Sexual Assault

Sarah Alexander

My Experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) 

On September 25, 2005, I boarded the Norwegian Cruise Line “Majesty”, as a solo passenger for a 7-day cruise from Boston to Bermuda.
From September 26th thru October 1st, I was repeatedly “hit on” by my Cabin Steward. He left notes on the bed in my cabin, and lurked in the corridor at all hours of the day and night, seeming to be waiting for me.
He even so much as asked me to have dinner with him… and also marry him! Although it seemed a bit overly flirtatious, I did not make a big deal of it, but….
On the final day of my cruise, October 2nd, the Cabin Steward assaulted me. He followed me into to my cabin, closing the door behind him. There was very little room and I tried to distance myself from him, but he grabbed me and began kissing me. I tried to push him away and said, “NO!”, but he had one arm firmly around my waist, while his other hand gripped the back of my head. He forced my mouth open with his tongue. Again, I yelled, “NO!”, causing him to loosen his grip, long enough for me to make my way out of the cabin.
I was confused and shocked, and honestly, didn’t know what to do, but I wanted to quickly get off of that ship… and return home to my family.
Upon leaving, I stopped to speak with a female passenger, whom I had befriended earlier and told her what had just happened. I did, however, take the time to drop a card in the comment box before leaving the ship, alerting NCL of what had just happened to me.
Later that same day, October 2nd, I wrote a detailed letter to NCL, notifying them of the various incident(s) leading up to this attack, as well as the attack itself. This letter was sent to Colin Veitch, CEO/President of NCL, as well as other NCL areas including their Legal Department.
After receiving no response, I called NCL’s Customer Relations on November 5th. They immediately reviewed my file, confirmed that they had received my letter, and assured me that I would be receiving a response within 5-10 business days.
By November 28th, I had received no correspondence, so I faxed letters to the CEO/President, Colin Veitch, and other NCL departments, again recapping my story and demanding a response. (At this point, I also faxed a letter to the FBI, notifying them of the situation, as well.)
Finally, I received a response from NCL on November 30th, a form letter from their Customer Relations, stating that since I did not report the attack while onboard the ship, there was nothing they could do. I could not believe what I was reading!
On December 6th, I replied to NCL’s letter. Mind you, this was only my 4th cruise, but all had been through NCL. I requested a personal reply from Mr. Veitch, not from Customer Relations, since this was not a casual incident, even though it appeared to be handled that way.
I received a second response from Customer Relations on December 21st, once again faulting me for failing to report this attack while onboard (the last day of my cruise). I was told that my case was “Closed”. And although I emailed Mr. Veitch one more time (December 27th), he failed to reply.
The manner in which my assault was handled by NCL left me feeling as though I was being assaulted a second time…being faulted, even though I was the “victim”.