Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled Norwegian Pearl's October 26 sailing due to technical difficulties. The ship will enter dry-dock on that date for repairs to a thrust bearing in its azipod propulsion system. According to an official statement from the cruise line, ship engineers noticed "localized wear" in the thrust bearing during a routine inspection. Though the issue does not impact the safe operation of the vessel, it has been traveling at a reduced speed -- and will continue to do so until it enters dry-dock.
Passengers on the canceled sailing, a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, will receive a full refund; all reservations will be automatically canceled and deposits will be returned after September 16, 2008. NCL is also offering a 25 percent future cruise credit based on the fare paid for the October 26 voyage; the credit is valid for travel on any NCL ship through October 26, 2009.
In addition to the cancelation, several upcoming sailings have been altered due to the aforementioned speed limitations. They are:
September 1, 7 and 14. On all three seven-night Alaska sailings, the ship's call at Victoria in British Columbia has been shortened; as such, passengers will not be able to disembark the ship (the foreign stop is necessary, though, in order to fulfill the Passenger Vessel Services Act).
September 21. Two calls have been canceled on this 19-night Panama Canal cruise from Seattle to Miami -- San Francisco and Los Angeles -- and timing of stops in Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Cartagena (Columbia) has been tweaked slightly. A call at Huatulco has been added. As a result of the changes, NCL is offering passengers an onboard credit of $50 per stateroom.
October 12 and 19. On these seven-night Western Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Miami, the Roatan visit is now from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. instead of from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Norwegian Pearl is expected to re-enter regular service for its November 2 cruise. We'll keep you posted.