Norwegian Bliss to sail from Miami in winter

Norwegian Bliss to Cruise the Caribbean after a Alaskan season.

After spending its inaugural season in Alaska, the Norwegian Bliss will sail weeklong Caribbean cruises from Miami in winter 2017-18.

Beginning on Nov. 17, 2018, the Bliss will depart each Saturday on cruises that will call in St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau.

Norwegian Cruise Line will bridge the Alaska and Miami deployments with a five-day sailing from Vancouver to Los Angeles, four round trip Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles, and a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to Miami.

A rendering of the Haven observation launge on the Norwegian Bliss.
A rendering of the Haven observation launge on the Norwegian Bliss.

The Bliss will journey through the Panama Canal’s new locks, along with calling in Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cartagena, Colombia.

The Bliss is slated to enter service in June 2018, sailing Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Cruise lines cancel Puerto Vallarta port calls

Civil unrest and violence around Puerto Vallarta led to cruise lines canceling ship calls there.

The Celebrity Infinity bypassed the Mexican port on May 10 for a day at sea, spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said. On May 12, Royal Caribbean International’s Jewel of the Seas will substitute a sea day for Puerto Vallarta.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (parent of Celebrity and Royal Caribbean) said the decisions were made “due to the recent episodes of violent civil unrest, stemming from criminal gangs that have engaged in armed conflict with local authorities.”

Disney Cruise Line distributed a letter to passengers on a 14-day Panama Canal cruise aboard the Disney Wonder explaining that the May 12 port call was being canceled, citing “several reports of unrest in the area around Puerto Vallarta.”

Disney said taxes, fees and port expenses associated with the visit would be refunded to the original source of payment used by the passenger to book the cruise.

The Carnival Miracle will continue with its scheduled May 12 stop, but some shore excursions have been canceled, a spokesman said.

The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel warning for Mexico on May 5 detailing the “risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country.”

Norwegian Star cruise canceled to fix ship

Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled a Panama Canal cruise scheduled to depart Los Angeles on April 12 because of a problem with the ship’s ABB-manufactured Azipod propulsion.

In a statement, the cruise line said the Norwegian Star would undergo repairs from April 21 to 26. The Star had just emerged in late March from a scheduled drydock in which it received a variety of upgrades. See report from drydock.

Guests booked on the 15-day cruise will receive a full refund as well as a 50% future cruise credit.

Norwegian said the next cruise on the ship is scheduled to depart Miami on April 27.