Yet another 7-night sailing has been canceled for Norwegian Escape as the ship continues to undergo repairs due to having run aground in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on March 14. Including the cruise that was shortened due to the incident, this makes five cruises that have been canceled for the vessel.
Another Sailing Canceled, Alternative Sailings Offered
Booked guests and travel partners received notification today that the planned April 9 departure of Norwegian Escape will not be possible, as repairs on the vessel are not yet complete. The email, signed by Senior Vice President of Guest Services Katty Byrd, is virtually identical to the communications canceling previous voyages, only changing the dates of the sailings mentioned.
“We are so very sorry to inform you that the repairs onboard Norwegian Escape will take longer than originally expected and as result, your voyage onboard Norwegian Escape April 9, 2022, has been canceled,” the letter said.
As with the previous cancelations, guests have two compensation options – a replacement sailing still setting sail this weekend plus a 100% Future Cruise Credit (FCC), or a full refund plus a 50% FCC.
The alternative sailings can be aboard Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Breakaway, or Norwegian Encore. Each one is still a 7-night voyage, but leaving from a different embarkation port and with three of the ships – Breakaway, Dawn, and Encore – leaving one day later than Norwegian Escape‘s now canceled cruise.
Norwegian Escape was to have sailed from Port Canaveral to Cozumel, Mexico; Ohio Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in The Bahamas.
None of the replacement sailings are visiting the same ports as Norwegian Escape‘s planned itinerary, though Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Dawn, and Norwegian Breakaway will still visit Cozumel, and Norwegian Encore will still visit Great Stirrup Cay. The alternative voyages all visit four total ports of call, whereas the original Norwegian Escape itinerary only had three stops.
Guests Should Act Quickly
Space on the alternative sailings is limited and will be capacity-controlled, so interested guests are advised to act quickly to secure their bookings if desired. The Norwegian Cruise Line team will do its best to match stateroom categories for each reservation, but the email does state that the “original category secured may not be available.”
Guests choosing to rebook for a different sailing this weekend must contact Norwegian Cruise Line no later than 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, to select their new cruise.
No fees will be assessed for moving to the new reservation, and Norwegian Cruise Line will also rebook air arrangements for guests who originally booked airfare through the cruise line. Guests who booked independent air travel should contact their airline or travel agent for changes, and may seek reimbursement through their travel protection provider, if applicable.
Norwegian Escape is a Breakaway-Plus vessel, the same as Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Breakaway is a slightly smaller Breakaway-class and Norwegian Dawn is a significantly smaller Dawn-class vessel.
Guests who do not contact Norwegian Cruise Line by the deadline will automatically receive the full refund and 50% FCC, which will be applied to their Latitudes account. The new FCC will be available from April 18, 2022, and is valid for sailings embarking no later than April 18, 2023.
When Will Repairs Be Finished?
No timeline has been given for when repairs on Norwegian Escape should be finished, nor has the cruise line provided details on the nature of those repairs.
Hull damage was spotted on the vessel after the incident and the ship has since returned to Port Canaveral, where she remains docked and undergoing the necessary work.
In the meantime, Norwegian Cruise Line is taking the cancelations one cruise at a time, in order to bring Norwegian Escape back into service for passengers as soon as possible.
The ship only has one more 7-night departure planned from Port Canaveral, scheduled for April 16. After that, the ship is scheduled to depart for New York and then on to Rome for the summer and fall seasons in the Mediterranean.