Norwegian Jade cruise interrupted by a mechanical problem

 Norwegian Jade by Dave Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled a 10-day Norwegian Jade cruise that departed Miami on Nov. 16 because of a mechanical issue.

The ship is in San Juan, where it will disembark passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

It had been scheduled to depart San Juan on Sunday night for St. Thomas on a cruise that was to include St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.

After disembarking passengers, the Jade will sail back to Miami for repairs.

A Norwegian spokeswoman said the line is working to fly guests back to Miami and to points beyond, helping to modify travel arrangements to their final destinations.

Norwegian said guests will get a full refund of the fare for the abbreviated cruise and a 100% credit toward a future cruise.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation has caused,” a statement said.

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Norwegian Cruise Line to deploy six ships in Europe in 2019

Norwegian Bliss entering Southampton, photo by Dave Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy an additional ship in Europe next summer.

The 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl will offer ex-Amsterdam itineraries and sailings from Rome, Barcelona and Venice, having spent the 2018 summer season sailing out of the US.

Pearl will join five other NCL vessels in Europe: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Jade.

The sailings will go on sale on July 31, while Norwegian Jade and Spirit’s new 2019 programme will become available to sell on August 6.

NCL will deploy Norwegian Spirit in China from the summer of 2020, but next year it will operate ex-Southampton itineraries.

Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and managing director of UK & Ireland, said the decision was made in response to customer demand from Europe.

He said: “If you look at the robust demand environment around the world which was demonstrated by Norwegian Bliss – the best selling ship in our history – customers were booking nine, 12 and 18 months in advance.

“The message to the trade is this is our commitment to Europe. There are some great itineraries in the programme which gives agents more choice to offer their clients. The new home port in Amsterdam or Rome, for example.”

The 2,000 passenger-capacity Norwegian Spirit vessel will undergo a bow-to-stern revamp as part of the Norwegian Edge fleet refurbishment.

Spirit’s journey from Europe to Asia will feature sailings which include maiden calls for the line in South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives.

Jade will offer a season of sailings throughout south-east Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong in winter 2019/20.

Ports of call include in-demand locations such as Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay.

Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’s president and chief executive, said: “The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations.

“As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizeable opportunities in overperforming, and unserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”

Norwegian Cruise Line’s premium all-inclusive fare ‘sparks rise in agent support’

Image result for norwegian bliss

Norwegian Bliss Topside.

Norwegian Cruise Line has promised to never undercut its travel partners after revealing a surge in smaller agents selling its cruises since the introduction of its premium all-inclusive fare.

Nick Wilkinson, vice-president and managing director UK & Ireland, the Middle East and Africa, hailed the efforts of the trade at a media event for new ship Norwegian Bliss in central London.

He went on to link the last year’s move to premium all-inclusive pricing to a spike in agent support.

He said: “Premium all-inclusive has been an incredible success. It has opened doors to more and more agents feeling confident knowing what they’re selling with Norwegian.

“The [number of smaller agents working with Norwegian] is in double-digit growth. To me that is driving the success that we see in the market place.”

In December, NCL offered a new low-cost Just Cruise fare to run alongside premium all-inclusive to helps its sailings rank higher on online travel agencies’ searches.

He added that premium all-inclusive gave agents “the simplicity” they needed to do their job, before revealing that trade sales make up 85% of NCL’s distribution.

“[Travel agents] are our ambassadors,” he said. “They make the difference. That is why we make sure they are protected. They have a really difficult job. We will never undercut our travel agents. They are our lifeline.”

Explaining NCL’s recent decision to make New York its homeport in 2019/20 rather than a UK port, he told Travel Weekly: “The UK market is the number one market outside the US you have to look at when you are designing deployment from a global perspective.

“You have to look at what your demand is from each of those areas.”

He said it was understandable the UK market wanted “the newest, brightest, biggest” vessel but said, thanks to the Norwegian Edge renovation programme, “all our ships are exceptional”.

The 4,004-passenger ship will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Seattle during its inaugural season.

From November, during its first winter season, the vessel will operate seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises each Saturday from PortMiami.