Following the Norwegian Escape running aground in Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic on Monday, the cruise line has informed guests that the current March 12 cruise is canceled. The following March 19 voyage has also been canceled.
Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Voyage
On Monday, March 14, the Norwegian Escape ran aground while departing Taino Bay in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
After help from local authorities, including tug boats, the large Breakaway-plus class vessel was eventually freed at approximately 12:45 AM on Tuesday.
The ship was helped back to the pier at the Port of Taino Bay to assess any damage. During that time, guests were allowed to enjoy their time ashore, once again. All guests and crew were safe and full services available onboard the Norwegian Cruise Line-operated ship.
In a further development, on March 15, the cruise line sent out a letter to all guests onboard that the current voyage is canceled.
NCL said in the letter, “In an abundance of caution, the remainder of Norwegian Escape’s march 12, 2022, sailing has been canceled and we will be disembarking all guests between march 16-18, 2022, in Puerto Plata.”
The following March 19 departure from Port Canaveral is also canceled. Impacted guests are being contacted regarding their options. The voyage was scheduled to be a seven-night itinerary to Cozumel, Ocho Rios and Great Stirrup Cay.
The cruise line did not detail any damage, but some minor scrapes have been seen. It’s possible that further checks would need to be made as a precaution. With the vessel remaining at the pier at Taino Bay, sister ship Norwegian Encore was forced to dock at Amber Cove on March 15, which is nearby.
Guests Being Sent Home
All Norwegian Escape guests will start being sent home between March 16 and 18. Those guests who purchased flights through the cruise line will receive new flight schedules within 48 hours.
Guests who have not booked through the cruise line will be sent to Orlando, Florida, via charter flights and bus transfers to Port Canaveral to collect vehicles.
NCL is informing guests to work directly with their airline to arrange necessary flights from Orlando back home. Travel insurance plays a significant factor in this situation, especially for those who didn’t book through the cruise line.
Norwegian Cruise Line is providing a full automatic refund that will be processed within five business days. The funds will then be back in the account within seven to ten business days from the processed date.
To make up for the Norwegian Escape cancellations, NCL is providing a 100% Future Cruise Credit, which will be applied to the Latitudes account. The future credit will be available from March 25, 2022, and can be used on any voyage through March 25, 2023.
Norwegian Escape departed Port Canaveral on March 12, and Puerto Plata was the first port of call during the seven-day itinerary. Other ports were St. Thomas, Tortola, and NCL’s private island of Great Stirrup Cay.
The Norwegian cruise ship is among the largest in the fleet at 164,600 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 4,200 at double occupancy.