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Passengers on Norwegian Spirit is mad about itinerary changes


shof515
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It sure looked like rough seas on this voyage all around ... but the en masse protest I've never seen before, so I wrote it up for

Securely Travel - https://securelytravel.com/travel/norwegian-spirit-passengers-protest-at-sea/ and ask two questions:

 

  1. Do the passengers have a beef, or are they acting in a truculent manner?
  2. Norwegian is offering all aboard 25 percent credit toward a future cruise, is that enough given that mother nature and prudence dictated the at sea changes?

The cruise will be back on the 11th ... no doubt with a lot of detailed perspective.

 

Safe Sailing,

CB

 

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11 minutes ago, billco said:

Seems there were food and sewage problems also. But, that could also be related to weather.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7551905/Cruise-ship-passengers-5-300-mystical-fjords-tour-rebel-tell-crew-want-liner.html

 

I kinda doubt the food claim. Cruise ships can make it across the Atlantic with several sea days in a row without stale food. I don't see how 3 sea days would do it - especially since I don't see Iceland as a major supplies hub since the food there would be $$$ so doubt the ship missed a food refill.

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5 hours ago, pc_load_letter said:

I am happy that I am in agreement with everyone here.

 

The wife and I returned last week from the NCL Gen which was sailing from Boston to Quebec. We hit Bar Harbor,  Halifax and Sydney but missed the last two ports. I can't even remember the names but one is where Anna Green Gables is located\inspired

Anne of Green Gables is in Prince Edward Island. The port was probably Charlottetown. When the winds are high in the Northumberland Strait, the bridge that connects the provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick will be closed as the winds can cause bigger trucks and tractor trailers to tip over. If the Captain of the ship chose not to tender to the Island it was probably for safety reasons.

 

The other port you missed may have been Saint John, New Brunswick.

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58 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

I kinda doubt the food claim. Cruise ships can make it across the Atlantic with several sea days in a row without stale food. I don't see how 3 sea days would do it - especially since I don't see Iceland as a major supplies hub since the food there would be $$$ so doubt the ship missed a food refill.

I agree the ship probably had sufficient food stores, but I am thinking the weather would adversely affect preparation. Probably pretty hard to cook under those conditions. 

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1 hour ago, billco said:

I agree the ship probably had sufficient food stores, but I am thinking the weather would adversely affect preparation. Probably pretty hard to cook under those conditions. 

 

I could see them not being able to cook as involved meals as usual if the galley is rocking and rolling, but that wouldn't make the food stale. And if it was stale as in the same thing they ate yesterday I would think they'd say "stale menu" vs "stale food".

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I don't believe in violence but hats off to the officer when dealing with that ridiculous loud mouthed  man screaming 'liar'. I would have slapped him just to stop him being so hysterical! On a serious note I've done several Amsterdam cruises and have been stopped by the wind before. They are building a new North Sea Canal which will be much wider than the current one which dependant on size of ship can leave as little as a metre clearance each side so any high winds risk damage to the ship. I'm afraid this is what you get when snow flakes cruise. People have no real idea of the power of the sea. I get that its disappointing and I'm sure that NCL could most likely have been a bit more forthcoming with information. For my wife and I the ship is always the focal point of our holiday not the ports!

Edited by philsuarez
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6 hours ago, billco said:

Seems there were food and sewage problems also. But, that could also be related to weather.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7551905/Cruise-ship-passengers-5-300-mystical-fjords-tour-rebel-tell-crew-want-liner.html

 

Wow!  It's a mini mutiny on the NCL Spirit.   Never seen anything like that.  

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I can’t speak to the claims about food issues or toilets overflowing, since I only stayed on for the first week. I did, however, see people that were upset and expressing their unhappiness to the desk staff, as well as constant grumbling overheard in the buffet, entertainment venues, etc. But nothing to the level it apparently reached after the cancelled Glasgow stop. I disagree with chanting and getting in the faces of the staff. What is the point? They are not making the decisions and it isn’t like they were going to turn the ship around and start over. 

As far as some here saying that they would be just fine with floating around aimlessly at sea for two weeks, let’s keep in mind that this is NOT some new, beautiful mega-ship with plenty to do. It is an aging, small ship that is in dire need of refurbishment that is going in for a complete overhaul in 2020. There are no ice cream parlors, comedy clubs, karaoke bars, multiple entertainment venues, race cars, etc. This is not the Bliss. So when you are stuck day after day with not much to do except eat or drink, people get bored. And add to that the fact that the constant missing of ports and truly uncomfortable sailing conditions daily tend to wear on folks.  There is more of a back story here than simply “they missed a port so they are whining”. Some reasons for the anger reaching the level it did include:

 

Constant port changes, eliminations,  changing information.

