself.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Wow ... like talking to a doorknob!

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

Regarding the poster's response: "3. Getting what you pay for is not entitlement. I did not ask for more, but for what I paid for. "

Do you honestly think that you are not being unreasonable? They CANNOT suddenly make various ports available because of your whining and complaining. If it is not available, it is not available. That is why they offered you a FULL REFUND. For you to sit here and demand that they give you "what you paid for" is ridiculous, as they have already offered to give you your money back because "what you paid for" no longer exists!
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

Paid More

AUTHOR: Nicole - (U.S.A.)

I live in the number one port of call for Alaska: Sitka. I can explain WHY you paid more for your cruise. It was NOT for the extra port of call, it was for going on Norwiegan. For instance, take Alaska cruises:

Carnival: Ports: 4 (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Canada) Cost: $800

Princess: Ports: 4 (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Canada) Cost: $750

Norweigan: Ports 3 (Juneau, Sitka, Canada) Cost :$1100

Norweigan is a higher end cruise line. They have more ammenities and are typically for people who wanted a better experience (i.e. larger ships, more staff ect).

You paid extra for the name, not the stop. go on the cruise, enjoy it, and while you are passing by Cancun, think of the poor people who lost everything in those storms instead of yourself for once!
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#22 Consumer Comment

So......................

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

So...........Are you going on the cruise or did you take them up on the offer of a full refund?
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

Nonsense

AUTHOR: Danial - (U.S.A.)

1. This is not our first cruise.
2. The hidden fees are the service fees that are not disclosed when the purchase is made. I only became aware of these from a friend who while discussing this issue was also surprised by this while cruising Norwegian.
3. Getting what you pay for is not entitlement. I did not ask for more, but for what I paid for.
4. An email from the cruise line at 6:00pm with an 18 hour window is not adequate to change plans for something set up several weeks in advance.
5. Changing our plans 36 hours before we are supposed to leave is not an option. I explored changing the plans, but three days notice buying a plane ticket.
6. This is not the only posting on Rip-Off I found regarding Norwegian on the same subject. I discovered another that after posting. It appears this is a pattern for Norwegian.
7. The port cancellation was Cancun and Norwegian knew at the time of the booking that the port was closed. Yet posted not disclaimer stating that the port was closed and may be excluded from this trip.
8. The ONLY reason we purchased this trip is because it was going to 4 ports. Other cruse lines out of the same port were only going to 3 for the same time period. And we paid MORE money for this cruise, than we would have paid taking a different cruise line. Had we known this information we would not have chosen Norwegian.
9. I even explored booking on a different cruise line at the last minute. However, the price of the cruses on the other cruise lines had increased substantially.
10. Continuing to sell the same cruise 36 hours in advance of the cruise showing the same itinerary, even after they have cancelled the port.????? How exactly is that not fraud.
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#24 Consumer Comment

Danial.......

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Take everything Pony says with a grain of salt.
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#25 Consumer Comment

Talk about entitlement!

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

It sounds to me like the cruise line took full responsibility for the change in schedule by allowing you to cancel for a full refund. (We all know that NO other cruise line will ever refund your money after they have it!) But noooo .... this is not good enough for you! You are one of those seemingly "entitled" people who always want MORE and is never satisfied til you get it!! Get real! They lived up to their end of the bargain and actually went above and beyond to serve you! You only look like a cheap fool trying to nickel and dime them for even more!
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#26 Consumer Comment

Obviously..........

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

this is your FIRST cruise. Without you telling us WHAT port was canceled, It's hard to guess why they canceled the port. Ports of call get changed often for an number or reasons. Like civil unrest in a country, or more than likely in this case if the ship was going to mexico or the western carribbean the port might still not be in good enough of shape after last years storms. Be thankful that they called and told you a couple of days before and offered you a refund. And not when you go to the port. If you don't go, keep the time off and go somewhere else nice. Have fun. And if you do go, when you get back give us your HONEST opinion of the cruise. Either way tell us if you went or not. I look forward to your reply. P.S. What hidden fee's are you talking about?
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