Court sinks cruise line's 9/11 case

Mark and Tara Casavant's ship has finally come in. A decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks frightened the Worcester couple out of embarking on a cruise to Bermuda five days later, the state's highest court has ruled that Norwegian Cruise Line engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices. The court ruled that for failing to fully disclose its refund policy to the Casavants, and then refusing to reimburse the $2,135 cost of their trip, the cruise line must pay the couple back. After the Casavants sued Norwegian in 2002, a lower-court judge ruled that their tickets be refunded. Now, per order of the state Supreme Judicial Court, Norwegian is on the hook for damages and attorney fees, too. According to the court's decision issued yesterday, Norwegian told the Casavants there was no refund due because they backed out of their trip with less than two weeks to go before the ship was to set sail from Boston. The Casavants tried to reschedule, but Norwegian wouldn't let them, the court found. "Norwegian informed the Casavants for the first time that it was Norwegian's policy 'to provide passengers with a 100-percent refund if they have an objection to a provision in the contract of passage,' and, further, because the Casavants had not objected to a specific provision in the contract of passage at the time they sought to reschedule (or cancel) their trip, their claim for a refund was properly denied. This refund policy was not contained in any of the materials . . . the Casavants received prior to the scheduled trip," the order reads. Neither the Casavants nor Norwegian's New York attorney could be reached for comment.

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