No food available anywhere on the ship from 3:30 pm to 5pm on first day due to cancellation of the sail away barbecue because of winds. When asked we were told “just order room service”  (for $7.95 and a 45 minute wait). Blue Lagoon, the 24 hour restaurant, was closed until 6 that day. 

Very long waits in line for shore excursions every time there was a change to the itinerary. 

Frightening winds and sailing conditions that affected any movement by passengers on the ship. On the worst night, both the captain and the CD got on to tell us “not to worry, that even though this seems scary that we won’t be in danger but please keep movement to a minimum”. Two hours later the bars experienced the severe damages while chairs fell and people had to hang on to keep from falling over. Conditions close to these every night made it difficult to “enjoy the ship”.

The pool deck was closed to passengers during sailing the vast majority of the time. The other decks had barriers across doors to keep us from going out. Balconies during sailing were dangerous as well.

Hellesylt, the added fjords port was completely closed except for the grocery stores. No hotel, no restaurants, no shops, nothing to do.

No internet or television while sailing in the fjords for five days. They warned us that this would happen before we got there, but this made changing/cancelling plans on the fly very difficult and took another entertainment option out.

 

These were just a few of the annoyances that caused this buildup of passenger anger. Again, weather is not the fault of NCL, and bad behavior is unacceptable. I’m sure Friday cannot come soon enough for these people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a question. When we first started cruising, we missed a port due to a technical problem on Oriana. We were all give a £50 obc, which we were told represented a share of the port docking fees. Do cruise lines still do this?

Secondly I do have some sympathy for these passengers. It is not just one port that they have missed but, I think 4 out of the 5 they were due to visit. That is a fundamental change to the itinerary. Of course the cruise line had no option but to cancel the port calls, but I do wonder why this problem was not foreseen, given the sophisticated weather forecasting in place. 

The one port cancellation that annoys me particularly is Amsterdam. This port is frequently scheduled in the Autumn months, yet it is also frequently cancelled due to weather conditions. Seasoned cruisers will know this. Why do the cruise lines persist in using it as a port of call under such circumstances? Is it because the port fees saved are a nice little earner, or is it because a cruise to Rotterdam, which is where the ships frequently end up, would not have the same appeal to customers. 

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If NCL had cancelled the cruise from the beginning there would have been angry riots at the port.  What?  Cancel a cruise because of wind?
If NCL had sailed into the storm and people started falling down all over the ship angry riots would be blaming the captain and NCL for putting their lives in danger.

Once the ship set sail, what could they do if a port was a risk because of a hurricane, another port had a broken down ship in its berth, etc.

Everyone is sympathetic but there are not realistic options.  These are the risks of a vacation on the high seas.

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First of all, I am presently on this cruise, so I will give you my perspective.  On departure day from Southampton, it was so windy that it took two strong tugs and the ship’s thrusters almost 45 minutes to just pull out from the dock.  We were told that there were gale force winds in Amsterdam so they were substituting LeHavre, France for that port.  All excursions were changed and we sailed into what I would say were gale force winds out in the Channel later that night.  As we approached the port of LeHavre, the winds continued and it was deemed too dangerous to dock.  So we sailed NE towards Norway for the ports of Bergen, Flam and Geiranger.  It was announced that Iceland was going to receiving bad weather with high seas and Ireland & England were being hit, so for safety reasons, Iceland was cancelled.  Instead, we also went to Hellesylt and Alesund, Norway (loved the ports!). We were also going to Greenock, Scotland after 2 sea days.  Weather conditions deteriorated inside the harbor for Greenock while we were waiting for the Naval Vessel to be repaired and move from our assigned dock.  Conditions became bad enough to abort our docking for safety reasons.  This put some, but certainly I did not see hundreds of people,  rioting.  People sat and blocked the steps, grabbed any piece of paper they could find, and wrote their protest notes and put them on the floor for all to see.  I was at the Shorex desk trying to ask an excursion question from personnel when an older man came over quite distraught because he apparently stepped on a piece of paper and slipped, almost falling over.  He was calling for security to get the papers off the floor.  Some people were loudly protesting and calling out insults about the captain, cruiseline & Hotel Manager at almost deafening levels.  Security was present in the lobby but just kept a careful watch over the events which, I thought, was done in a respectful manner.  I heard a rumor that a couple of passengers were put in the brig earlier in the riot, but I wasn’t there then so can’t confirm it. The Captain came down to try to speak with the protesters, but he couldn’t speak over their shouting.  Another crew member also made an attempt to speak to them, with the same results.  

