December 13, 2016
(11:25 a.m. EST) -- Norwegian Star has been forced to overnight in Singapore at the start of an Asia cruise and drastically alter its current itinerary, as well as the one for the following sailing, due to propulsion problems.
The 2,240-passenger ship was due to depart Singapore for Hong Kong on Saturday, but was forced to stay in the port until today for repairs to the ship's azipods, which help propel and maneuver the ship.
It is the second time Norwegian Star has experienced propulsion problems -- in October last year the ship was forced to alter a transatlantic itinerary.
Norwegian Cruise Line has offered a full compensation to all passengers plus 50% off their next cruise.
In a statement the line said:"On the evening of December 10, while departing the port of Singapore, Norwegian Star experienced a technical issue with one of the ship's azipods. The ship has returned to port so that the azipod can be inspected further by a team from the manufacturer."
The ship was due to call in at two Thai ports -- Ko Samui and Laem Chabang -- but will instead spend three days at sea; it will also substitute Phu My, Vietnam for Danang, Vietnam.
Norwegian Star is due to arrive in Hong Kong as scheduled on December 22, however the return itinerary has also been modified (and is still subject to change, according to Norwegian). The current plan skips a stop in Taiwan for a day at sea, and again skips Phu My and Laem Chabang. However, the ship will call in at Ko Samui as planned on January 3, 2017.
The line has offered a full refund to all passengers currently onboard, as well as a 50% future cruise credit. Passengers scheduled to embark on December 22 who choose not to sail the revised itinerary will receive a full refund, as well, as a 25% future cruise credit. Travelers who choose to sail will receive a 50% refund and 50% future cruise credit.
The issue first came to light on the Cruise Critic Message Boards. Said member tangigue: "I'm on this cruise and I'm amazed by the offer by NCL. Yes, ports will be missed but I'm getting a free cruise to Hong Kong and then 50% credit towards a future cruise. I feel like I won the lotto…. I know maybe some will be disappointed but to me this is very fair compensation by NCL."
--By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor