Earlier this month, New Times obtained internal emails from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). Here in Miami, managers were directing salespeople to mislead customers about the risks of coronavirus to protect the company's bookings. The story revealed that a senior manager created scripts with misleading talking points for the sales team to use if customers wanted to cancel their trips.
In response to the story, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced an investigation into "misleading and potentially dangerous sales pitches by Norwegian Cruise Line."
"We are in the thick of a public health crisis like our modern world has never experienced," Moody said in an email statement. "My Consumer Protection Division is conducting an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of the disturbing allegations against Norwegian Cruise Lines. Let this serve as a warning to anyone seeking to mislead consumers during these challenging times. I will do everything within the power of this office to hold accountable those who would prey on Floridians during this health crisis."
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Moody credited New Times' reporting as the impetus for the investigation. Emails leaked to New Times by a whistleblower outlined several talking points for the cruise line's sales team.
"The Coronavirus can only survive in cold temperatures, so the Caribbean is a fantastic choice for your next cruise," one claimed.
A second falsely asserted that "scientists and medical professionals have confirmed that the warm weather of the spring will be the end of the Coronavirus."
As of now, in the early stages of the investigation, NCL is cooperating, according to the Attorney General's Office.