Honestly, I think the Captain made decisions for everyone’s safety.  I have had no problems with overflowing toilets (first I’m hearing about this) or bad food.  I have enjoyed plenty of great meals, wonderful service, and give great credit to all the crew for their professionalism.

I’ll admit I was disappointed by the ports missed but wouldn’t want to risk my life trying to get into a port with extreme weather conditions.  People have the right to protest, but we all need to mind our manners.  The protests could have been made in a more peaceful manner, including non-heated conversations with the Captain and management.  It was like a lot of toddlers having a hissy fit.  But with close to 2000 passengers on board, the rioters were just a small fraction of them.  Many of the passengers I came into contact with just stayed away and shook their heads about the bad behavior in the lobby.  

I was very satisfied with the 25% off the next cruise booking given to all passengers.  All shore excursions missed were completely refunded.  They did their best to make things right.  I am already booked for another NCL Cruise and have no fear of a repeat experience.  As for those with I’ll feelings, go on another cruiseline or don’t cruise at all!  Thank you for the patience of all the crew of the Spirit through a difficult time!

 

 

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The best thing to do in this circumstance as most passengers have the drinks passage would be to drink and eat the ship out of house and home. And the passengers are stupidly risking life bans from NCL for protesting like that.

 

Though I do like NCL they are poorly managed. On the Pearl's eastbound TA earlier this year they did the irish immigration check in one day in the midst of a norovirus outbreak as opposed to doing to deck by the deck over the course of the trip.

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23 hours ago, Peachypooh said:

I don't know about anyone else but it would freak me out to no end to know there is a mob like

this in the atrium acting this way. THAT would spoil my cruise not the Captain acting in a responsible

manner to avoid problems by adjusting the itinerary.

What is happening to society in the 20 years or so? I can't imagine people behaving this way.  

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2 hours ago, 2spring said:

First of all, I am presently on this cruise, so I will give you my perspective.  On departure day from Southampton, it was so windy that it took two strong tugs and the ship’s thrusters almost 45 minutes to just pull out from the dock.  We were told that there were gale force winds in Amsterdam so they were substituting LeHavre, France for that port.  All excursions were changed and we sailed into what I would say were gale force winds out in the Channel later that night.  As we approached the port of LeHavre, the winds continued and it was deemed too dangerous to dock.  So we sailed NE towards Norway for the ports of Bergen, Flam and Geiranger.  It was announced that Iceland was going to receiving bad weather with high seas and Ireland & England were being hit, so for safety reasons, Iceland was cancelled.  Instead, we also went to Hellesylt and Alesund, Norway (loved the ports!). We were also going to Greenock, Scotland after 2 sea days.  Weather conditions deteriorated inside the harbor for Greenock while we were waiting for the Naval Vessel to be repaired and move from our assigned dock.  Conditions became bad enough to abort our docking for safety reasons.  This put some, but certainly I did not see hundreds of people,  rioting.  People sat and blocked the steps, grabbed any piece of paper they could find, and wrote their protest notes and put them on the floor for all to see.  I was at the Shorex desk trying to ask an excursion question from personnel when an older man came over quite distraught because he apparently stepped on a piece of paper and slipped, almost falling over.  He was calling for security to get the papers off the floor.  Some people were loudly protesting and calling out insults about the captain, cruiseline & Hotel Manager at almost deafening levels.  Security was present in the lobby but just kept a careful watch over the events which, I thought, was done in a respectful manner.  I heard a rumor that a couple of passengers were put in the brig earlier in the riot, but I wasn’t there then so can’t confirm it. The Captain came down to try to speak with the protesters, but he couldn’t speak over their shouting.  Another crew member also made an attempt to speak to them, with the same results.  

Honestly, I think the Captain made decisions for everyone’s safety.  I have had no problems with overflowing toilets (first I’m hearing about this) or bad food.  I have enjoyed plenty of great meals, wonderful service, and give great credit to all the crew for their professionalism.

I’ll admit I was disappointed by the ports missed but wouldn’t want to risk my life trying to get into a port with extreme weather conditions.  People have the right to protest, but we all need to mind our manners.  The protests could have been made in a more peaceful manner, including non-heated conversations with the Captain and management.  It was like a lot of toddlers having a hissy fit.  But with close to 2000 passengers on board, the rioters were just a small fraction of them.  Many of the passengers I came into contact with just stayed away and shook their heads about the bad behavior in the lobby.  

