NCL announced today that, due to problems with the ship's Azipod propulsion system, Norwegian Dawn will have to enter dry-dock on May 29. As a result, two upcoming cruises -- May 26 and June 2 -- have been canceled. The problem was spotted when Norwegian Dawn's engineers saw localized wear in the thrust bearing; in the past few weeks the ship has had to reduce speed in order to limit future wear on the bearing. This issue, the company says in a statement, "has affected only the speed of the vessel and has no impact on the safe operation of the ship."
NCL is offering passengers who are booked on those voyages a full refund and 25 percent credit toward another cruise.
But Cruise Critic member Carol54 says that's not such great compensation. She'd booked a Garden Villa on the May 26 voyage and, she reports on Cruise Critic's NCL forum, "I spoke with my NCL cruise consultant and we can rebook for the July 21 cruise in the Garden Villa. Unfortunately, the rates have gone up -- significantly since I booked -- and now the same cruise is $8K higher. Even with the 25 percent cruise credit it's still going to cost me more money."
She's got a point: "I believe I should be allowed to just rebook the July 21 cruise at my original booking fare for my now canceled cruise plus get the 25 percent credit they are offering for the cancelled cruisers. Otherwise, I basically receive no compensation for my troubles. Am I being unreasonable? Should I fight for this?"
One downside of the May 26 cruise in particular is that it occurs over Memorial Day -- and the holiday could make it challenging for folks to rebook.
Meanwhile NCL, which says in its statement that it "sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this change and would like to thank our guests and travel partners for their patience and understanding," is also offering unspecified "special incentive offers for a range of other NCL sailings."
The change in plans for Norwegian Dawn has spurred the line to create a two-day Memorial Day weekend cruise; this new cruise, which will go on sale on April 4, is a New York roundtrip. At its conclusion the ship will sail to Boston for its repairs. Norwegian Dawn is expected to resume its scheduled itinerary on June 9.