Engine problems on the Norwegian Pearl.

Thousands of passengers are stuck in Barcelona on a stricken cruise ship while another of its voyages has been cancelled with just days’ notice

Norwegian Pearl, which was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue - leaving passengers stranded in Barcelona
Norwegian Pearl

A mechanical issue has left thousands of cruise passengers stuck in Barcelona, while another of its voyages has been cancelled entirely with just days’ notice.

Norwegian Pearl was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue – causing it to travel at a slower speed.

The problem meant the ship, which has 2,300 guests on board, missed a stop in Palma, Majorca, as well as Monte Carlo and is currently stranded in the Spanish city.

Additionally, an upcoming cruise of the Greek Isles and Italy, which was due to depart on Friday (July 5), has been cancelled much to the fury of its passengers.

She said: ‘We were supposed to depart to Livorno at 6am and only miss the second port of call.

‘They changed it around 9am to tell us we may not be able to go to Civitavecchia (Rome), will not be travelling to Livorno, will be receiving a 50 per cent refund and credit for a future cruise. If guests wanted to fully disembark they were allowed to and to make other travel arrangements.

‘Then they announced we will not be sailing to Civitavecchia, our last port of call where most guests have flights booked. We are now kindly asked to disembark the ship by Friday at noon.’

A picture taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

A picture was taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

She continued: ‘A good portion of the guests aren’t from Europe and will be spending a lot in fees to get to another destination. They are reimbursing $300 for airfare costs and have given customers an hour of free WiFi.

‘However, flight tickets will soon run out or be price gouged.

‘I was fortunate enough to have a WiFi package so when the first announcement about disembarking came on, I just bought my family and I flights to Rome and a hotel room.

‘However, from what I’ve heard walking around, some of the flights are not remotely close to the $300 guests will be reimbursed.’

Another passenger Kelly Flint expressed her frustration on Twitter posting: ‘Stuck on Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. Already missed two shore stops. No info from NCL.

‘Learned on the internet that next cruise has been cancelled. Don’t know how to get to Rome for flights home. Come on NCL.’

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Jessica Monroe also took to social media to vent her anger.

‘Still stuck on the Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. They said we’d leave at 6am, pretty sure the engine still won’t start. Can they update us so I can book a flight out of Barcelona?’

While Simon also tweeted: ‘I was on the Norwegian Epic last February when we missed all ports of call due to engine problems. Used credits to book Norwegian Pearl – now cancelled due to engine problems. Want to vacation with you again but you’re not making it easy.’

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said: ‘On July 1, 2019, Norwegian Pearl, which is currently sailing a 13-day repositioning cruise from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean, experienced a mechanical issue which necessitates that she travel at a reduced speed.

‘As such, she did not call to Palma, Majorca, and instead sailed directly to Barcelona where further assessments were made.

‘Due to necessary repairs, Norwegian Pearl’s upcoming Greek Isles and Italy sailing departing on July 5, 2019, will be cancelled.

‘We recognise the disappointment and inconvenience our guests have experienced as a result of this unforeseen situation and we offer our sincere apologies.

‘Our team is working diligently to assist all of our guests, and we thank them for their continued support and loyalty.’

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Norwegian Ends Open Bar on Sun and Sky

Norwegian Sky

Starting in September, Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer offer its open bar on all Sky and Sun sailings, which was said to be a key selling point in a competitive short cruise market.

The Sky and Sun both sailed to Cuba recently with an open bar offering. The Sky went to the open-bar program in 2016, with the Sun following as she was positioned into the short cruise market

Guests were able to enjoy, for free, a variety of unlimited premium spirits, mixed cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to $11.

The ships will now operate under Norwegian’s popular “Free at Sea” marketing program, letting guests choose various perks, including free WiFi, shore excursions, or an open bar, for example.

Existing reservations on cruises departing on either ship after Sept. 7 will be honoured for the open bar program.

So close yet so far: Disappointment on the Norwegian Sun

Image result for Norwegian sun

Lori Osgood’s clients were eager to visit Cuba for the first time this week when they were to cruise into Havana aboard the Norwegian Sun. The group had been planning their family cruise since last November.

It was not to be.

The Trump administration’s new regulations implemented on Tuesday forced cruise lines to immediately remove Cuba from all itineraries.

“They were excited to soak in all that Havana had to offer — the sights, sounds, people and culture,” said Osgood, a Cruise Planners travel advisor in Jacksonville, Fla. “They are disappointed that they missed their chance.”

Instead of Havana, the Norwegian Sun’s passengers headed to Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian informed passengers with an announcement on the ship.

“I sell a fair amount of Cuba and am saddened that many of my clients who were planning to travel there will not have the opportunity to do so, at least not in the foreseeable future,” she said.

As for cruise travellers already booked for Cuba, she will spend “a few extra hours to make sure our clients who were supposed to go to Cuba are well taken care of.”