A Norwegian Cruise Line ship that sails in the Caribbean is having mechanical trouble, forcing an early end to a 10-night voyage that just began Friday. Norwegian on Monday said passengers on its Miami-based Norwegian Jade would be flown home from Puerto Rico, where the vessel currently is docked. Puerto Rico was the first stop on the 10-night Southern Caribbean itinerary, which also was supposed to include calls at the islands of St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Martin.
Norwegian offered few details on the problem, which is related to the 2,402-passenger ship's propulsion and steering system. But it said the vessel would require several days of repairs.
"While this issue does not affect the safety of the ship, it will prevent her from sailing the scheduled itinerary," the line said in a statement sent to USA TODAY. All services aboard the ship are fully operational, the line added. Norwegian said Jade would remain docked in Puerto Rico through Tuesday, at which time all passengers would be required to debark. Jade then will sail to Miami with only crew on board to undergo repairs.
"Our team is actively working to fly guests to Miami, where the cruise originated, and helping them modify their travel arrangements for their return home," the line said. Norwegian is giving passengers on the ship a full refund for the cruise plus a 100 percent credit for a future cruise in the amount paid for the current itinerary.
"We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation has caused, especially during this special holiday cruise, and we thank our loyal guests for their patience and understanding," the line said.
Jade is one of 17 ships operated by Norwegian, one of the world's biggest cruise lines. Its next scheduled voyage is an 11-night Panama Canal sailing departing Miami on Nov. 26.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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