Cruise line investigated over claims it misled customers about coronavirus

A leading cruise line is being investigated following “disturbing allegations” that it misled customers about the threat of coronavirus in order to protect sales.

Florida’s attorney general, Ashley Moody, has confirmed she is conducting a thorough investigation of the claims made against Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

“My consumer protection division is conducting an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of the disturbing allegations against Norwegian Cruise Lines,” said Moody, reports Travel Mole

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“Let this serve as a warning to anyone seeking to mislead consumers during these challenging times.” 

The investigation comes after a whistleblower at NCL leaked a series of emails to the Miami New Times, in which a senior sales manager allegedly provided “one-liners” to help employees close sales with customers who were on the fence about booking a cruise.

“Team, these are one liner’s [sic] to help you close your guests that are on the fence. DO NOT USE THESE unless the coronavirus is brought up,” reportedly reads one email.

“The only thing you need to worry about for your cruise is do you have enough sunscreen,” says one of the reported lines, while another resorts to pressure booking by advising that demand for itineraries has soared as a result of Asian routes being cancelled.

“I suggest we secure your reservation today to avoid you paying more tomorrow,” reads the talking point.

At the more worrying end of the spectrum, some of the alleged one-liners appeared to contain unfounded information about Covid-19.

“The Coronavirus can only survive in cold temperatures, so the Caribbean is a fantastic choice for your next cruise,” one talking point allegedly says; another reportedly reads: “Scientists and medical professionals have confirmed that the warm weather of the spring will be the end of the Coronavirus.”

At the time, most scientists said it was too soon to know how the virus would react in warm weather.

The Independent has contacted NCL for comment on the investigation. The company previously declined to comment on the allegations.

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