For years we have advised cruise ship travelers that, according to their cruise tickets, cruise ship captains can change the ships’ itineraries at any time and for virtually any reason. Most people never imagine that their voyage will experience significant changes. But, as Hurricane Dorian has loomed in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean for the better part of the past week, over a dozen cruise itineraries have been modified or cancelled.
Passengers have been understandably upset about the changes. But tempers flared to new levels as Norwegian Cruise Line passengers were unceremoniously disembarked in New Orleans with no clue how they were going to get home.
CBS Miami reports that the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship, which was originally scheduled return to port at PortMiami, was instead rerouted to New Orleans due to Dorian. There, the travelers were “dumped” without food or adequate accommodations, said Sarah Alonso, a passenger from the ship. “They’re keeping us in this cargo terminal and we can’t get out and no one can get in,” she said.
Daniel Weiss, another passenger from the ship, said the treatment made him feel “Like an animal.”
It appears that Norwegian had not adequately planned for how to accommodate the stranded passengers, and also failed to maintain proper communication with them. “Everyone was starving. No one knows what’s been going on. Basically Norwegian Breakaway just dumped us here and said, ‘See you later,’” Alonso said.
After hours agonizing in the heat, with little food and unable to leave the area in which they were disembarked, the stranded travelers were finally boarded on a charter flight in order to begin the long journey home.