Norwegian Spirit Sustains Damage During Rough Seas

January 19, 2006

On its way back to New York from Tortola on Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit hit rough seas with waves approaching 50 ft. -- breaking windows in cabins and flooding others. There have been no reports of injured passengers.

A spokeswoman for the line tells us that four cabins were damaged, and that those passengers will receive a free future cruise. Passengers in seven additional cabins that filled with water will receive a 50 percent refund of their fare.

Cruise Critic community member foilman2002 tells his tale on our NCL forum: "We just got home from the January 8 sailing and we did hit extremely rough weather. We went back to our cabin on Deck 5 portside at about 5 p.m. [Wednesday] and encountered winds in the hallway, with all kinds of ship personnel ... the seas were listed on the TV ship info at about 27 to 42 ft. waves and the captain eventually came on and said the winds were about 75 miles per hour. We did have waves breaking over the top of our window, and it definitely took out one of the cabins, about 10 further aft from us."

Rough weather is not uncommon at this time of the year, though damage to this extent generally is. Ironically, NCL's Norwegian Dawn was slammed by a 70-ft. "freak wave" last April that broke windows in two cabins, flooded another 60 and launched a similar bit of a media blitz, particularly on New York-based news channels.

Yet even in light of other, more recent cruise-related media hype, some disembarking passengers were hesitant to give reporters more fuel: "When we departed the ship, there were a bunch of reporters from Channel 7 News asking all kind of questions about our bad weather," member jimrsalem posted. "...all they got was, 'it was a little rough but it was OK.' They asked if we got seasick and we both replied no. They seemed very disappointed and moved on to the next person who said basically the same thing ... it was rough but I'm not one to give the reporters any negative news for them to run with."

According to NCL's spokeswoman, temporary repairs have been made to the affected cabins, and are closed off to passengers until permanent repairs can be made after Norwegian Spirit's current cruise, which sailed today as scheduled; passengers originally booked in those cabins for today's sailing were accommodated elsewhere onboard and no cancellations were necessary.