NCL Offers Dawn Update

May 25, 2005
Norwegian Dawn is on its way back to New York this week -- sailing on far less turbulent waters -- and NCL offers updates on a handful of issues that have cropped in the past few days.

Repairs to all but two of the 62 cabins that were out of order this week as a result of flooding damage caused by the rogue wave will be back in commission beginning on Sunday; carpet and soft goods were replaced.

The other two -- cabins number 9502 and 10502 -- await more in-depth refurbishment. Folks scheduled to sail in those beginning with the cruise departing Sunday, April 24, were given the option of canceling without penalty or taking substitute accommodations. One did cancel and NCL offered a full refund along with 50 percent off on a future cruise. The folks who chose to move to another stateroom were given a partial refund.

Aside from glass breakage and other minor issues, public rooms weren't damaged and as such don't require major refurbishment.

This week's big brouhaha -- beyond the turbulent cruise -- was Donald Trump's comment in the New York Post that NCL had cancelled that voyage's call in Nassau to get back to New York four hours early. That's so Norwegian Dawn could be filmed for a spot on NBC's massively popular TV show "The Apprentice." NCL responded by saying that indeed, the production company was scheduled to shoot an episode of the series onboard on that Sunday (April 17) and that the cruise line had altered the itinerary to permit the ship "a greater than usual margin to get back to New York." But, says the statement, "The 'Apprentice' shoot had no influence whatsoever over the operational decisions relating to Norwegian Dawn's passage home to New York or the choices the captain made in navigating the rough waters encountered off the Carolina coast on Friday night."

Further, reads the NCL statement, "There are no circumstances under which NCL would compromise the safety and security of our passengers and crew -- and certainly not for a TV show or other promotional opportunity."

Passengers, in light of the fact that NCL had cancelled the call at Nassau for this reason, were compensated, according to Susan Robison, the company spokeswoman. Passengers were allowed to cancel without penalty. Those who elected to board were given a $100 onboard credit and a 25 percent future cruise certificate (the ante was later upped, in response to the rough weather, to a 50 percent refund and 50 percent future cruise credit).

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