Norwegian Cruise Lines NCL - Employee Injured And Broke After Norwegian Cruise Lines Accident
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- EMPLOYEE INJURED AND BROKE AFTER NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES (NCL) ACCIDENT
My opinion is as follows. This information is provided for informational purposes only, and is based on my personal experience and knowledge. I feel the following:
I was recently an employee on a Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship, and was badly injured due to their clear negligence. They knew about, and management commented on, the dangerous conditions multiple times, but did nothing to fix them.
Their ship's two doctors subsequently misdiagnosed me, as did the shore side doctor referred by NCL, when I insisted upon another opinion. They all treated me poorly and I feel without care for my well-being. The ship's doctors told me to "stop bothering them" and "stop returning (to the medical center)--there's nothing we can do for you!" . Thus, my injuries were greatly worsened because of their incompetence. I now have serious injuries, because of the accident and their subsequent misdiagnosis and lack of care and support. I may end up with life-long medical problems.
The ship's "security" staff immediately attempted to manipulate and intimidate me. No concern was shown regarding my care, improving conditions, or taking this episode to heart. They pressured me, and immediately started circulating lies and attempting to protect themselves legally, rather than concerning themselves with my well-being.
Because of their misdiagnosis of my injuries as insignificant, rather than the serious conditions that actually existed, I returned to the country I had been visiting, where the level of care I needed is hard to find. If I had know the truth about my injuries, I would have returned to the USA, where I have a known doctor, medical insurance, trusted friends, and family. Upon my realizing the true extent of my injuries, NCL refused in writing to send me to the USA for treatment, leaving me essentially stranded in another country, where good care is harder to find, where I do not have medical insurance, and where I have no close support nor family.
NCL had not reimbursed a cent, so that I was practically without funds to pursue care in that country either. I have received nothing but excuses and run-arounds. The disrespect exhibited by this company in their effort to avoid payment has been disgraceful.
I am now injured, have been unable to work for over half a year, and am broke. I can't afford medical care at this point, nor rent or food, if not for the kindness of my family. I have been forced to borrow to get by, putting further pressure on my family. NCL has destroyed me financially. To date, NCL has not reimbursed a cent of my medical and associated bills, now $20,000, despite initial promises to the contrary (which I knew were lies, but the claims representative acted so indignant when I questioned her, I gave them a shot to prove themselves, and this is what I have received--just as I anticipated). I have precisely documented and submitted all expenditures, and have jumped through every hoop practical, and still they have failed to do as initially promised. I am broke, and NCL's disposition has caused additional undue stress on myself and my family. I resent it completely.
Here's an example of NCL's disposition: I could not get out of bed for over a month, let alone leave the house for over two months, and still NCL refused to let me hire an assistant for $5/hour (a good local wage) to help me to the restroom and shower, to prepare or bring food, tend to laundry or cleaning, or even look in on me, or keep me company a bit--basic human needs that I was unable to provide for myself! I was completely alone in a foreign country, prone in bed, and I later developed a life-threatening condition because of this injury, and they would not approve some reasonable assistance! "Well, we don't usually do that..." the claims representative told me on the phone. "Maybe if you get a doctor's note." So, I did get a doctor's note saying it was necessary, and then NCL never responded. And even though these bills amounted to less than 1/10th of what they would have been in the USA (talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!), nearly a year later, NCL has failed reimburse anything at all!
Another of the many examples of NCL's lowly attempts to avoid payment is as follows: the claims representative told me she wanted all receipts (probably over 400 at this point), including doctor's receipts and reports, assistants receipts, miscellaneous items, etc., translated from Spanish to English. That is, they wanted me to fish around in this foreign country, when I'm not even mobile, where such things are not listed on the internet, trying to find a certified translator (who they will probably later say was not qualified), and pay for that too. I even emailed NCL's claims representatives, including their agent in the country I'm in, asking for a referral for a translator, and they failed to respond. Remember, NCL is a multi-million (billion?) dollar company headquartered in Miami! And yet they assert the onus is on me to try to secure these translations. Incredible. Does that seem fair and equitable? Do they really have no one in their Miami headquarters that speaks Spanish?! What?! The lack of dignity exhibited by NCL in this case has been, in my opinion, disgraceful.
Workers should know that NCL has arbitration clauses in their contracts, which you are forced to sign upon arrival on ship so that you really have little choice at that point, other than going home again (and I doubt they would pay for that, either). Thus, you are signing away most of your rights if you are employed by them, which puts you in a unenviable position should something happen (case in point). These clauses protect NCL from being truly accountable in case of injury onboard, so if you have an accident, they will most likely never be held fully accountable, and you most likely will never receive care or compensation as you deserve. These clauses all but force arbitration, and all but prevent jury trials, where the public would see the abuses of this company and compensate people accordingly, and provide much-needed publicity to keep the actions of NCL and the industry in the public eye. As most NCL ships sail under a Bahamian flag, they are not bound by US law--a clever way to get away with the disgraces I am here citing. The effects of this are considerable, not only in this instance of course, but with the majority of workers, including Filipino and other minority workers who sleep 8-to-a-cabin and work long hours. Consider this greatly before sailing with them for recreation or employment! If something happens, it is possible you may find yourself in the position I am now in.
I was a completely committed worker, and NCL has treated me terribly, exhibiting negligence, reckless disregard for my care and well-being, and utter disregard for their responsibility. They should be ashamed, but they do not seem to be--it seems this is just how they do business. I ask that you draw your own conclusions about this company and their care, and book your vacation or work accordingly. You must decide if this is a company you wish to support. My experience with them has been awful. I doubt my condition is unique, and I encourage those with similar experiences to post here and contact me. I also encourage members of the media to post here and contact me so that I may further publicly share my experience: nclunfair@Yahoo.com
Please know that the cruise industry and NCL quell media for their purpose. Do not be mislead by questionable comments that may here follow. I believe NCL has employees who scan these sites and remove true commentary which is not in their favor, lest the truth be known. As well, I believe their employees make comments that make these types of terrible incidents seem the fault of the victim. I read comments in the vein of, "Well, many big corporations are unfair and unjust," or, "your mistake was..." If those are real posts, for gosh sake, what kind of standard is being set? What are you willing to accept and excuse? Reasonable and sincere people know differently, so not be fooled--see through this subterfuge. Place the responsibility where it belongs: squarely in the hands of NCL. If you see postings following this that make no sense to you, know by whom such outrageous comments are generally made.
Seek the truth and make your decisions accordingly--that is all I ask. The cruise industry badly needs greater oversight and enforcement. Ask yourself if this is the type of company you wish to support. Thank you for considering this opinion when making your decisions of who to travel or work with. It is my feeling that, because of what I have experienced with NCL before, during, and after this incident, those who are in agreement should boycott Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). A denial of financial support is all that may affect them--it's only fair...it is what they have done to me. Thank you for your support.