Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Another company to give family free cruise

Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their 5-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer.

Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway on June 1, 2014. On May 19, he ended up having to have surgery on his liver, gallbladder, diaphragm and lymph nodes after doctors found out he had a large cancerous tumor.

"No 5-year-old should have to go through this," dad Philip Colucci said. "This is heartbreaking as a parent. It's a horrible experience for him."

Unfortunately, the family did not buy travel insurance for their cruise and wanted to rebook at a later date. But, because they contacted Norwegian so close to the departure date, the cruise line says there is nothing it can do to help.

"It's not like our son got the flu or a cold and we couldn't go," mom Tara Colucci said. "This is a major situation."

Now, a group of Facebook moms that Tara Colucci is part of is trying to publicly shame Norwegian Cruise Line. They say the cruise line is insensitive and unreasonable.

"I just never imagined especially a company as big as Norwegian that they would be so heartless, basically," Tara Colucci said.

Norwegian has issued a statement to Fox 5 News saying: "Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Colucci family and we wish Nicholas a speedy recovery."

But it goes on to warn: "We strongly encourage all of our guests to purchase travel protection insurance when booking a cruise so that they will be covered if a situation such as this arises. Our overall policy states that any cancellations made within 14 days or less of the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation fee."

The statement concludes: "After reviewing the request of the Colucci family, we spoke with the family and explained that while we could not make an exception to our policy, we would assist them when they were ready to re-book their cruise."

Nicolas is now in the middle of chemotherapy. He had been looking forward to the trip and had even made a calendar counting down the days until the trip. He still asks daily when they can "go on the big boat."

UPDATE: Fox 5 has learned that the CEO of a popular cruise line reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise. The CEO asked that his cruise line not be named because he said he was genuinely touched by their story and didn't want any publicity for his gesture.

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