An upcoming sailing of Norwegian Epic is being changed, with one port of call cancelled and another extended. The impacted cruise is the ship’s March 19, 2023 departure, a 7-night roundtrip Caribbean sailing from Puerto Rico.
The call on Grenada has been completely removed from the ship’s itinerary, but the call to Curacao has been extended significantly to give guests more time in port.
Norwegian Epic Itinerary Change
Norwegian Epic will not be visiting St. George’s, Grenada as originally planned on the ship’s March 19, 2023 cruise. Now, that day – Thursday, March 23 – will be a day at sea instead.
Furthermore, the call to Willemstad, Curacao, will now be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the day before, rather than the originally planned port time of just 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This gives guests an extra six hours to explore that colorful port of call, and almost completely makes up for the missed time in Grenada, which was to have been just a 6.5-hour visit.
The other ports of call on the itinerary are not impacted. The ship will still depart San Juan on Sunday, May 19, spend Monday at sea, and visit Oranjestad, Aruba from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.
Wednesday, the ship is in Curacao and Thursday is the day at sea that was to have been Grenada. Friday, the ship will visit Castries, St. Lucia, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday will be in Basseterre, St. Kitts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The cruise will conclude as planned back in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7 a.m. on Sunday, March 26. At this time, no further changes are anticipated or announced.
Read Also: Cruises From San Juan: The Pros and Cons
These itinerary changes are identical to changes for a previous Norwegian Epic journey, the February 12, 2023 sailing.
For both impacted sailings, pre-booked shore excursions for Grenada are automatically cancelled, with payments returned as a full refund to the original form of payment.
No Explanation for Changes
The email notifying guests does not offer any specific reason for why Grenada has been dropped from Norwegian Epic‘s itinerary.
“It is always our intention to maintain original itineraries,” the email read. “However, at times, unforeseen circumstances require us to make modifications.”
Those “unforeseen circumstances” are not discussed, but could be related to port facilities in Grenada or other local concerns, since no further changes have been made to the ship’s planned itinerary.
Dock construction or maintenance could also be a concern, or this change could simply be part of the overall streamlining of itineraries to ensure guests have a positive experience when visiting, depending on the number of ships planned to be in port.
Norwegian Cruise Line has also made a number of changes to other ships and itineraries recently, in the name of overall sustainability. For these types of changes, port of call times have been shortened so ships can run at slower speeds, which improves overall fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
For example, Norwegian Sky recently altered most of one itinerary to better support sustainability. Similar changes have been made in recent weeks for sailings aboard Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Joy.
Sailing Aboard Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic is the only vessel in her class in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, having entered service in 2010. Weighing in at 155,873 gross tons, she’s a larger vessel (smaller only than the Breakaway-plus ships), with room to welcome 4,100 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 5,183 passengers when fully booked.
When built, Norwegian Epic was the third-largest cruise ship in the world. Today, she ranks as just the 33rd largest cruise ship, clearly demonstrating the ongoing trend of larger and larger vessels being built every year.
Along with being unique in her class, Norwegian Epic has some very unique and engaging features, including the first of the ship-in-a-ship enclaves, The Haven, in the fleet.
She also has a bowling alley, an Ice Bar, and The Epic Plunge, the only bowl slide at sea, many fun things guests can enjoy on the extra day at sea.