I was very satisfied with the 25% off the next cruise booking given to all passengers.  All shore excursions missed were completely refunded.  They did their best to make things right.  I am already booked for another NCL Cruise and have no fear of a repeat experience.  As for those with I’ll feelings, go on another cruiseline or don’t cruise at all!  Thank you for the patience of all the crew of the Spirit through a difficult time!

 

 

Thank you for the perspective of a passenger currently sailing and has sense to understand missed ports due to weather conditions has nothing to do with NCL responsibility. Those out of control should be banned from NCL. Who wants them back on board? And if they were that mad then one would think they wouldn't be using a future credit. The only people I feel sorry for is the staff and passengers who have to deal with the entitled passengers that are out of their minds.

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13 minutes ago, gbcruise said:

Thank you for the perspective of a passenger currently sailing and has sense to understand missed ports due to weather conditions has nothing to do with NCL responsibility. Those out of control should be banned from NCL. Who wants them back on board? And if they were that mad then one would think they wouldn't be using a future credit. The only people I feel sorry for is the staff and passengers who have to deal with the entitled passengers that are out of their minds.

I wonder how much of this rage filled activity was fueled by alcohol.  The man who is chanting and shouting in the officer's face is way out of control, and just making a fool of himself for example.  I hope that security took him away before it got physical.  Weather is not something within the ship's or the officer's control, neither are the currents adding to the weather problem.  Passage through the North Sea is never calm waters, and with the weather situaion rocky days were to be expected.  We were on the Sept 1 cruise on the Spirit and experienced a few nights of pretty rough waves....well we just took our bonine and didn't get much sleep those nights.  We were fortunate not to have missed ports, but sailing later in the season it was to be expected.  

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Some of the claims in this article appear far fetched - stale food!! https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7551905/Cruise-ship-passengers-5-300-mystical-fjords-tour-rebel-tell-crew-want-liner.html

but it does seem this cruise has been particularly unlucky with multiple missed stops and sewerage system issue. When you read stories of passengers leaving the cruise early and making their own way home you get a sense that this is more than a missed port or two.

My own view is that NCL need to review their customer communication procedures. If there is open and honest communication including face to face communication most reasonable people would accept the issues. My experience is that NCL Guest services are in some cases poorly trained and appear to have a default of saying very little.

We have had 8 wonderful cruises with NCL and the 9th booked we have had missed ports 2 on a baltic cruise ( not well handled on board or before hand) and recently Kotor due to Venice late departure. So I am a fan of NCL but their communication is something they need to address.

It is the not knowing that makes people upset and some upset people react in anger.

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I heard that the people who left in Norway were made they weren’t going to Iceland.  I would say that many of the passengers on this ship told me they booked this cruise because of the Iceland stops.  So when it was announced during our initial stops in Norway, some people were upset.  The Captain said they expected 20 foot waves there. I just heard yesterday that it ended being even more, with 30 foot waves!  So I think a good decision was made.  I also think we were taken further up into Norway for the next 2 stops so we would be able to wait out the storms fury in safe places so we could get back to our original itinerary of Belfast and Dublin.  Greenock, Scotland was not on the original itinerary.  Even had we been able to dock there, it was so foggy out that it was hard to see the shoreline. I was booked on a scenic loch tour and was thinking I wasn’t going to see much.  Then the wind picked up again and the waters became rough, finally becoming too much to dock safely.  To answer someone’s reply, the Captain came on each and every time we had a change in itinerary to explain the reasons for it.  He is a little hard to understand, so the Cruise Director came on to reiterate what was just said in plain English, so I don’t know why people are saying they didn’t understand why changes were made.

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I crafted a piece on the passenger unhappiness and received some feedback from those on board which does in fact confirm that seas were heavy, that port changes happen when mother nature imposes their will and that they were still enjoying the cruise. Of course experiences vary for each of us.  

Norwegian Spirit Passengers Protest at Sea via Securely Travel

 

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Mutiny is over dramatic. Passengers did not take up arms and overpower the crew and sieze control of the vessel.

 

Just as over dramatic is a claim for a full refund. A sea day is still lots of fun. Bummer about the missed ports but that was never guaranteed.

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All I know is, I am glad I wasn’t on this sailing! I have horrible motion sickness.  

 

It’s alway fascinating to me how people behave when things don’t go their way. I haven’t missed any ports yet in cruising but if I did I would just go about my day. You already paid the money and have the time off why not still try to have a good time? 

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