This week, the passengers of the Norwegian Spirit, operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) were so dismayed, they turn to revolt and riot. This story was posted by Twitter user NCLHELL1 which shows the level of discontent on board. This is the story of what went wrong and some thoughts on what you should consider before booking a cruise.
This cruise is 14 days in duration sailing out of South Hampton, England to ports in Norway, UK, Netherlands and Iceland. It appears that Iceland was the big draw for this cruise and Iceland just didn’t happen along with other ports.
As you can see, the Amsterdam, Dublin and Iceland stops were canceled due to rerouting for weather. The passengers seemed to most upset at the fact they were not going to see Iceland. The ship was rerouted to Scotland and before docking there, it was cancelled too. At this point, the passengers began to revolt that lasted for hours. They held up homemade signs spelling our REFUND. The passengers were in no mood to continue and shouted their demands to return back to London. Thankfully nobody got hurt and the passengers exhibited as much decorum as they muster up. Norwegian did offer a 25% discount on a future sailing and this gesture seemed to anger the passengers even more.
Then There Were the Toilets
Now it ship begins to encounter mechanical issues. Passenger Cody McNutt said that the toilet in his room stopped flushing and the public toilets did not work as well. He went on to say that they smelled sewage early in the morning.
The Contract of Carriage (COC)
The contract of carriage is a document written by attornies working for the carrier to benefit the carrier. Whether you a flying, cruising or using some other means of transportation, you agree to abide by the carrier’s COC when you click purchase. For NCL, they refer to their COC as “Booking Conditons” which is 18 pages long. Your rights in dealing with irregular cruise operations will be spelled out here. Most people never bother to read the COC before purchasing tickets. To be fair, NCL also agrees to follow a “Cabin Industry Passenger Bill of Rights”.
Two Things You Should Do Before Booking a Cruise
First, consider the likely weather conditions before you choose a cruise date. Choosing better weather conditions will increase your cruise enjoyment but will most likely cost you more by booking in “high season”.
- A cruise in extreme northern latitudes will be best during June, July, August in early September. After mid-September, the weather can change quickly.
- A cruise in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Southeast U.S. seaboard from June through October puts you in hurricane season.
Even if the ship does make it to its’ scheduled ports in bad weather, you may be in for a rough and unpleasant ride.
Second, read your carrier’s Contract of Carriage so you can understand the contractual relationship that you will enter into with that carrier. You need to know what the carrier is responsible for when things go wrong.
My Take on This Cruise
Extreme weather conditions can and do happen and they are out of the carrier’s control. Cruise lines do the best they can to safely reroute you to a suitable port of call. Please remember that the first priority for the crew is ensuring your safety. Unfortunately, this cruise faced extreme weather conditions at both the scheduled and rescheduled ports.
Equipment malfunctions can and do happen aboard ship. The crew will attempt to resolve these problems as soon as possible. If you decide to set sail on a cruise, you have to bear in mind that a mechanical failure can happen on your cruise.
Consider the weather conditions in the region that you will be traveling in before you book. Cruising is a great experience and hopefully, your next cruise will be an excellent experience.