NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — This is a coronavirus travel cancellation story, with a twist.
The pandemic prevented a 40th anniversary cruise from sailing for a suburban couple, and then the promised refund disappeared as well.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory took a trip through the fine print to investigate.
“This year was my wife and my 40th wedding anniversary,” said Scott Salzman, “so back in January, I booked a special cruise trip for us.”
Salzman and his wife, Rosemary, tied the knot back in 1980. To celebrate, they planned to spend five days aboard the Norwegian Gem in April on a cruise to Bermuda.
Of course, before setting sail, COVID-19 caused the world to grind to a halt. The Naperville couple received an email from the Norwegian Cruise Line that basically said, “We’ve been forced to cancel these trips.”
The Salzmans rescheduled for May.
“But then, you know, a month or so later, they canceled those trips, so we wound up rescheduling for August,” Salzman said.
In June, Norwegian sent the couple a letter, cancelling all trips through August. The cruise line offered a credit for a future cruise with a bonus, or their money back.
“So I filled out the paperwork to get the cash refund,” Salzman said.
Fast forward to late September and Salzman learned his refund was denied.
“You sent me a letter saying that I can get it and I applied for it. You acknowledge receiving my application,” he said. “But they’re not giving it to me.”
So like the cruise industry as a whole, Salzman’s $2,800 remains in limbo.
“Give me back my original payment,” he said. “I mean, I paid them in January for cruising in April. They’ve been holding my money for nine month now.”
The Salzmans would still like to take their dream trip. It will just be to celebrate their 41st or 42nd anniversary.
As of now, Norwegian will only offer the Salzmans a credit. CBS 2 reached out to Norwegian Cruise Line for a reason why the Salzmans’ refund is not possible, but had not heard back as of early Monday.