Fourth Cruise Canceled for Norwegian Escape as Repairs Continue

A fourth sailing of Norwegian Escape has been canceled and guests can get a full refund or choose an alternate sailing this weekend. But why?

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A fourth cruise for Norwegian Escape has been canceled due to the need for repairs after the ship ran aground in Puerto Plata on March 14, 2022. In a letter emailed to booked guests and travel partners, the cruise line has informed those impacted that the planned April 2 sailing will no longer take place.

Another Cruise Canceled

The letter is virtually identical to the information provided when the March 26 Norwegian Escape sailing was canceled, and guests are being offered similar compensation options to make up for their missed cruise.

The April 2 sailing was to have been a 7-day itinerary visiting Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, Tortola, and Great Stirrup Cay – the same itinerary the ship was sailing when the incident occurred. After the ship ran aground that sailing was canceled and guests were flown home, and the ship has been undergoing repairs since.

NCL said in the March 29 letter, “We are 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 2, 2022, has been canceled.”

Similar Compensation Offered

Like the previously canceled cruise, guests impacted by this further cancelation have two options. The default is a full refund of the cruise fare, returned to the original form of payment.

In addition to the full refund, guests will receive a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) of the cruise fare. The FCC will become available through guests’ Latitudes accounts on April 11, 2022, and must be used on a future sailing no later than April 11, 2023.

Norwegian Escape Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock

The second option is for guests who still want to set sail this weekend. Four alternative voyages are available for guests to choose from:

  • April 2 – Norwegian Joy from Miami to Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize (Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island); and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico
  • April 3 – Norwegian Breakaway from New Orleans, visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico
  • April 3 – Norwegian Dawn from Tampa, to Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico
  • April 3 – Norwegian Encore from Miami, visiting Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, U.K. Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, The Bahamas (Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island)

Of the available options, Norwegian Encore sailing is the same itinerary as was planned for Norwegian Escape, but leaves one day later and is sailing from Miami rather than Port Canaveral. All alternative sailings are still 7-day voyages.

Read More: Things to Do on a Norwegian Encore Cruise

Guests should also note that Norwegian Escape is a Breakaway Plus-class vessel. Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore are also Breakaway-Plus ships, but the namesake Norwegian Breakaway is a somewhat smaller Breakaway-class and Norwegian Dawn is a much smaller Dawn-class vessel.

Space is limited on the alternative sailings, and while NCL will do its best to book passengers in similar cabin categories, exact matches may not be available. The alternative ships may also feature different amenities and activities than the original cruise.

Norwegian Escape in Puerto Plata
Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock

If guests want to sail this weekend, they must contact Norwegian Cruise Line by 9 p.m. Eastern Time on March 30, 2022, to choose their replacement sailing. Guests who miss that deadline will automatically receive the default full refund and 50% FCC.

Guests still setting sail will have their airfare rebooked by Norwegian Cruise Line if they purchased flights through the cruise line; otherwise, guests must make their own changed flight arrangements via their travel agent or airline.

Where Is Norwegian Escape?

In the meantime, Norwegian Escape remains at Port Canaveral where the ship is undergoing repairs. The nature of the repairs has not been disclosed, nor has any explanation been given for why the work is taking extra time. It is possible that specialty equipment, personnel, or materials are needed and there may be delays in accomplishing the work if those resources are not immediately available.

After Norwegian Escape Ran Aground
Photo Credit: Dominican Republic Port Authority

It is also likely the ship will need further inspections after the repair work to ensure its is safe and sea-worthy before it is permitted to resume sailing.

No timeline has been confirmed for the ship’s return to service, and Norwegian Cruise Line is taking matters one cruise at a time to ensure the ship is ready to welcome guests again as soon as the repair work has been completed.

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