(12:30 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled a third sailing of Norwegian Escape following the ship's grounding in the Dominican Republic, with passengers onboard, on March 14.
The 4,226-passenger Norwegian Escape ship ran aground off Puerto Plata, during a March 12 sailing from Port Canaveral.
Norwegian Escape cruise ship was refloated with the assistance of tugboats, the sailing cut short and passengers flown home. NCL officials initially said the ship had only "minor damage."
Norwegian Cruise Line subsequently canceled two Escape sailings that had been slated to embark from Port Canaveral in March.
NCL Admits "Repairs Will Take Longer Than Expected"
The line released the following statement: "Repairs to Norwegian Escape have taken longer than anticipated. As a result, the cruise scheduled to embark on April 2, 2022, has been canceled. We have contacted all affected guests and apologize for this unforeseen event. We are optimistic that the issue will be resolved, and we plan to resume normal operations on April 9, 2022."
Guests booked on the April 2 sailing received a letter from Norwegian Cruise Line stating:
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, as we understand now more than ever the desire to travel and reconnect with the places and people, we've missed most,” the cruise line said in the letter.
Passengers on the April 2 sailing were offered the option of sailing on another Norwegian ship, embarking the same weekend from either Miami, Tampa or New Orleans -- different ports from the original embarkation port of Port Canaveral -- plus a Future Cruise Credit for 100 percent of the fare they paid for the Norwegian Escape cruise. Or, they could choose a full refund plus a 50 percent Future Cruise Credit.
Cruise Critic Members Doubtful That Next Sailings Will Take Place
However, Cruise Critic members were doubtful the next sailings would happen -- and turns out, their doubts held weight. Norwegian announced the cancelation of two more sailings on Escape up to and including the April 9 sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Hart65 wrote on the Cruise Critic Message Boards: "We are due to sail on the April 16th sailing but I’m not hopeful at all. The only other 7 day sailing from any of the 3 Florida ports for the same week is on the NCL Joy so our options would be very limited."
As it stands, Norwegian Escape is currently docked in Port Canaveral for extended repairs and is still scheduled to sail from Port Canaveral on April 16, the last remaining original sailing date left uncanceled, before a scheduled repositioning cruise from New York to Rome (Civitavecchia) on April 25.