On Friday March 16, 2018 Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship Norwegian Sun embarked on a 15-night re-positioning cruise from Miami, Florida (see video below) through the Panama Canal arriving to San Pedro, California on Saturday, March 31. But, the 2000 passengers who booked the cruise were duped into a cruise aboard Norwegian Sun, which should have been in dry dock for refurbishing during that time.
Instead, of waiting to dry dock in Canada, NCL got a jump on the planned dry dock work, shutting down entire areas of the ship such as the children’s pool.
Refurbishing began on the first day of the cruise while the cruise ship was in international waters – beyond the long arm of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) jurisdiction. Hazardous repairs began at passenger health and safety expense, for 15 nights. Photos tell how passengers cruised at sea in a full out construction zone.
Some passengers say they had to visit the ship’s infirmary for breathing problems, only to be charged by Norwegian Cruise Lines for the visit. Passengers were subjected to toxic fumes and observed dust and debris landing on tables and buffet food in the restaurants.
All hazardous materials were disembarked in Ensenada, Mexico right before the ship entered U.S. waters; Hence, the reason some work was done at sea before dry dock. Why dump it in Mexico?
On July 31, 2002, Norwegian Cruise Line admitted to dumping waste from several of its ships and agreed to pay a $1 million criminal fine, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The plea agreement was reached after the Environmental Protection Agency learned of the illegal oil dumping from a former Norwegian employee, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Trish Vale said she felt duped after spending tens of thousands of dollars to gather 11 family members, including her 81-year-old mother, two sisters and five children, on the cruise. She noticed things were amiss on the second day of the trip when she took the children to a kids pool only to find it closed.
Passenger Mae-Claire Locke says her family endured “16 days of hell” on-board the ship. “It wasn’t a vacation,” she said. “It was a full-on construction zone.” Ms Locke also told of how shards of metal went into her son’s eyes.
“We had to take him to the doctor as we couldn’t unglue his eyes with hot or cold face cloths. They put us all in significant danger.”
Many of the ship’s restaurants and amenities were closed, there was excessive noise and passengers also complained of the smell of chemicals.
The cruise was advertised as “Norwegian Sun – Panama Canal (Florida-Alaska-Vancouver)March 16, 2018 – 15-day Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles, visiting Cartagena, Puntarenas, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico – from $1050 pp.”
Cruise Bruise dubs the cruise, “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap at sea.”
The NCL response to passengers was offering those affected a 25 per cent discount on their next cruise. Next NCL cruise? That is zero compensation because none of 2,000 passengers will likely ever cruise with NCL again.
The company made a public statement, “At Norwegian Cruise Line, we continuously aim to offer the best vacation experience for all our guests. As part of our Norwegian Edge program, Norwegian Sun is currently undergoing enhancements to better serve our guests.
The program is a significant investment designed to ensure every ship across the fleet delivers a consistently high-quality experience to all of our guests. While we do our utmost to minimize any impact on the guest experience when these enhancements are taking place, we recognize that in this situation our guests experienced some inconvenience.”
We will be watching for the class action lawsuit. Watch this space.
- Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship Schedule
- Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship Tracker
- Norwegian Cruise Line Pleads Guilty To Illegal Dumping – Dept of Justice Press Release
Video:Norwegian Sun Update Panama Canal Construction Cruise A Holiday Ruined for 2000 Passengers