New Yorker Aimee Focaraccio got a gem of a birthday present when Norwegian Cruise Lines canceled her ten-day cruise. Notably, it was canceled while she was already at sea on the Norwegian Gem.
Her celebration ended abruptly Thursday as the cruise line informed passengers the cruise would be canceled due to COVID-related issues, according to a USA Today report. Focaraccio learned Friday she would be spending days at sea because the ship was keeping to its schedule; it just would not be stopping in ports along the way. The sole port of call was Saint Martin.
“We will arrive as per schedule on the 19th in the morning,” a voice can be heard saying on a recording she shared with the National Daily. The crew member’s announcement reportedly warned bad weather was expected in the coming days.
“Without the islands and ports to break up the sea days, this is turning into a nightmare,” Focaraccio told USA Today. “I really can’t imagine four more sea days back to back without much to do.”
She reported that the ship had already skipped port calls in Grand Turk, Saint Thomas, and Tortola before it arrived in Saint Martin. She said those earlier ports were skipped before the decision to cancel was made by the cruise line.
“As we continue to navigate the fluid public health environment while focusing on delivering a safe experience for all on board, today, we made the difficult decision to cancel Norwegian Gem’s current Caribbean sailing, due to COVID-related circumstances,” Christine Da Silva, senior vice president of branding and communication for Norwegian Cruise Line, told USA Today.
Another passenger on the same cruise expressed a different reaction to USA Today. Fellow cruise passenger Anthony Bivona said his experience on the Gem has been a positive one, in spite of cancellations. “They did NOT fail to meet my expectations at all,” he said in an email. He reportedly complimented the ship’s staff for their handling of the situation.
All Norwegian Gem passengers on her cruise were reportedly given a full refund or cruise credit, and an additional cruise credit equivalent to 50 percent of the current trip fare applicable to a future cruise by May 2023, according to a report by The Hill.
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