Tourism & Cruises

Ship’s mechanical woes strand thousands of Norwegian cruise passengers in Puerto Rico

Norwegian Jade, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.
Norwegian Jade, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. Michel Verdure

Thousands of passengers aboard the Norwegian Jade cruise ship will have to fly back to Miami from San Juan, Puerto Rico, cutting their 10-day Caribbean vacation short.

The ship left from Miami on Friday, Nov. 16, and arrived in San Juan on Sunday. Late Sunday evening, about an hour before the ship was supposed to leave the port, the captain announced that the remaining seven days of the cruise had been canceled. The ship’s itinerary included stops in Barbados, St. Kitts, and St. Lucia before its planned return to Miami on Nov. 26.

“It’s inconvenient,” said Dennis Warren, 59, a passenger from Orlando. “We’re here with friends. We’re just going to go down to the Keys for a few days. We booked this trip 9 or 10 months ago. We’re going to take advantage.”

Letter to passengers aboard Norwegian Jade. Dennis Warren

In a letter to guests Monday, Norwegian Cruise Line said it will refund the price of the cruise for passengers and offer a 100 percent credit for a future cruise. The cruise line is working to book flights for passengers back to Miami on Tuesday. Alternatively, passengers who book their own travel arrangements can receive up to $650 reimbursement. The company has made internet available to passengers free of charge. In the meantime, passengers are not allowed to come and go from the ship.

Later this week the ship, which launched in 2006 and holds 2,400 at double occupancy, will sail back to Miami for several days of repairs. A spokesperson for the cruise line said the mechanical issue impacts the propulsion and steering of the ship.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation has caused, especially during this special holiday cruise,” said a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line.

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