This is a letter we submitted to NCL with no communication back from anyone. Bad weather we can somewhat understand, but, the total lack of communication and the blatant disregard of safety for their guests and crew, unforgivable.
We were on the NCL Sky on 10/22/2012 that had three scheduled ports. Before I begin, I must say that our butler Jose and concierge Karen were amazing and were the highlight of our trip; they were attentive to our needs and helped allay our concerns. We booked the The Orion Suite, 8001 with another couple as we had wanted to try a different cruise line as we typically cruise with Carnival. On 10/22, we boarded the ship with the knowledge that there was a tropical depression in the Caribbean, but, were confident that we would be safe. The first thing we noticed was that unlike Carnival, there were no weather channels available or ship tracking on the television and figured this was a non issue.
The first stop to Freeport was choppy, but, bearable with no news of any weather issues. The second stop into Nassau proved to be even rougher, again with no news of weather concerns. It wasn't until we on the island that the locals mentioned that there was a hurricane formed and heading for the Bahamas. That evening as we left Nassau, the captain did advise over the intercom that the seas were rough due to a storm system and that we would not be able to tender into the private island. At that point, we were fine as weather is unpredictable and out of anyone's control. We figured that since we would have a day at sea there would have been more activities planned or some sort of drink discounts, but, nothing was provided.
On Thursday, our day at sea, the seas were so rough we ended up staying in our room. Our balcony with the hot tub was unusable as the wind and rain were coming straight onto the deck. Not to mention, we were all so queasy we could hardly do anything more than lie around. At approximately 7:15pm, I was walking from the living room to the bathroom, the ship began to list to the right. The cabinets in the bar area opened and emptied the sodas and water, the champagne stand fell over (thankfully the bottle did not break nor the cabinets with the glasses did not open) and I stumbled into the bedroom. My girlfriend and one of our other travel companions huddled on the bed and stared at the back of the coffee maker which had water in it, which showed the steep angle of the listing of the ship. This listing of the ship lasted for at least five to ten minutes, all we could do was hang on, and believe me, I am not being over dramatic when the thought crossed my mind to grab the life jackets. We had reservations for 7:30 at Il Adagio and decided to go ahead and try to head up for dinner. On the way to dinner, there were people wandering around almost shell shocked. This was very frightening and there was no explanation from anyone or warning of something like that might take place. As we walked into the restaurant all you could hear was the sound of broken glass being swept up as apparently many glasses and plates had been broken. About twenty minutes into dinner, the captain made an announcement over the intercom indicating they had made the decision to turn into the headwind as an evasive maneuver due to the storm. Why was there no warning? After the announcement, we ended our dinner shortly as no one really had an appetite at this point. We proceeded back to our room and turned in as we were all sea sick. Sleep was not going to happen as the waves were pounding into the boat so hard that it sounded like someone was pounding on the bow of the boat with a sledge hammer. We thankfully arrived to the port of Miami, albeit late, safely. Disembarkation was a breeze thanks to Karen and we were back on solid ground.
Again, I understand that weather is unpredictable; however, at the time of VIP embarkation if we were advised that there was a chance that the seas were going to be as rough as what we had experienced or that we would be sailing on the outskirts of a hurricane, we would have attempted to chose a different sailing date. I am grateful that we chose the suite that did as I could not even imagine being secluded to a smaller room under the conditions in which we sailed. I am also grateful for the sea sickness medicine that Karen provided and the ginger ale which Jose faithfully brought to us. I feel that improved communications to the guests would have made for a better vacation; instead, four days later I am still trying to get my equilibrium back and wondering why I would ever choose to cruise with Norwegian again.