Norwegian Cruise Ship Suffers Technical Difficulties and Delays

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Norwegian Sun, currently sailing on a 20-night Panama Canal cruise, has experienced technical issues since April 24 during its stop in Cartagena, Colombia.

The problems have led to power outages and the air conditioning system going offline. Although technical teams have worked diligently to resolve the situation, the ship remains docked in Cartagena on Tuesday.

At the very least, the scheduled transit of the Panama Canal will not happen today, while the impact on the remaining port calls on the Pacific coast remains unclear.

Extended Stay in Cartagena Due to Electrical Difficulties

Just days after departing from Miami on April 21, guests onboard Norwegian Sun have been quite literally left in the dark, as the 78,309 gross tons Sky-class cruise ship has been experiencing technical difficulties since arriving in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 24.

Norwegian Sun’s Captain Maksym Kyselov sent a letter to guests on April 24, stating that the stay in Cartagena would be extended due to technical problems. However, the issues appear more severe than initially anticipated as the cruise ship remains docked in Cartagena today, April 25.

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock)

Captain Maksym Kyselov: “We are committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences at sea, however, at times, unexpected circumstances may arise. Earlier today, we experienced electrical difficulties, which resulted in some amenities going offline. Since then, services have begun to return. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused”

Consequently, the Panama Canal transit scheduled for April 25 has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for later this week. In the letter, Captain Kyselov expressed his regret for the inconvenience and informed guests that the all-aboard time for the day was extended to midnight to allow for more exploration of the city:

One guest contacted Cruise Hive and shared their experience: “Power has been out on Norwegian Sun most of the day. Ship staying overnight in Port of Cartagena, Colombia, while the crew works to fix electrical problems. Tuesday’s Panama Canal transit won’t happen. No further updates expected until the morning.”

Tension Grows Onboard

While many will understand the situation onboard, the delay is unfortunate for the guests who boarded the Norwegian Sun on April 21 for the 20 Night Panama Canal cruise. In a follow-up message from a passenger currently onboard Norwegian Sun, the tension onboard seems to grow with little communication from Norwegian Cruise Line.

“Frustrating to be 12:07 p.m. here in Colombia and no information regarding the situation. No Freestyle Daily newsletter has been distributed for today, nor any other communications except for a vague announcement by the captain at about 8:20 this morning that they are working on a new itinerary.”

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: lgabriela / Shutterstock

That the situation is indeed quite serious shows as Norwegian Cruise Line was forced to close the dining rooms on April 24, and guests were offered a buffet only for dinner. 

“The dining rooms were closed for dinner last night. Only a lackluster buffet was offered. Although this is certainly annoying, we do appreciate NCL’s desire not to set sail without full power. And we’re lucky this problem happened while we were in port and not at sea.”

Impact on Cruise Itinerary

Norwegian Sun‘s itinerary covers multiple ports from April 21 to May 11. The cruise began in Miami, Florida, on April 21, followed by the now-extended stop in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 24.

From Cartagena, the cruise was scheduled to visit Puntarenas, Costa Rica, on April 27 and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, on April 28. Subsequent stops include Acajutla, El Salvador, on April 29 and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, on April 30. The call in Nicaragua has been cancelled as the port is not currently allowing cruise ships to dock.

The ship would then sail to Mexico, making port calls at Huatulco, Acapulco, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas; Victoria, British Columbia in Canada, and arriving in Seattle on May 11.

It remains unclear how the delay in Cartagena and the rescheduling of the Panama Canal transit will affect the remaining itinerary of the Norwegian Sun cruise. Guests eagerly await updates on any possible changes to the schedule and how the cruise line plans to accommodate them.

Following the repositioning cruise to Seattle, Norwegian Sun will sail in Alaska this summer with 9, 10, and 11-day cruises with ports of call such as Sitka, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and more.

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