Travelers wait for refund from cruise impacted by pandemic

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 4:50 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An anniversary is memorable for an Iowa couple because of the Caribbean cruise they didn’t get to take.

The pandemic stopped them from sailing in mid-March. For months since then, they’ve been demanding a refund.

An anniversary cruise with relatives was canceled hours before boarding.

Bill Billings, a cruise customer said, “That’s the ship we were supposed to be on the Norwegian Breakaway.”

And Billings says getting a refund has been no vacation.

“I’ve contacted Norwegian Cruise Line multiple times. Been given nothing less than a just a run-around,” said Billings.

Norwegian promised refunds in 90 days and Bill requested his 106 days ago.

“I wish I wouldn’t have used my debit card now because obviously I could have contacted my credit card company and disputed the charge,” said Billings.

Billings used his debit card, so the $3,800 cost of the cruise came out of his bank account.

While waiting on his refund Bill says his bank sent him a new debit card for security reasons but was told that shouldn’t affect his account. Still, the cruise line indicated to Bill that complicated the refund procedure.

Norwegian Cruise Lines sent 6 News a statement, “Our team is working tirelessly to finalize refunds. Our records show Mr. Billings’s refund was released from our system on July 3rd. Financial institutions differ on when the guest gets those funds. We thank our guests for their patience and understanding during unique circumstances.”

“If they tell you something you stick to your guns, you hold them to it and truly believe the contact you made, made this happen,” said Billings.

Though the cruise canceled the Billings still celebrated their 25th anniversary on a boat. Now Bill has marked the day Norwegian promised his refund.

After our emails to Norwegian Cruise Line, Billings says a $3,500 refund landed in his account today. He’s still waiting on another $300 paid for the anniversary special orders like champagne and extras.

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