A Bahamas Paradise cruise ship that set sail from the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach on Thursday headed for Cuba was stuck in limbo for hours. The passengers were told the Cuban government would not let them dock in Havana. WPBF spoke with one of the passengers, Lily Wynter, who said they were stuck miles away from shore because Cuban officials told ship officials they didn’t have the proper documents to dock.
Many of the passengers were waiting to see their loved ones who were waiting for them at the port in Havana. Wynter says they were originally told they'd have to stay on the ship until Saturday evening and then go into port in Havana but after about four to five hours of waiting, they were then told the ship would in fact not being going to Cuba but to the Bahamas instead.
“This is terrible," Wynter said. "There's a lot of chaos, a lot of people are just crying. They haven’t seen their families in over 10 years. Going through this is, like, a terrifying experience because we can't get off the ship."
We contacted Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines for comment and were told to contact Viva Travel, which chartered the trip. We were given this statement, "Viva travel's charter of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Classica to Havana, Cuba was turned away from disembarkation by the Cuban government for unspecified reasons, despite having all advance approvals. Guests will be accommodated as the ship is rerouted to another destination."
This was the cruise line's first ever voyage to Cuba. Wynter says she was traveling with her Cuban mother, who hadn’t been to Cuba in 48 years. She says the ship is currently headed to the Bahamas and we're told they'll be updated on arrival.
By Shayne Wright, WPBF 25
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