Norwegian Dream Engine Problems Alter Routes

November 10, 2005
NCL's Norwegian Dream, which has flirted with a dysfunctional engine since the summer cruising season in Alaska, continues to replace and/or cancel calls at ports now that it's moved to its winter home port in Houston.

This week, for instance, the ship will drop its visit at Roatan (the original schedule included four days of ports: Roatan, Belize, Cancun and Cozumel). That's because the ship can't reach the maximum speed necessary to travel that widely in the Western Caribbean. Its normal maximum is 19 knots; the ship is currently able to travel up to 17 knots.

Add to that the fact that the ship's regular itinerary is a bit unpredictable: Hurricane Wilma placed Norwegian Dream's other "regular" port, Cancun, on the do-not-stop-by list (the line has already replaced that with Progreso). The good news is that Cozumel -- which had been temporarily eliminated from Norwegian Dream's schedule also as a result of damage by Wilma -- is back on, beginning next week.

An NCL spokeswoman tells Cruise Critic that the line anticipates the broken engine (one of four) will be fixed shortly. Techno-savvy types may appreciate the explanation: "On cylinder #2 a connecting rod came out the side of the engine block. This is a major damage and the impact has caused the crankshaft to be bent and the camshaft damaged. This can be repaired as we sail and does not affect the safe operation of the ship but unfortunately the ship can not sail at maximum speed. The camshaft is with the manufacturer in Germany and this is the main delay in the repair."