This week, thousands of passengers aboard the Norwegian Gem found themselves in a challenging position when the propulsion system on the ship broke down. After a fun and enjoyable voyage from New York to Barbados, the ship was prepared to depart from the Caribbean when it experienced a technical malfunction. Without a properly functioning propulsion system, the vessel was required to return to the island.
Guests aboard the ship report that the last minute change of plans was not handled as skillfully as they may have liked. One passenger explained that Norwegian failed to properly communicate the situation and passengers were left uniformed, , saying, “There was no communication, we knew nothing about what was going to happen, if we were going to have a hotel to stay at.”
Many of the displaced passengers were flown back to Newark Airport on November 10th only to be left to figure out their own way home. However, one family who could not make a plane voyage for medical reasons, remains on the island. They were told the ship would be fixed by November 17th with an estimated return to New York on November 21st.
As an appreciation for the patience of these passengers, Norwegian is offering 25% off a future Norwegian cruise. However, for many of the impacted guests, that is simply not enough.
Is Norwegian at Fault?
In the wake of this situation, we are grateful that no one was placed in physical danger or left adrift as sea as a result of the ship malfunction as often seen. However, we are concerned over the manner in which Norwegian chose to handle this unexpected change of plans.
It is understandable that passengers aboard the ship wanted to be made aware of the details of the situation, especially as it related to their ability to return home. In times like these, it is especially important for crewmembers to clearly explain what will take place, so that guests are spared unnecessary stress and confusion.
In the case of the family that has been stuck in Barbados for an extra week, we wonder if there was any other way for their needs to be met, without causing them to miss valuable time at work and in school?
In short, this event could be a lesson to Norwegian and all other major cruise lines on how to handle the unexpected, while causing the least inconvenience to passengers who have paid for a relaxing vacation.
We Can Help
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a cruise line has acted in a way that may not have been in the best interest of its guests. There are far too many cases of accident and injury at sea that have been caused either by cruise ship negligence or poor decision making skills in times of crisis.
If you have been negatively impacted on your cruise and believe that the company is to blame, speaking with a maritime lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. can help. We have experience assisting clients with a wide range of concerns and we are prepared to do the same for you.
So if you are ready to face your legal burden with confidence and achieve the results you deserve, do not hesitate to contact us.