Travel Norwegian Cruise Line takes dramatic action ahead of Irma

13:10  09 september  2017
13:10  09 september  2017 Source:   MarketWatch

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Owned by Star Cruises of Malaysia since March 2000, Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line ( NCL ) is notable for revolutionizing the cruise experience by introducing "Freestyle Cruising ," which translates to dine-as-you-like options by way of a variety of restaurants and your choice of casual or formal attire.

Norwegian Cruise Line went to extreme efforts to allow passengers to get home ahead of Hurricane Irma, but some travelers panicked when they were left in the evacuation zone.

Two of the company’s ships, the Norwegian Escape and the Norwegian Sky, were brought back to port in Miami before the scheduled end of the cruise before Irma’s expected landfall in Florida. The choice was made to allow passengers from Florida time to return to their homes to prepare for the storm and to give others onboard the chance to return home if they wanted to avoid the storm, a company spokeswoman told MarketWatch.

Current projections indicate that Florida will begin seeing tropical storm-force winds beginning Saturday morning, with hurricane conditions coming later that evening. Should these predictions hold up, Irma could make landfall in Florida early Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 storm and continue traveling north across the state.

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Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line all tumbled in Tuesday trading as Hurricane Irma threatened to do to the hub of the cruise industry what Harvey did to the nation’s oil and gas capital last week. Hurricane Irma , a Category 5 storm, is on a path that could take it through the heart

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Roughly 4,000 remaining passengers who could not return home were brought aboard the larger of the two ships, the 4,266-passenger Escape, which was taken back out to sea to leave the region for the duration of the storm. “We are being forthcoming with guests that we’re not certain where or when we will be able to return back to port,” a Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman said.

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Cruise operators’ choice to end voyages early and return passengers to Miami caused confusion, however. The Miami Herald reported Thursday that some passengers have been stranded in South Florida just days before the storm is expected to hit. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), questioned the move on Twitter, and county officials said they were coordinating with cruise lines to ensure that the companies helped passengers in the area find shelter. Meanwhile, family members of passengers who were left in Miami also took to social media seeking help for their loved ones.

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A number of cruise lines have been forced to skip Eastern Caribbean destinations due to the approaching Hurricane Irma . Ahead of its first World Cruise scheduled for the winter, Viking Cruises announced that its Viking Sun will continue sailing the globe on company

One woman posted a message on Facebook from her sister, who said that hotels were not taking reservations and that rental cars were unavailable. “They assured them they would be safe and fine,” the woman said in a comment on her post. “Now they have changed their course and arrival time and destination and are literally leaving them stranded.” Hours later, she posted an update that her family did manage to get a ticket for a flight out of Miami and had made it to the airport.

Another woman tweeted that her family members were also left in Miami. “My family is on the street in Miami with no options,” she said.

  Norwegian Cruise Line takes dramatic action ahead of Irma © Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Norwegian told the Miami Herald that it was working to making hotel arrangements for passengers who disembarked in Miami and could not get a flight home.

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Action 9. CFL Spotlight. However, cruise lines have begun taking precautions, and officials with Port Canaveral said could close by Saturday. WATCH: Hurricane Irma strengthens further, 185 mph winds. Norwegian Cruise Line

In recent days, other cruise companies have been cancelling planned trips out of Florida and altering the itineraries of ships already out at sea to avoid Hurricane Irma. Disney Cruise Line (DIS) announced its cancellations for ships set to leave this weekend on Tuesday. The company also assisted passengers who were already in Florida and could not book return travel home in finding lodging ahead of the storm.

Below is information regarding cancellations and changes to planned cruises:

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival (CCL) has cancelled five cruises. A full refund will be issued within three weeks.

  • Carnival Liberty: Sept. 7
  • Carnival Victory: Sept. 8
  • Carnival Splendor: Sept. 9
  • Carnival Ecstasy: Sept. 9
  • Carnival Liberty: Sept. 10

Additionally, seven cruises that were set to depart between Sept. 9 and Sept. 11 have been delayed until Sept. 12 or Sept. 13. Passengers who choose to sail on these shortened cruises will received a pro-rated refund for the days lost.

Royal Caribbean International

Three cruises have been cancelled, according to an advisory on Royal Caribbean’s (RCL) website. Passengers will receive full refunds to their original form of payment and a 25% credit to be used for a future cruise.

  • Empress of the Seas: Sept. 9 Cuba cruise
  • Enchantment of the Seas: Sept. 8 Bahamas cruise
  • Majesty of the Seas: Sept. 8 Bahamas cruise

The itineraries for six additional cruises were modified. Some were shortened and given later departure dates, while others will now visit locations that were not affected by the hurricane.

Girl, 8, dies after falling on cruise ship in Miami

  Girl, 8, dies after falling on cruise ship in Miami An 8-year-old girl died Saturday after falling from a cruise ship's interior atrium to a lower deck, the Miami-Dade Police Department said. The Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Glory had finished its voyage and docked at Port Miami when the child fell around 8:15 a.m., police said. Emergency personnel transported the child to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she died, police said. Investigators with the police department homicide department are working with Carnival Cruise Lines to discover details of the incident, police said.

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Disney Cruise Line

Three cruises were cancelled, and customers will receive refunds and a 25% discount on a future booking. Any additional itinerary changes as a result of the hurricane will be announced beginning Sept. 12.

  • Disney Fantasy: Sept. 9 sailing
  • Disney Dream: Sept. 8 sailing
  • Disney Dream: Sept. 11 sailing

Norwegian Cruise Line

Three scheduled sailings were cancelled. Customers will receive a full refund and a 50% future cruise credit. The company has also closed its Miami headquarters in advance of the storm, with key staff members being relocated elsewhere outside the storm zone.

  • Norwegian Sky: Sept. 8 from Miami
  • Norwegian Escape: Sept. 9 from Miami
  • Norwegian Sky: Sept. 11 from Miami

Princess Cruises

No travel advisory was posted to the company’s website, and no cruises appear to be affected at this time.

Holland America Line

The company has not posted a travel advisory to its website. In response to a customer, the company said on Twitter that any changes will be communicated to guests and travel agents.

Richard Branson's Virgin Voyages is launching a cruise ship for adults only .
Virgin Voyages held a keel laying ceremony for its first ship on Tuesday in Italy. The ship's maiden voyage is expected to take place in 2020. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age to sail. Virgin Voyages, the cruise line arm of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, gave the world its first look at the first of the company's three ships. The company held a keel laying ceremony for the ship at Fincantieri's shipyard in Genoa, Italy on Tuesday.The 399 sections of the Virgin cruise ship will be assembled by Fincantieri at the facility.

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